Election Reflections

I tried to stay up last night to see how everything shook out. I think I made it until midnight right after the commentator said that what we will witness tonight will be something we will tell our grandchildren about. No such luck, future grandchildren, I fell asleep after seeing our state of Wisconsin turn red. This is the first time this has happened in my state since I was a little girl.

My 18 year old daughter went to vote the first time this year. I want to tell her that it is not always this exciting. This is the most exciting election that I have ever seen. I have never been more interested in what the state of Pennsylvania thought before..

I can’t remember the first time that I voted. It probably wasn’t right after I turned 18 like my daughter did. The first time I remember voting was when I was 22. It was the Clinton versus Dole election year.

I remember 1996 like it was yesterday. It was right around the time that the 80’s hair styles were settling down. The cars were small and boxy, not curved like they are today. Growing up with a family that ran a small town automotive business, I could almost identify every make, model, and year of the cars on the road back in those days. It was expected.

Many of the cars sported the bumper sticker ‘Dole for Pineapple’. Shortly after, the Packers won the Super Bowl and most of those cars sported the ugly Packer flags that would extend from both back windows to flap in the frosty air. Those were the days with the Packers flags and Dole for Pineapple bumper stickers! Our state hasn’t been a red state since way before that time..

I remember voting on a paper ballot. Do you? I remember taking my paper ballot to a musty smelling booth covered by a sheet that wasn’t see through. Then years after that we had a ballot that we had to connect the lines with what seemed to be invisible ink. We waited a long time in silence so intense that you could hear a pin drop. No cell phones accidentally rang.

The first time I was introduced to voting was with Aunt Grace. I asked her who she was voting for after she took me along with her to vote. She said, “Alissa, we do not talk about religion or politics. But we own a business and we are Republican.”

Many years later, a Presidential candidate visited our small town rural church on my confirmation day. I wanted to put his sign in our yard because he came all that way to see me. But he was a Democrat. A friend of my brother also had a mother running in local politics, but we didn’t leave her sign in the yard either since she was a Democrat. It probably didn’t help that she let her kids run wild and they always came asking for food.

It is my own personal opinion that a lot of people headed out to vote for Trump not necessarily because they liked him, but because of their dislike for Hillary. Or maybe it was from all of the people posting about their Obamacare premiums doubling or tripling in price. Who knows?? Predictions don’t always translate to predictable outcomes. It was a pretty close race.

Ever since I have been alive, the country’s pendulum swings from one side to the other every few years. It doesn’t seem all that shocking to me. Although, apparently it is for some people, since I heard that the Canadian immigration site was down.

The funniest thing I heard on Facebook was from an African friend of mine. He said that his uncle came over to America and now he might get deported. They all were pretty happy about it since he hasn’t called or wrote home in awhile. Hhmmm, okay..

I am glad that the election is finally over…

Regardless of what the next chapter brings… I am going to trust God and try my best to do my part in making America great..

 

Confirmed, part 2

The cake is gone, the festive dishes have been washed and put back in dark cupboard corners. My son’s confirmation went better than expected. He even said during the party that he was getting bored of gaming. He played board games with family and friends. Hallelujah!

I have to share with you the story of my confirmation because it is such a crazy story it seems made up. I got confirmed during a presidential campaign year. I attended a small rural church. The church was large but the congregation was small, probably around 40 regular attendees per week. We shared our pastor with our sister congregation 20 minutes away. After 2 years of sitting through Saturday morning confirmation classes listening to my pastor’s monotone speaking, I got confirmed. I memorized all the creeds and required Bible verses. The night before the big day, the eight of us confirmands had to answer about 300 memorized theological questions in front of our family and friends. By golly, somehow we pulled it off. 

I was the only person getting confirmed in my church, the rest were getting confirmed in the sister church. We found out that a senator running for president was stopping at my church on the campaign route. He was stopping on confirmation Sunday. Finally, it was time for the big day! The parking lot was beyond full. I was escorted to the front row of our church. My mom hired a violinist that was a recent immigrant from Poland. The secret service patted him down and inspected his violin case thoroughly. The church was packed, there wasn’t a single open seat. The offering from that one service probably tided the church over for the next 10 years. 

I remember being terrified while reciting my confirmation verse and giving my explanation of the verse. My voice squeaked like a frightened church mouse. Afterwards, we hosted a huge meal for the senator and he spoke. I had my picture with the senator in all of the local papers. Big things don’t usually happen in small towns.