Wednesday, November 3, 2010

He won! And now, A Story:

Ira won! Hip hip hoooooooray! Thank you so much to everyone reading who has shown support and encouragement. One thing is for sure....I HATE campaigns and election season and back biting and criticizing and raw nerves and speculation and public scrutiny and competition. Bleh. Even on a small assembly level, these things are a doozy.
But, it is an honor that people are willing to put trust in my Dad to make decisions during an ugly era in NV's economic history. So Thank You.


Last night, we had dinner at my Dad's campaign manager's home. We all paced back and forth nervously, waiting for the polls to close and the numbers to come in. Dad looked sharp in his suit Mom was the epitome of sassy chic. She had purchased her 'election day' outfit a few days earlier. If victorious, they would head over to the big festivities going on. If we lost, she at least had a new cute dress.

They are quite a pair, those two.

Ira and Alexis.

A positively comedic pair of yin and yang.

an old-soul spirit with a serious bend towards duty, honor, mild bouts of pessimism, and entirely too much knowledge. Prefers steaks with an enormous amount of fat laced throughout ("gives it flavor"), fried in oil with no sides. Wakes up around 4am no matter what day of the week. Definition of hard worker. Studiously prompt. Accidentally purchases really cool shoes on occasion (?). Speaks truth poignantly, too often, and many times at the expense of everyone's sanity. Laughs hysterically during the movie What About Bob?, but prefers war documentaries and biographies on the Founding Fathers. Wanted 12 children and a life of solitude in the desert.


Bubbly enthusiast, a magnificent charm on the bracelet of sociality and positive thinking, lover of Earth, Wind & Fire blasting and Snickers ice cream bars. Slight procrastinator, frequently late, and stripped of any and all forms of self-conceit or judgment. Loves way too many people. The official family cheerleader. Actually wrote Warren Buffet a handwritten letter out of concern and consolation when she read somewhere that he feared death (and received a response). Creator of awesome campaign and family slogans. Frequently goes to see movies by herself (and likes it) and always makes a friend with the one other sad, solitary movie attendee in the theater. Willing to bear 8 children and make due with sporadic trips to the California coastline in order to escape the dust of life in the desert.

Together 30 years, and each other's check on reality.
Ira reminds Alexis when she's been sucked into serving as the world's largest human doormat.
Alexis reminds Ira when it is not appropriate to bring up an associate's family history of alcoholism and illegal prostitution during a dinner party.


It was 18 years ago that my Dad first ran for office. I was 8 years-old.

He lost.

I don't remember much of the whole affair. As kids, we were oblivious to most of it. But what I do remember is now one of my most treasured memories, a story that I can't tell without instant tears. A story about my parents that so perfectly illustrates the underlying theme of their marriage. Something I hope to encapsulate in my own union:

The day after the election, my Dad headed straight back to work as a plumbing contractor. At this point, he had no employees. He and my Mom ran the show. She answered the "business phone" line in the back room of our house sporadically throughout the day, hiding from children who would run in and ruin the manufactured atmosphere of professionalism. He handled all matters plumbing for any customers, day and night.

This particular day, he had a lone building to plumb out in the back of Palamino Valley - a rather desolate and unpopulated area north of town. After [what I imagine] a disappointing defeat after much work in the election cycle, he immediately went out to work without any ceremonial self-pity or complaint. Left alone to his thoughts and work.

Back at home, as afternoon approached, my Mom packed up a special lunch and randomly told all of us kids to load up in the car. She explained that she thought "Dad was having a bit of a hard day" and we were going to head out and "surprise" him. All bazillion toe-heads climbed into our old suburban, and we trekked out on dirt roads to the lone valley, up to the lone building, to see the lone plumber.

We pulled up to the empty half-constructed building, my Dad somewhere inside. My Mom turned around and excitedly whispered instructions to us as we rolled down the windows, and at the count of three...all little heads peaked out the windows of the car and we all shouted (as she honked):

"Hey Ira!!!!

You're still a winner
in OUR BOOK!!!!"

My Dad emerged, smiling.

And we all sat that afternoon and ate lunch.

The hard worker, his cheerleader, and their many children.


Today, 18 years later, a few things have changed.
But some have remained the same too.

Congrats Dad & Mom

Regardless of election results, you always have been winners in our book.


Joan said...

I am THRILLED! Ira being elected restores some of my faith in humankind :)
Congratulations to the Hansen family!

Mrs. Officer Andelin said...

Ditto to Joan-

I really am so sincerely happy.



love you.

Lacy Perkins said...

I LOVED this. So sweet. Congratulations to Ira, Alexis and your whole family. I loved how you described your parents, so fitting. I miss you all!!!! So happy for you.

xoxo Lacy

Daniel said...

Why don't I remember any of these stories? I fear I have memory dump as I try to find room for all the stupid factoids I need to memorize.

Glad you remember all these stories.

As for Dad, I call dibbs on being named Duke of the Desert. You can have another appointment...

Alex said...

Yay! Although he wasn't on my ballot, we still proudly displayed his sign! You have such awesome stories!


Ciara said...


amy m. said...

Congrats Hansens!! What an amazing time for you guys right now!

And I loved this story. My parents are polar opposites too so that's how I know marriage to be. Every day at least one of them is sane/right.

Love your fam and hope I get to hear Hansen stories always.

Anonymous said...

So happy for Ira but I am anxiously waiting for more pics of our little Elliotte Jane with her big sisters! Love, Nonna & Pop is tough being in Cabo with so much going on in Reno! xoxox

Natalie in Sparks said...

That post was very touching - your parents are so awesome and so nice! I am so glad for him, and I was so happy to vote for him. We NEED people like him to put in his 2 cents when it comes to state legislature.

Also - congrats on your baby girl! Can't wait to meet her! I am so happy you had her last weekend! you were SO ready at playgroup on Thursday, so I'm glad that your walking and whatever else you did worked!

Sarah said...

I love this story. It makes me all emotional.I miss those days...brown carpet at the old farm and playing frogs, handstand contests (where the word ViKoSHNOCK was created) swimming in our AWESOME POOL, and so many redneck activities that were pretty awesome to create.