Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3

I realize that is not a very original title for a post. But I chose it for a couple reasons, and not one of those reasons is entirely due to laziness.

First of all, it is that time of year again. Yes, it's autumn, the leaves are falling, the air is crisp and cool, there is no excuse not to savor a mug of hot cocoa every single day, and I love it. But it's also that particular day of the year when I go absolutely berserk trying to find out who is running and for what position, what the different bonds and ballot measures are, and various other voting information. You would think this information would be at my fingertips, what with the wonders of the Internet and all. Yet for the past several years, I have tried to do my civic duty as a semi-intelligent voter, and for the past several years, I have failed. And it's not just this state. For each of the past three first Tuesdays in November, I have been registered to vote in a different city, county, state. And in each state, I have had absolutely dismal luck finding the relevant information needed to cast a confident vote. So I bitch and moan and do my best. And then I leave various ovals blank, because I can't just fill in any old random vote. And this just goes against my grain, because I suffer from a serious case of SAT-itis, which means I have this need to fill in an oval for every "question," even if I'm just making my best guess, using the process of elimination, or going with my gut instinct. That kind of stuff may have helped to get me into a good college, but it just doesn't fly in the voter booth. [image courtesy of www.jardmail.com.uk]

Having said all that, I did go out and vote today, with Mr. J, who voted for the second time in his life, having only recently become a full-fledged U.S. citizen. It was quite entertaining to be back in a semi-small town (Boise may be the capital of Idaho, but it is far from being a big city--which is why we love it!). The polling station was like a ghost town, other than the workers sitting around, catching up on the latest gossip. It wasn't until halfway through the three-minute process that we realized we were being serenaded by a choir of elementary school children, who were hidden somewhere behind the big curtain on the gymnasium's stage. I think that was a first in my voting career. In addition, no one quadruple-checked my driver's license or anything. I just confirmed my address, signed a book, got my paper ballot, went into a cardboard booth, filled in the one oval I felt confident about (yes, it was the guy who wined and cheesed us at his wine and cheese event), and then slipped my sadly incomplete ballot into what looked like a large shoebox. Then it was off to Jim's Coffee Shop for a celebratory breakfast.

But I seriously digress. A much happier reason for the title of this post, and for the celebratory breakfast, is that today marks what would have been my grandparents' 79th wedding anniversary. Although Grandpa died four short years ago (yes, that means they celebrated 75 years together! Amazing!!), he is never far from our hearts or our thoughts. But Nana is still alive and kicking and is actually going in today to determine whether at 90 years old she is a good candidate for a cochlear implant (or as she calls it, a nuclear implant, which just makes me giggle). For the past 15 years or more, she has sort of laughed off the idea of trying to improve her hearing, saying that she'd probably be dead in a year anyway and why spend the money. But seeing as she was just at my cousin's bon voyage party, dancing up a storm, I think she's finally realizing that she's here to stay for a while! In fact, at her 90th birthday party last March, she was still happy and alert and pleasant at 2 a.m., recapping the events of the day and exclaiming how nice everyone was to come to her party (she had always thought that people came to her parties because they all loved Grandpa ... hmmm, and I get my insecurities from where?!). I, on the other hand, was quite disgruntled and zombielike and exhausted, ready to pass out right there on the couch.

So in honor of my Nana and Grandpa, I send out positive, life-loving thoughts to all of you. May we all have even an iota of the love and laughter my grandparents have shared with this world. And may we all do our best to pass on that joy to those who are special to us . . . or even to those we just meet on the street.

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