Despite a lingering cold, today felt like a breakthrough day. I headed to the Espresso Shop for my morning coffee and work session (email and some work on an unrelated project). Within a few minutes, I caught snippets of a political conversation at a neighboring table -- "Bernie...pipeline...Hillary...Jill Stein..." -- that suggested that I had found some of the local liberals. Once voice in particular dominated the conversation, in an accent that was clearly Not From These Parts. When I hit a good stopping point, I introduced myself and joined the group for what turned into a long, interesting conversation. The alpha male was Bob from Brooklyn (he used to come to Nebraska in the summer to visit his grandparents, and now he lives here). My admission of being a church-going agnostic created quite a stir, and I was also clearly surrounded by Bernie supporters with varying levels of support for Hillary Clinton, from "no way" to "no problem". We made a date to meet at the Democratic Party gathering next Thursday night at the local wings and bowling place, and I have found my election night buddies.
When the group broke up, I went back to my laptop, only to sit up and look around when I heard someone mention the Holocaust Memorial Museum. It turned out there was a group of teachers from a nearby town planning a trip to Washington, D.C. for a conference, so I introduced myself and offered to help. We had a great time talking about the Metro, the Zoo, the Smithsonian Museums and where to eat downtown. By the time they left , I had an invitation to visit a local farm this week, and maybe even ride a combine.
On my way back to the motel, I lingered long enough to watch kids and parents in costume collecting candy from the local merchants as part of a downtown trick or trick event. The best news of the day is that I got a Facebook message from my classmate Sharon; I am going to give her a call as soon as this cold improves and I get my voice back!
Tomorrow: Church, and a visit with a steam engine!