Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sorry, Martha

This morning, around 8:30 AM, as I am dutifully dusting and vacuuming my house in preparation for this afternoon’s guests – one word rattled around my mind in time to the humming of the vacuum cleaner:  Why? 

Why is it that on the day we’re expected to spend all day in food preparation we are also expected to have our house resemble a showplace?  We seem to be inundated with TV ads, magazine articles, and even social media showing a perfect Thanksgiving celebration.  The Thanksgiving gurus show us tabloid after tabloid of perfectly displayed food, including an uncarved turkey on a platter in the center of the table.  They provide ideas for the most festive of decorations.  And all of this happens in spotless homes – never mind that it snowed last night and every guest will be tracking snow in on their shoes.

Really, folks.  I know how I cook.  I know that there will be food splatters on the kitchen floor, and that there will be no time to clean them up before the guests arrive.  And who carves the turkey at the table, anyway?  I read just last week that one of the gurus actually cooks a second turkey – a “stunt” turkey to sit as centerpiece while the real turkey is carved and served.  Two words:  not happening.

So I hope that our guests today will kindly overlook the stack of dishes overflowing from the sinks as they heap their plates with pre-carved turkey and all the trimmings.  I hope they’ll overlook the less-than-perfect table arrangements as they sit down for an evening of great food, great conversation, and a heaping portion of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Have You Voted Yet?

My father was involved in local politics when I was growing up.  I remember posting signs, knocking on doors and handing out flyers from the time I was eleven years old.  Dad was elected to two terms on the City Council before being hired as City Manager.  He ran for his final elected position, that of County Surveyor, in 1994.

He won every election he ran in – except one.  Today I want to tell you about the one he lost.

Dad was running for a position on the County School Board.  He and his opponent were both well known in the city.  Dad was City Manager; his opponent was a city police officer.  Dad campaigned well.  His opponent also campaigned well.  In the end the race was decided by three votes.
Three votes!  After Dad had conceded and put that race behind him, several of his friends confessed that, “If I had known the race would be so close I would have voted.”

Your vote counts!  Never believe – not even for a second – that it doesn’t matter whether you vote or not.  In this race, dominated by an ugliness unbecoming our great nation, it’s especially important that you vote.  Don’t like either candidate at the top?  Skip that race.  In Utah the rest of your ballot will be counted.  It says so right on the ballot.

Too late to mail in your ballot?  Drop it off at a polling place.  Or just go to the polling place and cast your vote the traditional way.  Yes, there will be lines.  Take a book.  Or just visit with all your friends and neighbors also coming out to vote.

But vote!  Your vote counts.  And your vote matters.