Tag Archive for: voting

Winning Wednesday with el Presidente

Yesterday, I was the first in line at 6 am. I was a bit ambitious getting there so early and the darkened parking lot proved it. But, once the sun started rising a bit, another car showed up. I hopped out-determined to be the first.


Trailing just slightly behind me was a classy “gray haired” decked out in red, white and blue. She had a compact with a powder puffy thing still intact which she used to check her red lipstick. I wore a black peacoat and had a tube of homemade lip balm.

Seemingly worlds apart, I decided to strike up a conversation with Number #2 while we waited and see how our worlds just might overlap. We were probably 40 years apart, but soon realized we couldn’t have been more similar.


I teased her that even though Oklahoma is now an “Open-Carry” state, she wasn’t allowed to bring her gun inside the church (our polling location). She told me to shut off my “fancy cell phone device”. We talked about stay-at-home mom’s versus working mom’s (she had been both), about what part of the neighborhood we lived in and where we grew up.

The one thing both of us avoided talking about was politics. Which was ironic as we stood in line to vote for the biggest election that I can remember. She told me how the whole system worked, having been on the other side of the table more than 30 years.


We both agreed there should have been fancier booths rather than the plastic separation devices perched atop a makeshift table. And, we both agreed there should be more balloons and streamers once our ballot was eaten by the alien-voting-tabulating-machine.

Then she asked me how I had come upon my decision to vote. And that’s what stopped me cold. How do I tell a complete stranger that I not only review the issues, the background of the candidate, their track record-but most importantly-I pray about it? Sounds rather hokey.

But, I did.

And she smiled. And winked. And then she said, “That’s the best way to do it, hun.”

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You Matter. Your Vote Matters. America Matters.

I am more than proud to be an American. I believe this is the greatest country to grow up in, to raise my children in and to believe in. Of course, it’s run by humans that are at times deeply flawed and selfish.


But, America is still amazing. And with July 4th right around the corner, I get a bit patriotic.


That’s not to say that my heart doesn’t long for my ancestral home from time to time.

My maiden name was “Matlach” (pronounced mat-lock) and then I married a “Greiman” (pronounced gry-man). My great-grandparents took a boat over to escape the impending WW1. There is still a Greimann farm (yep, the original spelling had two “n’s”) in Germany. I was born in Landstuhl, Germany and resided there for three years. My roomie and I treated ourselves to a European vacation upon graduation. Heck, I even speak German. We love beer, Wienerschnitzel and Lederhosen.

Could we get any more Kraut than that?


With our profound love for Germany, Biceps and I took a month long vacation to see as much of Europe as we could. As beautiful as many of the places were that we visited, I couldn’t shake the feeling that humanity had seen evil and had turned its head.


Hitler had come from nothing and became the German savior. He promised economic stability, had given hope to a people poor and disillusioned and had promised to rid the earth of the “Jewish problem”.


Under his regime millions of Jews, disabled and mentally unstable persons, Catholics, Soviets, Polish and more were murdered. The German people had given up and trusted Adolf implicitly.

This monument in Berlin was to remind the world of the grottos the Jews and the other “undesirables” were forced to live in for years. The monument was suffocating, confining and repetitive.


I remembered hearing about Check Point Charlie and all of those that died trying to cross through these gates, deliver Bibles, or just try to get information to their loved ones on the other side.


I remembered watching the Berlin wall being destroyed by fed up Germans in 1989 and I remembered hearing Reagan’s infamous words “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”.


As beautiful as Germany is, as wonderful as my German heritage is, I am still thankful to be an American. We aren’t perfect, but we demand democracy. If we will only do our part and let our tiny little voices that live in Tulsa, Ok or Dayton, Oh or Murfreesboro, Tn or anywhere else be heard-we will continue on with our democratic system.

As soon as we decide our vote doesn’t matter, we have given up our rights and have been seduced to think we don’t matter–that the government will do what it wants.

America is wonderful-screwed up, messed up, and sometimes downright awful-but it’s ours. Don’t give it away to anyone else. Don’t turn your head and expect someone else to do something about it. Because you may not like what it is they do in your name.

You matter.

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