First day of 101st Legislature

The first day’s agenda always looks to be business as usual, but as I write this a State Senator is carrying a crying baby past my table.  It is never business as usual on the first day.  Speaking of my table, I am crammed into a corner as members of the media from across the state line the sides of the chamber.
This chamber is filled with Senators, their families, their relatives, and those just wanting to look on.  Cameras are flashing, people are whispering, and my digital recorder is recording.
Most days it is rare to see the upper balconies of the chamber full of people, but today you see suits and ties as well as sweatshirts and blouses.  Most are smiling as they are watching history. 
This is the first session after term limits took effect, eliminating many senators that have been a part of this body for decades.  The most noticeable missing is Ernie Chambers of Omaha who spent nearly 40 years in this room.  Ernie is here today, but only to look on, not to give one of his famous speeches from the floor.
The 101st session lasts 90 working days.  I will be here as laws are passed into the first part of June.