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Alea iacta est

November 4, 2008


My sock, my kids and I went to the polls and made our contribution to the political process. I cannot tell you how relieved I am that it is finally over. No more debates and political bickering. No more advertisements that end with “I am Joe the Politician and I approve this ad” No more political signs littering the highways or political emails littering my inbox. It is over. Done. The die has been cast.

Someone behind me in line wanted to know why my kids weren’t “in school.” I told him “They are. This is their civics lesson.” Think about it. No matter how many mock elections kids take part in, how many books a kid reads about the voting process or how many worksheets they fill out about the political process, there is really no substitute for seeing the process work first hand. The kids get to watch the registration process, see a real ballot up close(yes, I took the time to let them read part of it),and, when I am feeling really adventurous, place the ballot in the reader. What a field trip!

I don’t guess I will ever forget the trip I made to the polls with my grandfather when I was about 6 or 7. The voting machines were the old kind with the levers. I actually got to go into the voting booth with him. I remember the thrill of closing the curtain behind us. Granddaddy was a straight ticket voter, though I forget which party he supported sorry Granddaddy. He was also a loud man. As Granddaddy was instructing me how to pull the big lever to vote for all the people in his favorite party, my grandmother was shushing him for being too loud. It was a grand adventure.

Our polling places were a mess because the county rearranged voting districts a month before the election. Something to do with a court order. Consequently, a process that normally takes 15 – 20 minutes took a hour. Glad I had some knitting with me. I completed about an inch of my sock while waiting for my turn to vote. The lady who handed me my ballot was fascinated by my sock and expressed an interest in learning how to knit. I gave her my card and told her I would be glad to teach her. I hope she calls.

So now we wait for the results of today’s elections. Who knows what the future holds. But I do know that I will enter into that future with knitting needles in my hands. I have decided that in the next election, I am only supporting candidates who will make fiber related purchases tax deductible.

For anyone who might want to know, the sock that went to the polls with me is Express Lane by Diane Mulholland from The Inside Loop Spring 2008. I did cheat and substitute a different heel for the short row one in the pattern. Even though I did a heel substitution, Express Lane is a great pattern that is fun and easy to knit. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Summer Sock in Dusty Rose. It is lovely wool/cotton blend that is quite nice to knit and has lovely variations in the color that make it interesting.

And for those who are scratching their heads about the post title, here is a brief history lesson. Julius Caesar reportedly said “Alea iacta est” (which translated means “The Die is cast” or, in essence, the decision is made) in 49BC before he took troops across the Rubicon to invade northern Italy against the orders of the Roman Senate. This act started a civil war. This phrase is also quoted by Shakespeare and Dr. Frankenstein. It is one of the handful of historical phrases that I remember from Latin class. See Mrs. Davis, I did pay attention in class.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. kadezmom permalink
    November 4, 2008 5:57 pm

    Love the express lane….what an appropriate title to be knitting in a line (too bad you didn’t have it with ya!) My kids have been to vote with me too. However, I must say that you got a much better looking sticker than I did. I got the round red one that says “I voted” in white. ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh.

    I am ready for this to be over as well. It’s been a long and nasty fight this year (I live in Mn, and the senatorial race this year was a wee bit messy!!)

  2. kadezmom permalink
    November 4, 2008 5:57 pm

    Love the express lane….what an appropriate title to be knitting in a line (too bad you didn’t have it with ya!) My kids have been to vote with me too. However, I must say that you got a much better looking sticker than I did. I got the round red one that says “I voted” in white. ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh.

    I am ready for this to be over as well. It’s been a long and nasty fight this year (I live in Mn, and the senatorial race this year was a wee bit messy!!)

  3. Lynne permalink
    November 5, 2008 5:15 am

    It’s very common to see kids at the polling booths in Australia – our compulsory votes are cast on Saturdays!

    Pretty sock.

  4. Lynne permalink
    November 5, 2008 5:15 am

    It’s very common to see kids at the polling booths in Australia – our compulsory votes are cast on Saturdays!

    Pretty sock.

  5. Lynne permalink
    November 5, 2008 5:15 am

    It’s very common to see kids at the polling booths in Australia – our compulsory votes are cast on Saturdays!

    Pretty sock.

  6. Diane permalink
    November 7, 2008 2:42 pm

    Boy I was in and out with no time to knit at all. I avoided making eye contact with the 27 girl scouts in the hallway hawking cookies … whatever happened to waiting until February for the official cookie drive?!?!

    We’ve always brought our kids voting and because of that they couldn’t wait to turn 18 and register to vote themselves. I think you did a greater service to your children to make them a part of the process; they can certainly make up any school work they missed without a problem.

  7. Diane permalink
    November 7, 2008 2:42 pm

    Boy I was in and out with no time to knit at all. I avoided making eye contact with the 27 girl scouts in the hallway hawking cookies … whatever happened to waiting until February for the official cookie drive?!?!

    We’ve always brought our kids voting and because of that they couldn’t wait to turn 18 and register to vote themselves. I think you did a greater service to your children to make them a part of the process; they can certainly make up any school work they missed without a problem.

  8. Diane permalink
    November 7, 2008 2:42 pm

    Boy I was in and out with no time to knit at all. I avoided making eye contact with the 27 girl scouts in the hallway hawking cookies … whatever happened to waiting until February for the official cookie drive?!?!

    We’ve always brought our kids voting and because of that they couldn’t wait to turn 18 and register to vote themselves. I think you did a greater service to your children to make them a part of the process; they can certainly make up any school work they missed without a problem.

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