We headed out of town for the weekend with a group of friends. Ten adults and four children sharing two condos. Once the kids were in bed, the adults could play.
On the first night, the men of the group stood around the kitchen and talked about the recent election. Turns out I was the only Obama supporter in the room. It was actually a pretty good discussion. Fueled by several bottles of wine, the four of us stayed up past four in the morning discussing politics. We joked that we would move on to religion the next night, but we decided to stick to one volatile topic per trip.
Speaking of sensible political discussion, I have been enjoying the podcast Left, Right and Center. The shows motto is "Your civilized yet provocative antidote to the screaming talking heads that dominate political debate." They occasionally fall back on inflammatory talking points, but it is generally good stuff. I don't listen to either progressive or conservative talk radio. As far left as I go is the Daily Show and it has the benefit of being funny. I don't see the point in listening to only one side. And from what I've seen and gleaned from others during the election, the stuff of talk radio is mostly ad hominem attacks that offer heat but no light, to borrow a turn of phrase.
Before heading out of town, we had to drop off the pooch at my parents. Silly non-pet-friendly condos. I was talking to my folks about the weekend away, and about a traditional sleepover party we have at Christmas time. My Mom asked if one of our friends had a house large enough for a big sleepover, and no many of us sleep on the floor. "Aren't you getting too old to sleep on the floor?" At 41, I am still in a bit of denial. When I can no longer sleep in a tent, that will be the first sign of getting "old".
It got me to thinking - what were my parents like in their 20's, 30's and 40's? What were their friends like, what did they do together, were they sleeping on floors? They had four children, and they had kids both in their 20's, then my younger brother and I in their 30's. They were bringing kids along on their adventures, much like my friends are now. And they were also camping, sleeping on the ground well into their 40's. It is kinda tough to picture your folks doing the same things that you do, but they did. They have had similar joys and similar trials.
At the gathering, though not everyone toasted our new president, we all toasted our nations future. And in looking forward, we of course need to look back to how we got here, both as individuals and as a nation. Thank your parents, talk to your friends on both sides of the aisle, and of course thank our veterans tomorrow and every day.