Right up front I want to say hey to my fave blog buddy, Momthatsnuts. I may have some new friends on here, but you my lady, will always hold the title of, "My fave blog buddy". We've been kicking it for a long time now.
Secondly, I want to acknowledge my Blogger buddy Solie. I thoroughly enjoyed your post today. I think those of us that have served our country have a tendency to be super-sensitive to the state of the union...more so than our civilian counter parts. This is strictly just my "2 cents worth" on the subject.
So, I voted today, via the early voting polls. The entire experience was very unusual for me, as opposed to my past voting experiences. I believe this is because of my new association with my new blogging buddies. All of the political jousting that I've participated in lately has really been weighing on my mind.
Anyway, From the minute I arrived at the courthouse, the contrasts of my voting experience stood out to me. First, although I am permitted by the great state of Texas to carry a concealed weapon, I could not enter the county courthouse with it. It was no biggie, I knew the law beforehand, but it struck me as odd when I read the sign as I emptied my pockets and entered the metal detectors. Next, I met two elderly black women who were casting their ballots as I was signing in. They were having trouble using the computerized voting machines and had to have a poll worker explain things. For a one split second, the cynical part of me, wondered who they were voting for. Then I got a proud feeling to be witnessing them exercise their right. I'm sure there was a time in their lives when they couldn't simply walk in and announce that they were there to vote. It was truly touching to watch them. They smiled at me as they passed me to leave.
I touched the screen and configured my ballot the way I saw fit, then I stood there for a minute and just soaked in the whole ordeal. I reflected back to all of the conversations that I've had with each of you...the good, the bad and the really bad. I literally envisioned each of y'alls pictures and certain comments that we've exchanged. Then I hit the "cast my ballot" button.
On the elevator ride back down, I got emotional. I didn't boo-hoo, but I did get a little watery-eyed. I got a rush of pride thinking about what I had just done. I'm still recently retired from the USAF (about one year ago) and my service to this great country was acknowledged today. I didn't have to worry about being executed as I exited the polls, I didn't have to explain myself to anyone and in my mind, those elderly black ladies just thumbed their nose to all the people that may have tried to intimidate them many years ago.
So that's it...my day of contrasts.