Geoff Caldwell: Divided in politics, family united as Americans

The first carload arrived Wednesday afternoon around 3, the second straight up 5 and the last a grateful early arrival of 9:30 p.m.

They hailed from Nashville, Dallas and Kansas City. Their ages ranged from a high of 63 down to a budding powerhouse of wit and sarcasm of the ripe old age of 10 going on 30. All sit on the same branch of the family tree and, all but the school aged, solidly on the liberal side of the political aisle.

And while this past year has provided more than enough ammunition for the arguments and shout fest possibilities that our national media have been obsessed with recently, politics was the furthest from our minds.

Nope, for the next 72 hours, Caldwell’s little corner of this world was a depoliticized zone. The ground rules had gone out well in advance. For three days in November, there was going to be a truce. For three days in November, there were going to be no “Can you believe?” “Did you hear?” or “What in the hell?” remarks. Not because any of us don’t love a good political food fight but because both sides of the aisle had so many already, well frankly, we were just sick of all of it.

So instead of demanding surrender from the other side the moment the door was opened, we instead just opened the door. And hugged. And laughed. And allowed ourselves to be human again.

I learned that the youngest has a science teacher who uses short phrases and songs to get ideas such as tectonic plates, oil and coal formation, and Earth’s infinitesimal importance in this universe to stick in the wandering minds of fifth-graders. Mere words in a column cannot begin to explain…

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