Posted tagged ‘voting’

“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…”

December 6, 2016

I am blustering and out of sorts. I had another go around with Target as I got the wrong book again, the same wrong book. I spoke to two people, the first being incompetent. The problem, as determined by the supervisor, my second person, is that Biscuit’s Touch and Feel Christmas is in the wrong place at the warehouse. I have to send back poor Biscuit or I won’t get a refund on the actual order. It is my responsibility to correct their problem or lose my money. I am an unhappy consumer.

I have much to do today, but it is a lovely day to go out and do my errands. I have to vote, get the dog’s new license, shop for batteries and some storage bins and then hit the post office. Gracie will be happy as she can come as it is cool enough for her to wait in the car.

Gracie is an occasional toilet water drinker though I keep her water dish freshly filled as Maddie also drinks out of it. Today the toilet bowl on the bottom was filled with sand. I have no idea what Gracie was digging. When I checked her water bowl, it was also sandy, and the floor had a trail of wet paw prints. I have no idea what that dog is up to when she goes outside. Today in the hall she herded poor Maddie. She jumped left and right so Maddie couldn’t pass her. Gracie’s butt was in the air so it was playtime, but not for the cat. I saved Maddie. Gracie looked disappointed.

My house has a bit more Christmas. I brought up my scrub pine, and it was lit last night. This afternoon I’ll bring up more. A little bit of Christmas makes me anxious for a lot more.

My sisters, my cousins and I are all Christmas enthusiasts. It is genetic from our parents: my mother, my mother’s brother Uncle Jack, and my mother’s sister, Aunt Bunny. All our halls are totally decked. I am probably the only one who doesn’t have my tree yet, but I will by Thursday. My house will scream Christmas by the end of the week.

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”

November 8, 2016

Finally, I can breathe a sigh of relief. The phone calls will stop and the political ads will be a quickly forgotten memory. By tonight we’ll know.

When I went out this morning, I went by my town’s polling spot. It didn’t look too busy. There was no line and I saw plenty of empty parking spots.

Tonight I will watch the results. After having punished myself by following the campaigns for all these many months, I need to know the finish.

I never did go out yesterday. I just hung around the house doing nothing, but today is already different. I had an early morning meeting then went to get dry dog food and cat treat finally went to the store for a cinnamon bun. They, of course, didn’t have any today so I bought an elephant ear. That seemed wonderfully appropriate after my trip to the game park.

Today is a lovely day. The sun is shining, and the breeze is ever so slight. I did need a sweatshirt when I went out as it was only 52˚. By the time I got home, it had risen to 55˚, the predicted high for the day.

My mother used to make the best pies. Her apple pie was stacked high with apples. The crust was always flaky, never soggy. She had just the right mix of sugar and cinnamon. Instead of pumpkin, she made squash pie. I never could tell the difference. Sometimes she made a custard pie. She always made a lemon meringue, my all time favorite. I used to make date nut bread from my grandmother’s recipe and a chocolate cream pie for my dad. He never shared. He thought I made it just for him.

 

“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter.”

October 21, 2016

This morning I slept late. It was cozy under the warm comforter. The dog sensing I was awake stood up. I just stayed in bed. Fern joined us. I finally decided to get up. It was almost nine. I got downstairs, let Gracie outside, made coffee and then fetched my newspapers. The street was wet on the sides so it must have rained last night. I missed it.

The forecast is for rain today, and I thought it was going to rain earlier when the sun disappeared and dark clouds took over the sky. Since then the sun has reappeared, but it doesn’t look all that comfortable surrounded as it is by clouds. It may yet rain.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I have become an MSNBC junkie. When I was in Ghana, I saw the first debate. I read all the comments, all the fallout, and had a few laughs. I also got irritated, majorly irritated. My friend Bill advised me not to read anymore, but I couldn’t stop. I was in the grip of this horrific campaign. Now it is worse. I watched the last two debates and the Al Smith dinner last night. I watched the fact checker after the last debate and saw how many Pinocchios Mr. Trump received. Even now, I have MSNBC in the background. I’m beginning to  feel like a gawker.

I have always voted. I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen who is of age. My first election was 1968. I had to wait back then until I was twenty-one. My candidate did not win. When I was in Ghana, I got an absentee ballot, but it arrived too late. The election was already over. I sent it in anyway, by air mail.

My town still uses paper and pen ballots. For the first time, I will be able to vote early, starting next week. I check in by my address at a table where two women sit. Every election it is the same two women. We always say hi. I go behind the curtain and vote then  put my ballot in the box. I usually know the police officer standing beside the box. I then go to a different table to check out by street address. Two women sit at that table as well. We usually have a bit if a chit chat then I’m done. I proudly put my I voted sticker on my shirt.

“A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.”

November 6, 2012

Last night was cold, but this morning the sun has made an appearance making me think Mother Nature is feeling apologetic for the last few days and for the storm expected tomorrow. When I woke up, earlier than usual, the house was cold. The furnace, programmed for leisurely mornings, for sleeping-in mornings, hadn’t yet warmed the house. I put on my slippers and my sweatshirt and we all, the dog, cats and I, went downstairs, and I right away turn up the heat and put on the coffee. When I went outside to get the papers, the air felt brisk.

Voter turnout is always greater on a sunny day.

The first election which caught my attention was in 1960 when John F. Kennedy ran for president. He was a local boy, the senator from Massachusetts, so he was my candidate. I watched the debate. I remember how bad Nixon looked. I remember only one issue from that debate: the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. I think their names have a neat sound so they stuck in my brain all this time as did the drawn maps of their positions relative to China. I remember the wooden pointers both men used. Kennedy and Nixon, of course, disagreed as to their importance. I have no idea about those islands now.

I was proud to wear my Kennedy buttons and still have the three of them. One is of a smiling Kennedy with his name across the top, another just says Kennedy for President. My favorite is a huge white button which says, “If I were twenty-one, I’d vote for Kennedy.”

I remember, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” which was Barry Goldwater’s catch phrase. I thought its portent was scary. His bumper sticker, though, is still a favorite of mine: AuH20=1964. I wonder how many people were flummoxed by what they thought was math.

It seemed to take forever until I was old enough to vote, but, finally, the summer before my senior year in college I turned twenty-one. I voted for the first time in 1968. My choice was ever so easy. Never could I vote for Richard Nixon. Besides, I really did believe Hubert Humphrey would have made a good President.

“To win the people, always cook them some savoury that pleases them.”

November 5, 2012

Today does not encourage going outside. It is cold, rainy and dreary. All I can see through my window are drips falling from the roof edges and the brown leaves of the oak tree. I’m declaring today a stay in my cozies day, a day to be at home dry, warm and comfy. I must have sensed the sort of day it is as I didn’t wake up until after 10. I can’t remember the last time I slept so late.

Winter has reared its ugly head. The nights are downright cold. Tonight is predicted to be 30˚, and during the rest of the week nights will be much the same. That’s coat weather. That’s down comforter weather.

A nor’easter is predicted for Wednesday into Thursday. The storm will bring heavy rain and wind with gusts up to 40 miles per hour. The wind, of course, will be strongest at the coast causing beach erosion and flooding. It is beginning to seem as if we are all bit players in a science fiction movie about multiple disasters.

After tomorrow all those political ads will be gone, and I’ll answer my phone again which seems like the perfect reason for a celebration, a party, one with balloons, food, alcohol and revelers and not a single candidate. I suspect most of us were oblivious to those ads as we had long ago made up our minds as to which presidential candidate will get our vote. Some simply vote the party with no thoughts about policy or performance. Some vote not for but against a candidate. Others have crazy reasons to vote one or the other, reasons often based on misrepresentations or outright falsehoods as the truth often goes by the wayside in a fight for votes. If you are still on the proverbial fence, I have come up with the perfect reason for you to check your ballot for Mr. Obama and not Mr. Romney. Robocalls have been made for both candidates by celebrities. Pat Boone is on the line for Mitt Romney, not especially enticing. Matt Damon is the Obama man. No contest there!

“Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.”

October 11, 2012

Earlier this morning, Fern and Gracie vied for the prime spot on the mat in the sun by the front door. Gracie beat out Miss Fern, but the wily cat found her own spot where the sun shined through the glass onto the floor. I don’t need a thermometer. I have the two of them letting me know the house is cold.

Caller ID saves me. The number of political calls is outrageous, but I don’t answer. The robo-callers tried to disguise themselves by phoning from everywhere: California, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Washington, state that is, but I’m not deceived by their duplicity. Most of the calls seem to tout Scott Brown for the senate. The calls don’t endear him to my heart.

I was excited when I could vote for the first time. I turned twenty-one in late summer before my senior year in college and immediately registered at the town hall as an independent, a designation I still have. I needed an absentee ballot to vote during my first election, the Nixon versus Humphrey one, as I was at school. When the ballot came in the mail, I didn’t ponder at all. I knew right away who would get that historic vote. It was Hubert Humphrey.

I love to vote and seldom miss even the smallest of elections. I vote in presidential years, off-years and in my town elections for the selectman, the school committee and the other offices small towns always seem to have. It amazes me when people proudly declare they never vote. I consider voting an obligation of citizenry. Most times local questions or state referendums are also on the ballot so not liking any candidates is only an excuse, not a reason, for staying away from the voting booth.

I vote at the police station where I can count on one thing every time I go to vote: someone will have set up a bake sale, usually for a school club or a sport at the local middle school. Not only do I exercise my franchise, but I also get cookies, usually peanut butter or chocolate chip, more good reasons to vote.

“The most important political office is that of the private citizen.”

November 2, 2010

It’s dismal. It rained during the night and the day is dark, damp and cold. Tonight will be in the 30’s, and it won’t get much better the rest of the week. I’m hoping for some sun later. I abide cold better when there is a bit of sun. It makes me feel a little optimistic even wearing layers.

It’s election day. Finally the obtrusive phone calls and obnoxious TV ads will end. The local news last night reported phone outages, some for several hours. It seems all those auto-ads swamped the system and shut it down. I believe differently. I think it was the intervention of a mighty hand, a sort of election day burning bush sending a warning.

I like to vote. It may be only one vote, but I believe I make a difference. I haven’t ever missed voting. It is, in my mind, the responsibility of all citizens to exercise their franchise. Some people rely on the argument there isn’t a candidate who deserves their vote as a defense for their absence at the polls. I don’t buy it. Local questions are on the ballot and walking behind the curtain just to check yes or no for those still counts.

My town still uses black pens for voting, no fancy machines here. Old ladies, always the same old ladies, check you in and check you out. They chit chat and ask me I’m doing while they look up my street to check off my name. It never takes me long to vote. When I walk in the booth, I already know which candidates and which questions deserve my yeses. This election is a tough one.

I bought a car, a red Camry. I’m picking it up this afternoon. I’ve never had a red car. All my others were blue or gray or black. When I saw this car, I fell in love even though I know red cars attract police officers holding ticket books, and I, on highways, am always a good candidate for a speeding ticket. That I haven’t ever had one is a miracle. I hope my luck will still hold.

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

May 11, 2010

Our usual Cape spring has returned. The morning is chilly, even in the sun, and we are expecting 50’s every day this week with even colder nights. I was spoiled by the wonderfully warm April.

The pine pollen is here. My car is covered in lime green powder, and the deck  too has a coating. I’m sneezing.

Today are my town elections. The only race is for selectman where four people are running for two spots. I just voted at the police station, and there was no line and no wait. Local elections don’t bring out many people. Only about 30% of the town votes. I never miss one. I’d feel too guilty.

My first time ever voting was in the presidential election of 1968. I had turned twenty one in August of the previous summer and registered to vote the very next day. I was excited to vote, to be part of the electorate, and believed that even one vote was a voice heard. I remember standing in the voting booth behind the curtain and reading my ballot. I had done my homework and knew every candidate and every issue. Back then we used a black pen to fill in the circles beside our choices, and I took my time to fill them exactly as I had been instructed. I didn’t want to mess up my first election. My candidate did not win. I was keenly disappointed.

The next time I voted was by absentee ballot in Ghana for a state senatorial election. The ballot got to me too late, but I voted and sent it back anyway. That year my candidate won, even without me.

I still believe in voting and see it as the most basic duty for a citizen, at least for this citizen. I don’t always have a candidate for whom I’d vote so sometimes I just vote the issues. This little town still uses black pens to fill in circles on the ballots. This morning I filled in two circles for selectman and chose yes circles for both issues. When I checked out, I was a given an I voted sticker. I’m proud to wear it.