Sunday, October 19, 2008

No turning back now

I voted! I love early voting, it is so easy, available on Saturday, and very fast. It is just great! And if you have early voting in your area, go for it, unless you have changed your mind 1000 times and still not really sure who to vote for this election year.

One reason why I love early voting like I do, I hate the long lines on Election Day. Another reason, well, back in 2002, when we were voting for the local elections, PJ was just 3, Eric had Cubscouts, and I had to vote. Well, that day at work, I remember so clearly, right before I left for the day, I bent over and got my hair stuck in the end of a hanging file folder, not funny. I got home, driving the Saturn with manual transmission, took it out of gear and I hit the car that was parked in the driveway, not funny. Well, I took Eric to Cubscouts, a friend of mine took care of him while I went to vote. Got there, the line was out the door, but this was something I needed to do. PJ was so good, he waited and waited and waited with me for 2 1/2 hours. We got to the front, there were only 5 booths that they had in this district, no wonder it took so long, I was 5 people from the front and PJ took off from me. I tried so hard to keep him under control, but I didn't notice that he left my side. Where did he go? You may wonder.... Ok, real quick, if you are an adult and you see a kid reaching up to pull the fire alarm, do you think you would say something?????? Of course you would, you are a responsible adult. Did anyone say anything to PJ, like, um, you don't need to touch that, as he was pulling down the fire alarm. No! Of course not, you are almost out of there, you are tired and ready to go home, you aren't at the end of the line that will be there another 2 hours. Yep, you read that right, my 3 yr old PJ pulled the fire alarm at the school. Chuck called shortly after that happened and asked what was going on, I told him some kid pulled the fire alarm, "why didn't you watch him closer?" I was tired, I wanted to go home, he laughed. I finally got to vote, got Eric back when he was dropped off, walked out covering my face. Meanwhile, 3 year old PJ got a standing ovation, as he raised his arm to wave and accept his congratulations. Not funny??? Oh yeah, it was funny! That is why I early vote!

I know that mom doesn't like my choice, but like I said, it was my choice. I voted for Barack Obama. There are so many reasons why I voted for him and not for John McCain. I know that no matter who gets into office, most likely things won't change that much. But I am tired of the war, I am tired of hearing that we need to go into Iran, the Iraqi people want us to leave, and I don't blame them. If the roles were reversed, I wouldn't want strangers in my country either. We have been there long enough, we did find WMD, we got rid of Saddam Hussein, and it is time to come home. We have lost so many soldiers, doing their job, but they aren't coming home. And I am so glad that my sons aren't old enough to be over there. I am old enough to have a child over there, and I am so grateful that I started late in life.

Ok, so, off my soap box, and on with this. Yesterday I didn't have to be at work until 1, so I got up, got breakfast and got ready to go out. Looked at Eric and said that I was going to go vote. "I get to do it!" he reminded me, "on Feb 5 at 5pm, you told me that I can vote for President." True, I did tell him. PJ got to push the buttons in the Primary, Eric got to push the buttons for President.

I remember doing that when I was a kid. Those darn hanging chads on the punch ballots. But I did it too, so why not let them do it. It is my decision, they just feel like they have done something important. And this election year, it is very important that we all vote.

We got downtown and I forgot that the Apple Festival was going on. I had no intention of going to it, just find a spot to park and vote. I got it, one gentleman was in there already, no lines, no fuss, just hand them my driver's license and sign away. We got to one booth and I told Eric that he could come in there with me, she moved us to another one that had some more room for both of us. He went to hit the button and I say, "WAIT! Are you really sure you want to make that choice?" He knew I was kidding. And we voted for Obama/Biden. I feel comfortable about my pick. Of course I felt comfortable about voting for Bush twice, and look what happened there.

I wish I could find the Letter to the Editor in the NY Times that I read not too long ago. It was about how the dad looked at voting for Barack Obama was historical, for him that grew up in an era that was just coming out of segregation, to see the way that the blacks were treated while he was growing up. The son looked at him and said, "I don't see the big deal about voting for a black man." To kids like Eric, it isn't a big deal, even for me it isn't a big deal. I didn't grow up during segregation, I have friends that have. I didn't grow up in places like Mississippi that to this day, still have problems with black people in their area. There are places like that just down the road from me. Areas that just don't like anything else but ANGLO SAXON in their town. Too bad they are backwards. When I find the article I will post it on here. I think it is something all should read.

So, Eric and I got our stickers and left the building feeling like we did our duty. People fight for the chance to vote, we have it, and I know most of the people I work with are not even registered to vote. Even if you vote for Independant, at least you voted.

I sent out a text message on October 4th to all my Tennessee friends and family telling them all that if they aren't registered to do it. Of course, if they hadn't done it by then, they wouldn't have. But this is such a historical election, either way it goes, don't you want to be part of it. I know I do.

When we got in the car, a woman walked by us with an Obama shirt on, now before entering the building she had to button up her jacket. But I rolled down the window and told her I liked her shirt, she said she was going to go and vote, and I told her that we already did. "Good for you!" all that enthusiasm in her voice. I was surprised to see a woman, late 50's, voting for Obama. Living in such a conservative town, there are some rebels out there.

The next election, Eric won't be 18, so he can't vote. I know that he wants to, but that will have to wait until he is 21. At least we are raising them to vote for whomever they want to vote for, and that they understand all that each party offers.

The boys did get to vote on, the kids have chosen the correct election results 4 out of the last 5 Presidential elections. That is pretty neat. Well, I mentioned to PJ about it, and he couldn't wait to get on there. We did, and all I heard, "I am voting for Obama." I told him that we have to read all that they offer and then you make your decision. He read everything, questioned a lot of things, and then decided that he did like Obama. He liked what Biden had to offer, smaller classrooms was the thing that got PJ to decide in that direction. When you have a classroom of 26 to 32, there is a problem somewhere. I am so glad they laid it out in terms that kids can understand. So, if you are a parent, and your child wants to vote, but they can't, go to and have them select their choice in President. Remember, this is their choice, not for you to sway them in either direction.


Johanna said...

I'm still voting for the other side, but I'm secretly hoping for an Obama win.

Does that make sense to you?

It doesn't much to me, either.

We're looking into early voting, too. It starts on Tuesday here in Johnson County. I think ours is at one of the malls. Go vote and then buy a new pair of underwear.

Because I'll need one. :)

Scary world we're in right now. Very scary.

Elaine said...

Yay Patti! We can vote early here, too, but I've been holding out, since I wanted to take Gillian with me on Election Day. She told me she doesn't care if I vote without her, but we'll see. She's voting on as we speak. I'll be voting for Obama/Biden, and I am proud to say it! I even have my bumper sticker. : )

Elaine said...

Okay, so 2 things: first, how did your interview/test thing go on Monday, and will you email me your macaroni and cheese recipe, too? Please? I love homemade mac and cheese, but have yet to find a recipe I love. My grandma made GREAT homemade mac and cheese, but of course, her recipe wasn't written down!