Rights, Privileges, And Traditions

Yesterday, I early-voted in Georgia's runoff election for U.S. Senator. I will be teaching in D.C. area schools on the actual election day, December 2 (Tues. next week), and yesterday was the last of three days of early voting.

I didn't want to go.

It was cold outside. The early voting facility was 40 minutes away. I've been sick -- I'm still hacking. It was the day before Thanksgiving; traffic would be terrible and I had lots to do.

But. Women didn't fight for my right to vote so I could sit at home and not cast my vote in an important run-off election, on a day when I had every means to get to the polling place. It's hard to believe today that women in this country, not so long ago, were beaten, imprisoned, and tortured by those who did not want to give them their constitutional right to cast a ballot in this country and to have a say in their -- and their children's -- future.

[Recommended viewing: Iron-Jawed Angels starring Hillary Swank as Alice Paul. A phenomenal film. You will never again take for granted a woman's right to vote.]

So. Voting is my right. It is also a privilege. And now, it is a tradition. Just as is the Thanksgiving dinner we will gather for this afternoon. Jim plays at the Georgian Club today until 2pm. We've scheduled dinner for 4pm, and Jason is hosting us. He and his friend Stephanie and his brother and sister (and Elvis Andy Bebop) spent yesterday afternoon, closeted over at Stephanie's house, chopping, stirring, baking, bonding.

I am in charge of making my mother's cornbread dressing. I'm about to pop the cornbread, in its iron skillet, into the oven. Hannah made my mother's pecan pie last night, along with "The Orange Stuff" -- what would a southern Thanksgiving be without a congealed salad?

Here's the recipe:

Orange Congealed Salad (aka, affectionately, The Orange Stuff)

1 large box of orange Jell-O, melted in large bowl using 1 c. boiling water

Add a softened two cups of Cool-Whip and
a softened two cups of orange sherbet

Whip all in your Mix-Master or with a hand-blender until smooth.

Fold in two small cans of Mandarin oranges, drained.

Refrigerate until set, then cut into squares and arrange squares artfully on lettuce
leaves. Or not.

Sigh and eat three squares at one sitting.

The morning is mellow. Hope yours is, too.

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