Earlier this month, my incredibly organized downstairs neighbor and friend, Susan, sent me information about early voting here in Atlanta. At first, I didn’t think early voting was something I’d be interested in doing since I love the tradition of participating in my civic duty on election day itself, especially since my normal polling place here in midtown includes a walk through the absolutely beautiful Ansley Park to the indubitably historic First Presbyterian Church where I cast my ballot.
But as my retired hours became busier and busier and I became more and more sure something just might happen to keep me from voting on the assigned day, and my vote would, because I am the center of the universe, be the very vote required for my candidate to be victorious, I decided I needed to go ahead and get it done early. That way, I could relax and know I wouldn’t be the one responsible should our country go to hell in a handbasket as of November 7.
So, this past Monday, as I was en route to my home away from home, the Atlanta History Center, to learn how to weave on the big old loom at the Smith Family Farm, my Civil War era ensemble languishing in the back seat of the Corolla, I decided to stop by the Buckhead Library to take advantage of early voting. It turned out to be quick and easy and I was in and out in just a few minutes, proudly sporting my I'm a Georgia voter! sticker on my chest, with visions of warps and wefts and shuttlecocks and heddles dancing around in my head as I carefully backed out of my parking space.
Here's where the miracle comes in:
- It was not that the car I backed into wasn't a Masurati, which it could have been as this was Buckhead.
- It was not that the car had no people in it so that I had go back into the Buckhead Library to interrupt presidential early voting to announce that I'd just hit a car in the parking lot.
- It was not that the people sitting in the car weren't hurt or weren't mean and nasty even though they were none of those things. They were a couple maybe even more elderly than I and they were sweet and understanding when they saw the dent in their fender that was caused by me.
After we'd stood around a few minutes sharing information, the couple had custody of my insurance card and I'm pretty sure I'd made some stupid jokes about my bad eye and my blind spot and how glad I was that I wasn't wearing my Civil War dress, etc. etc. etc. At the point, the very nice man said something about how it probably wouldn't cost much to fix, and the repair people would probably just hammer the dent out. With that, we walked back around the car to look at the damage one more time. And that's when, just like in The Song of Bernadette, we observed a miracle.
The offended fender (which was probably made in Detroit) had popped itself back out while I was going on and on to the very nice couple about the whole thing being my fault and what an idiot I am. Yes, that fender had unoffended itself; indeed, it had taken its own initiative to pop itself back out. That sucker had just popped itself right back out from where it had before been dented in!
The very nice couple and I just looked at each other in stupefaction and touched that fender to make sure we weren't hallucinating. At that point, the very nice lady handed me back my insurance card, saying they wouldn't be needing it after all.
Okay, it wasn’t a major miracle. It wasn’t like I'd gone into the Buckhead Library and voted early and as soon as I clicked on the new-fangled computer submit-ballot button, a brass band started up, and red, white, and mainly blue balloons were unleashed, and someone came over a loud speaker announcing that my candidate had somehow already won! thanks to, yes, that early voting lady, the one who was very carefully backing her Corolla out of the parking lot not hitting anybody, the one with the Civil War era ensemble languishing in the back seat.
But, it was still a miracle and we are all in need of miracles.