Well, it finally happened–after a few attempts, Terra is officially a licensed driver.

She took a break from trying for a little bit, worked on her anxiety some, and came back at it the weekend after my birthday. After getting stuck waiting in PennDOT because we missed her name being called due to being in the wrong place, she took it. I think I’ve said this before, but every time we’ve gone, I’ve felt what parents with teenagers must feel. I’m nervous for her.

Because she’s not a very expressive person, when she walked back in, I had no idea if she’d passed or not. It was only when I asked her how it went and she said she hit two kids that I knew she got it–she wouldn’t be making jokes otherwise.

And then we went to the mall so she could get herself some shirts celebrating the Pens’ second consecutive Stanley Cup win, and I bought a phone charger for my car because I’ve somehow lasted basically the last two years without ever getting one, and as I had plans for the evening, I really needed it.

Paul had gotten word Friday through a coworker that Bernie Sanders would be in Pittsburgh as part of a small series of appearances of the weekend speaking out against the Republican healthcare bill. Initially, I assumed it was a morning rally and we wouldn’t be able to make it, but instead, the evening timing worked about perfectly–I took a little longer with Terra than I expected, but Paul and I met at our usual South Hills T stop, took it downtown, and made the short walk from the station to the convention center and got in line. I used the same method I do for general-admission, standing-room-only concerts, which is to get there an hour before doors open. You almost always get a really great spot, and an hour to kill in line isn’t too bad, and neither is the hour-ish you kill inside waiting.

Of course, when we saw Bill Clinton in college, we got down there first thing in the morning, but you kind of have to when your cousins live a mile down the road and you can make a day of it.

We did end up with a pretty decent spot about three rows back, and it was a great event. Although Bernie was the focus, of course, they had six speakers before him, which seems like a lot but wasn’t considering most of them only spoke for a few minutes–and all of them gave great, memorable speeches about their personal stories of struggles with healthcare, why it’s important for that care to be affordable, and why the proposed legislation isn’t a viable solution. They were the kind of speeches that the opposition should hear, because even though they got a great response from a room full of people who shared their opinion, it’s crucial for people to understand what these people stand to lose if this passes.

Bernie was great, of course, with just the kind of demeanor I’d expect with a little bit of showmanship, repeating the sorts of lines he became known for when he was campaigning. But he was really cool to see, and even though a rally seems like a tiny, tiny thing to do when it comes to political involvement, I’m glad I went and I hope to be able to do more in the future. It’s just that less than two months before my wedding is not ideal.

We ate a late dinner in Washington at Primanti’s, then enjoyed the rest of our weekend.

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