Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Swinging in the Heartland

by Judy Merrill Larsen

I've lived 35 of my 48 years (including the last 28) in the midwest--Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. Fly-over country to you on the coasts. The Heartland.

I love being a midwesterner . . . it's solid not flashy. Practical not trendy. (Although I do seem to remember that the Crocs craze started here. Sorta defines us, don't you think?).

By no one's definition would I be considered a swinger.

But, man, oh man, am I starting to understand all the excitement in being a swinger. And it's changed my life. My husband's, too. It's crazy. Hot. Exciting. Even, dare I say it, sexy.

For the first time ever I'm living in a swing state. Oh, yeah, baby. Missouri rocks!

For example, on Monday, John McCain, Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton were all within a stone's throw (or short drive) from my front yard. Hubba hubba.

This weekend, Obama drew 100,000 people to a rally in downtown St. Louis. That's 15 miles from my house. I mean, he was practically on my front porch. Plus, in the last week I received calls from Michelle Obama and a bunch of pollsters. After all these years of feeling like my vote didn't really matter and my opinions counted even less, everyone is vying for my vote and complete strangers want to know what I think. (Too bad my kids are less interested in my opinions.)

Seriously, it's pretty cool. Democracy in action. Neighbors--even ones with dueling yard signs--are out talking and walking and participating in this every four-year political experience. Never have I lived in a state getting this much interest during an election. Never has it mattered more.

And, oh baby, does it have me excited. Swing high, swing low, swing all over the place--Missouri is where it's at right now and I'm loving it.

(Also posted on my author blog.)

1 comment:

Daisy said...

No swinging Chads, though, please! Missouri, we're counting on you to bring this one in. Show those yard signs, convince your friends, too!