Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The post in which we act just like the annoying paparazzi

We left Bar Harbor and drove a bit further down the coast to the lovely little town of Kennebunkport Maine. Most people recognize the name because the Bush family owns a home in Kennebunkport and their house was the backdrop for many an interview during George Bush Sr's Presidency.

The town itself is absolutely charming...cute inns, quaint shops, wonderful restaurants and the sea all around. We drove around a bit and lo and behold there was the Bush house sitting out on a point of land that juts into the sea. We slowed down and saw a pull off cut into the side of the road. I suppose the town/security/whoever gave up and created a spot for people to get a photo. There is a sign posted that says no buses or RVs and stopping is permitted for no longer than 15 minutes.

As we pulled off the road my husband commented that a car was pulling in to the driveway of the house. It stopped in front of some of the outbuildings and three people climbed out. Course we played the part of ultimate tourist and peered obnoxiously through our trusty binoculars. My husband announced, "Hey, that's George Bush (Sr.)"
And sure enough it was. My camera has a crummy zoom but he's the one closest to the flag. The car continued up to the house and Barbara got out. She unloaded a couple of things from the boot then climbed into a golf cart and went back to the group.

She's in the tan jacket in the middle of the photo...unless you're Superman you must click on the photo to see it a little bigger. Of course you can't miss her lovely white hair. I love Barbara Bush. It was really very exciting. We decided to stay way longer than our alloted 15 minutes with the hopes that the security detail would drive over and tell us to move along. Or maybe say, 'Hey, the former President and his lovely wife would love for you two to pop in for a glass of wine." No such luck. I'm pretty sure they know a tourist when they see one. Gee, what gave us away? We were so subtle.

The day we were in Kennebunkport? September 11, 2009. I'd been thinking about George Bush the son alot that day. We'd watched some of the replayed footage from that awful day on the morning news and I was struck by the moment they showed an aide whispering in the President's ear, trying to quietly let him know what had occurred. Struck by the thought that in that moment his heart must have broken into a thousand million pieces. That the true weight of the world was upon him as he sat in that classroom of innocent children whose eyes were watching, trying not to??? I don't know... scream, burst into tears, wail, shake his fist, yell I give up-this job is too hard!!!? I think about the shock and horror I felt that morning and I wasn't the President of the United States.

Sometimes I'm ashamed of the way Americans talk about George Bush (Junior and Senior to be honest). Men who served their country to the best of their ability. George Bush Sr. was the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings. He flew 58 combat missions and was shot down by antiaircraft fire in WW2. Never mind that he was President of the United States. That fact alone earns him a little more respect than he's typically given. And his son? His son led this country through one of its darkest days and he did it with encouragement and dignity and compassion and steely resolve. Was he a perfect President? Has there been a perfect President? We did not walk in his shoes that day or the days after. Were mistakes made in his Presidency? Sure. As there are in every Presidency. I'm saddened by the lack of civility, respect and common courtesy that this man is given. And I'm glad it was George Bush #43 sitting in the White House on that crystal-clear, blue- sky, never- to- be- innocent again morning in 2001.

We looked at the house for a bit. It is beautiful. And peaceful. And my husband and I both thought, "I'm glad they have this house. It's peaceful. And they've earned some peace."


  1. Wow, what a beautiful home. They have earned some rest, for sure! Too had you didn't get invited in, that would have been one heck of a blog post! Ha. "Hey, Barbara, could you smile, this is for the blog!" Ha.

  2. Great post! I for one supported this president because of his willingness to share his amazing faith in God with so many. I love your saying that there have been no perfect presidents! That is true but we do have a perfect King that watches over everything that goes on each day.

    What a beautiful home and I too am glad that they can have a place as beautiful as this to enjoy the remainder of their life here.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  3. I knew I liked you from the beginning!!

    I love Barbara Bush too. She is so feisty. There may be two presidents and a governor in that family, but she definitely wears the pants!

    That house looks so beautiful and peaceful.

  4. Thank you for that! The rest of the blogworld is not always so forthright!

  5. Joyce,

    I'm glad you got to see them. I'm impressed with how you spoke so openly and lovingly about them though many people do not. I have definitely supported them as well, and will continue to feel they did the absolute best job they could.

    So glad you got to go to Kennebunkport and see them.

  6. I too have always loved the Bush families. I enjoyed hearing both George Sr. and Jr. speak. And I agree with Kat above and how they were willing to share their faith in the presidential capacity. I loved when George Jr. moved to Dallas and how the people there were so welcoming and applauded them along the route to their house. That really warmed my heart that night on the news. I am so excited that you got to see George and Barbara. She is a neat lady!!! I have always loved her white hair. Thanks for sharing your feelings about the Bush family. Great post!! Love & blessings from NC!