It’s been a busy couple of days getting ready for Mother’s Day with the family and covering the lead-up to a primary election on Tuesday.
During the past week, I worked covertly with the kids to decorate a card for Mommy on a day or two when she was out of the house. I also managed to get a few Mexican treats for Cinco de Mayo, grabbing some tamales for dinner and also getting some Taco Bell for lunch (just to troll the snobs who are all about “authentic” Mexican food).
Then on Saturday, I spent a little time with dad sorting through another bookshelf, finding such treasures as a book of weird old ads. and combing through a folder of papers from my childhood. This included an old paper I’d written in high school that somehow got a 50/50 grade, despite being completely satirical. It gave us all a good laugh, some 27 years after it was written.
Then on Saturday night, I drove up to the Lindstrom family farm in Oakland, Nebraska to attend a “victory rally” with Brett Lindstrom and his family. Around 75-100 people came by for pulled pork and beef brisket, including family members, friends, and campaign volunteers. Former state senator Paul Schumacher and Oakland Mayor Ted Beckner introduced Dave Rippe, Lindstrom’s running mate, who then introduced the gubernatorial candidate.
After a brief stump speech, guests headed outside for a hay rack ride around the family farm. “Uncle Bob” drove the tractor and pointed out such things as the barn where great grandpa Lindstrom used to milk cows and the center-pivot irrigation system. A little guy got to take a turn driving the tractor around a bit afterward before Lindstrom and Rippe came out to take the hay rack for another ride as the sun went down.
Mother’s Day was particularly busy as I got up early to make some bran muffins for a nice little breakfast in bed for mommy. We went to church together, and then Vivian went to have lunch with her mom as I spent some time putting things together for a Mother’s Day dinner that evening. I made up some red potatoes and Brussels sprouts while warming up a ham, which my dad helped glaze once I took it over to his house.
Around six o’clock, I walked over with the kids as Vivian drove the food down in the CR-V, and we had a big family dinner with my parents and my brothers (and Nathan’s girlfriend Cheryl). Afterward, we had some apple pie for dessert. Hannah made portraits of everyone with my dad’s Changeable Charlie. Then I gave a few gifts to my my mom and Vivian, and Cheryl wound up taking an impromptu family photo before we headed home. Before calling it a night, I had Aaron find the little gift he’d made for Vivian at school earlier in the week, and I found a special gift of cheese I’d been hiding in the fridge.
Then came Tuesday, which was election day for primary candidates. My polling place moved this year to just up the street from me, so I was able to walk there with Hannah and Aaron before school to give them a glimpse of what voting is all about.
Then that evening, I attended Brett Lindstrom’s election night event down at A View on State in northwest Omaha. I arrived just as Brett and his family arrived (and got a few photos out front), but they stayed “backstage” most of the evening as guests gathered and election results came in. Brett was up about eight thousand votes to start, but that gap closed quickly as Pillen and Herbster caught up and took first and second place, respectively. It was a lively crowd for the most part, despite the disappointing end. I also got to see Brett’s mom and dad again as they watched their son give a teary-eyed concession speech. I stuck around until the very end so I could shake Brett’s hand and tell him that he did well. If he had to lose, he lost with dignity — and not covered in mud.