Fun: On Cheating and Stickers

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It’s confession time. I did my “homework” the other night and I “cheated.”

Rather than rubbing my temples and playing “eenie-meenie-miney-mo” in the voting booth my husband and I take a different approach. I had been so caught up in pre-planning and back-to-school-mode this week I had forgotten about an impending Voting Day.

I reminisce a lot about Voting Days. I have fond memories of my parents dragging me and my two sisters to the polls when they voted. The running joke between them was that they wondered aloud WHY they voted. “We probably just cancel out each other’s vote,” they’d chuckle.

 

Talk about homework. I read all these articles to help me prep for voting this week.

Recently, my husband announces after dinner that the big day cometh. He pulls out our official “sample” ballot and lays lots of cutout newspaper articles on the table. Together we sift through them, reading and contemplating – individually, of course. We wouldn’t want to cancel out each other’s votes! It was a lot of work. There were editorials. Interviews. Trying to forget the 9 bajillion derogatory pre-recorded phone calls we received. I’m thinking the “do not call registry” goes on vacation during voting season. If not, it certainly seems that way.

Back to the homework. When the sample ballots arrived they landed on top of our computer desk. As endorsement articles and other voter education information ran in the paper, my husband faithfully clipped them, adding to the stack. Homework night might have been the night before the real deal but I knew the last thing I planned to do was march myself into my voting precinct and spend time “Christmas treeing” the options. In case the term is unfamiliar, Christmas treeing is what students taking tests on bubble sheet answer forms call it when they color in the bubbles to make a design.

Nope. My “cheating” would be productive because it meant that my little “sample” ballot would go with me into the booth where I’d just copy the answers. With races ranging from school board members and local judges to state and national legislative positions, the choices were too many for me to memorize anyway.

Yep and according to the automatic vote counting machine, I was number 38. No special significance there but I must say freedom never felt so good! Besides, I like wearing my “I voted” sticker.

Fun: All Aboard for Amazement

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The best view came from standing between the cars.

I had the ride of my life on the White Pass and Yukon Route located in Skagway, Alaska.

The last time I rode a train I was a kid on summer vacation. Traveling with my parents and sisters, we hopped aboard in Thomasville, George for a several-day-long ride to Michigan, where my father’s family lived. I remember pretty much vowing to never hit the rails again after a crossing accident caused the train to slam to a stop.Fast forward 40 years. I’m on another train – this one in Skagway, Alaska, the northernmost part of Alaska’s Inside Passage. It was a short ride – only 20 miles or so – but one that held me in two places – 1898 and 2012 simultaneously. The White Pass and Yukon Route railway was built during the Klondike Gold Rush. According to http://www.wpyr.com, its official website, the railway is one of 36 International Historical Civil Engineering Landmarks. You might recognize three other famous ones: The Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty!

As  I took my place alongside other tourists inside the cars, I listened as the guide narrated. We looked above to see the point of highest elevation. We looked below to see steep dropoffs. The trip climbed 3,000 feet.

This is Inspiration Point along the rails. Aptly named.

What made time stop for me was Inspiration Point.  It was almost too much to take in at once – learning about the railway’s history and creation while trying to process such beauty. Words are truly inadequate, so I’m posting several photos. Hop on! Let’s share the ride!