I was imagining a real bus, even with a bathroom. But we had vans instead. Not bad, but I experienced some difficulties because of this change. No bathroom in a van, so I couldn't change clothes. That meant I took my duffel bag with me into the Veterans' building and changed in the bathroom, then hauled the bag back after the caucus, shoving it as far under the seat as I was able. It blocked my seat partner from getting out, though, so I was always putting it in different places when we stopped.
My various disabilities also affected me on this trip. It was hard to step up into the van, even with the handles there to grab. My right arm hurts like hell when I reach for things with it, never mind pull myself up with it. So that left my left arm, and it was awkward to find the right place to use it. I went on the van right after hiking and breakfast, so my left knee was stiff and not cooperative. I felt severely disabled at times, just trying to get in and get out, and wondered how I might have handled this differently. It made me think of passing on future opportunities, either by driving alone or not going.
One thing I was looking forward to was talking. I thought it would be great to be with a number of persons who feel as passionately as I do about the way this country is headed. And yet. I hardly talked at all. I responded to a few comments and questions from the guy sitting next to me but nothing developed into a real conversation. Others in the van were talking the entire way, both directions. So that part didn't work for me either, and I don't know why except that I sometimes just don't find the right starting point.
The event itself was arranged and managed well, to me. We all signed in, took out little Dean flags, and found seats in the main room. The candidates each were given two minutes to speak about themselves and why they wanted to be delegates. Many of the little speeches became rallying cries for Dean, and the candidates came at it from a widely diverse set of directions. They all were enthusiastic about Dean's honesty and candor, but from there focussed differently: on health care, on war, on education, on his record in Vermont. I was just happy to hear it, even though part of me was thinking what a van-mate said later, that it was a bit of a fantasy. Some of us have been around long enough to know that the best candidate does not always win. Wish it were so, know it isn't. That small things can derail some of our best hopes, as they have this time with Dean and in the past with others I could mention. I'm cynical enough and realistic enough to know that it would be a damned miracle if Dean got into the White House.