I was supposed to run for President in 2012.

Tomorrow is election day. A Presidential election, at that. Is it bad that I feel fortunate not to live in an ‘important’ state such as Ohio? I have friends there who had received 12 political phone calls THIS MORNING!!! There was a time when I couldn’t get enough of the political game! In fact, it all started before I was enough old enough to vote. When I was in high school, my best friend and I hatched a plan that in the year 2012, we would run on a ticket since we would be 35 in the year 2012. Ha…how things have changed and somehow time has stood still because there is no way I am really 35!!

One thing that hasn’t changed is how serious I take my right and obligation to vote. I have voted in every election that I was eligible for since I turned 18. Sometimes that included voting by absentee ballot, sometimes that included driving to multiple voting locations after moving into a new precinct, sometimes that meant bring all 4 kids with me. Although the last one was often a pain….contrary to popular belief, becoming a mother does not include gaining a set of eyes in the back of your head. Therefore, trying to concentrate on the ballot in front of you can become quite the challenge when you bring four young children with you to vote.

But, pain or not, bringing the kids with me is something I will always do. In fact, on primary days, I wait until they are off school to ensure they can still go. I clearly remember going with my parents to vote when I was young and I think it had a large impact on my feelings surrounding voting today. I want to help instill that same since of duty in my children that my parents did for me.

One of our favorite family stories surrounding voting happened during the last Presidential election. I made the big effort to get all 4 children out the door…they were ages 6, 4, 2 and newborn at the time and getting out the door was always a challenge!! Anyway, we got to our voting place and the oldest two boys were given Kids’ Vote ballots to fill out. Not wanting to miss out on something, their 2 yr old sister said she wanted one also. Of course, I had to help them fill it out (I won’t tell who they voted for, but I approved.)  And when it got to be my daughter’s turn, I asked her who she wanted me to check off. She looked at me and shook her head. She didn’t want either one of the options. I was started to get antsy to be done and pushed her to pick one. Again, she shook her head and said “I want Fancy Nancy!” And that is who I wrote it!! To fully appreciate the story, you need to know that Fancy Nancy is a character in a children’s book series who has red, curly hair and likes everything fancy. You also need to know that that description pretty much fits my daughter as well!!

Tomorrow is the big day and I don’t care who you vote for (well, I do, but….), JUST VOTE!!! Let your voice be heard. Here is another plea from a friend and amazing musician to vote. Please watch this video…words can’t describe how moving it is. Ben Sollee made his way to the Lincoln Memorial recently and sang his song, A Few Honest Words, even after being relocated by security. As you can see, the lyrics make this song very fitting this time of the year.

A Few Honest Words

If you’re going to lead my country,
If you’re gonna say it’s free
I’m gonna need
a little honesty

Just a few honest words
It shouldn’t be that hard
Just a few honest words
Is all I need

I don’t need no handshake
No firm look in the eye
Don’t tell me what you think I,
I ought to hear

I don’t need no high life
No fancy premiers
Just tell me what you really think
Without fear

Just a few honest words
It shouldn’t be that hard
Just a few honest words
Is all I need

Love is a bitter food
You’ve learned to eat
You still don’t know, oh,
Where it grows

And our love of freedom
Holds a veil over our eyes
Rights that are given
Can be taken away

Just a few honest words
It shouldn’t be that hard
Just a few honest words
Is all I need

We don’t choose our leaders
The choose themselves
Tell me again
About democracy

*gulp* how did that happen?!

As I have mentioned before, I turn the big 3-5 this year….in 44 days to be exact. Not so excited about it, trying to beat life at this aging thing, but it seems like an uphill battle. However, that doesn’t mean I am giving up. Music is one of those things that helps keep me young. Until I find out that someone I used to babysit is the drummer in a local band trying to make it big. Talk about deflating the denial balloon. I guess I am old enough to have babysat someone who is now an adult (and let’s not even mention those kids I sat for who now have their OWN kids! Yikes!).

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was listening to Nick Goldring bang on his drums in the basement while he parents were out. I remember his parents always being very supportive of him and maybe that has been in the back of my mind while I raise my little rocker.  And maybe that is why I thought it was a good idea to indulge my 3.5yr old’s Christmas wish for drums. Yes, I have taken stock in Advil. No, I am not really sure that was the most thought out gift. But at the same time, his banging always brings a smile to my face.

So, when I got the message from Nick about his band, Quiet Hollers, competing for a spot in the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues festival, it also brought a smile to my face. I can see a little boy living his dream and I am more than happy to assist in any way possible (even if it makes me feel REALLY old!).  And I ask that you do the same! This festival in Chicago is a big deal. A few of the headliners this year are Drive-By-Truckers, Dawes and The Del McCoury Band. This recognition could be a game changer for Quiet Hollars! They are an alt-country/americana band and they have been hard at work on recording their second album.  You can listen to some of their songs on their Reverbnation page.  They need to be in the top 5 to gain entry to the festival.  They are hanging in there, but really need your votes to push them over the top!! You can vote once a day until Jan.13, when the winners will be announced. Vote HERE. And keep your ears open for these guys…I suspect you will be hearing more about them!

Here is a video of “Road Song” from their upcoming release: