In November 2004 I was sixteen years old and, though too young to vote, had avidly followed the progress of the 2004 presidential election. John Kerry's loss on November 2 was deeply felt in our Democratic family and widely discussed among the high school students in the nation's biggest swing state. That same month our family hosted Grand Ma Normal Family and Aunt Crazy, down from Native State; and I addressed feelings about God and our move.
November 2, 2004
It is late on election night, after eleven o’clock, and I’m still awake, anxious to see who the winner is in this presidential race. As of right now, John Kerry has 188 electoral votes and George W. Bush has 197. I am very frightened lest Bush should win. I will write more tomorrow, but now I'm going to go pray A LOT.
November 3, 2004
Today exhausted me in so many ways. Today my faith in the judgement of the American people was deeply shaken. Today my sense of possible security and hope was skewered by an electoral lance. Today I watched the words “Kerry Concedes” blaze across the television screen like some crimson death sentence.
My heart fell through my chest and sank somewhere in my stomach. The kids at school are all celebrating Bush’s victory, which leads me to believe that they don’t understand its implications. I think a military draft could be in the wings because of our growing crisis in Iraq, the bottomless pit that the administration tries to fill with borrowed cash. There just simply aren’t enough troops to continue as we’ve been doing, especially with the National Guard already under a "backdoor draft" by which guardsmen’s terms are consecutively extended beyond the time that they’re initially meant to serve.
I only hope that President Bush gets to the draft quickly if it happens. I’ll turn eighteen next April and would like to still be underage if they start calling people up. I’m going to college anyway, but you still don't want to tempt fate. America is in for a rough four years.
November 5, 2004
I am so tired that I can barely keep my head up, and, as I’ll be rising early tomorrow, I’m going to bed. I plan to spend the entire Saturday at the university doing research for my AP European History class. I’m going to read my Bible and then sleep.
November 10, 2004
When I walked in from school today Grand Ma Normal Family was standing in our foyer, a smile on her face and her arms outstretched. Powell and I were so excited to see her again. We discussed everything about living here, all of our experiences, good and bad. Tonight we went to Red Lobster for dinner, and I was so full I thought I’d sprout a red tail. You know, I really don’t like lobster that much. Next time I think I’ll stick to king crab legs. I’m sleeping in Powell’s bed tonight and every night until Grand Ma and Aunt Crazy leave. Really, it’s not that bad, as Powell’s bed is very big and we often talk about things before falling asleep.
November 11, 2004
My hair tie snapped in school today and I had to wear my hair down all day. Everybody kept saying they couldn't believe how long it is. It is pretty long! Powell stayed home from school today to just spend time with Aunt Crazy and Grand Ma, but I couldn't join him. I have so much to do for AP European History! I can’t wait for December 6, when this will all be over and I can enjoy the Christmas holidays.
November 14, 2004
Last night was awesome! Aunt Crazy, Grand Ma, Powell, Thomas, and I went around six o’clock, headed for the movie theater. This was a special treat for me because, having been busy with AP European History research at the university, I didn’t even expect to get home in time to go with them! I finished my tasks for the day around three o’clock, much earlier than planned (to give you an idea, I stayed at the college until eight o’clock last Saturday evening) and happily headed home to prepare for the coming night.
Then tonight was great, too. We had an early Thanksgiving (the real thing isn't until November 25). With Grand Ma at the stove the meal was a practical feast of chicken, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and more. As always is the case when Grand Ma cooks, it was delicious.
On Saturday night I had an odd dream. I was visiting Beautiful Town to see all of our friends but I had nowhere to say. I had wanted to lodge in our old house but someone was living there so that was impossible. I was standing in the street, looking down the hill into the valley. I was suddenly hit with a great pang of pain and my dream self started to cry. I woke up and I was sad. I haven't thought much about back home, but that dream bothered me.
November 19, 2004
Grand Ma and Aunt Crazy are back home now. On the evening of Monday, November 15, my father announced that we were moving back to Beautiful Town and that the house would be up for sale as of this weekend. The next day, Mom told us that Dad was just going off into one of his periodic bursts of enthusiasm and grand schemes that are always sobered within days by stark reality.
November 24, 2004
I love school on the day before a holiday. In addition to there being no real work to speak of, roughly half the student population was absent, which made the hallways and classrooms quite roomy.
Third-period English was by far the most meaningful. Mrs. English Teacher and I had a class-long discussion about God and Jesus. Mrs. English Teacher says that everyone feels inadequate in the face of God, and that it would be a sin to think you could be good enough. She said that we can’t control our sins, but rather we use God’s and Jesus’s strength to control them. I asked her if she thought that Jesus and God would give Jews and Muslims a second chance after they die, and she said that she didn’t know.
November 25, 2004
Despite the bright, sunny sky and springtime temperatures, we’ve been somewhat able to create a Thanksgiving atmosphere in the house. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade trumpets forth on our television screen and the smell of turkey, still in the oven, floats throughout the entire house.
We traditionally begin preparations for Christmas within a week of Thanksgiving, and Mom put up the Christmas tree this morning. Tonight, we’ll put in a Christmas CD and adorn the tree with ornaments, as we’ve done together for as long as I can remember. I imagine that today will be hard for Mom, since her mother died last month.