The alarm went off at 5:30, but I was already awake. (The end of daylight saving time helped). I made breakfast, coffee, got the paper. Woke the kids. We did our usual morning routine, just an hour earlier than we normally would.
Then we went to our polling place to be there when the doors opened at 7 am.
The line was long, but our volunteers were organized. We saw lots of neighbors in line too. Some who've got McCain signs out, but others who we know are Obama supporters.
Lotta came to my booth with me. I showed her the ballot and pointed to Barack Obama's name. We have a paper ballot thats marked with a number two pencil. You fill in the center of an arrow that points to the candidate's name. My votes all went to democrats, but I fill each one out anyway.
My daughter saw me cast a ballot for the first black candidate. She saw me vote to re-elect our openly gay congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin. None of these votes were probable, if not impossible, when I was seven years old.
I took the girls door-to-door canvassing on Sunday. I really want them to remember this election. Even when they are 95 years old, I want them to tell their great-grandchildren that they helped elect Barack Obama. Lotta will say she saw my vote. She'll say she put it into the counting machine for me.
Ima went in the voting booth with her father. "Who'd he vote for, Ima?" I asked.
"I don't know" she said, rolling her eyes. "I can't read!"
"Well did the name start with an 'O' or an 'M'?"
Ben, the republican in the house, laughed. "That's why I took her with me. So she wouldn't know."
"This is a historic vote, Ben. Don't you want your girls to know how you voted?"
After telling us he voted for a man, that he voted for a man with an 'A' in his name, that he voted for a man with an 'A' in his name who is running for president, he broke down and told us he voted for Barack Obama.
I hope many many more of us vote for Obama than for the other candidate with an 'A' in his name.
Peace, friends. I hope tomorrow brings us joy.