Saturday, November 24, 2012

Something to be Thankful for this Thanksgiving—Obama’s Victory!

We certainly had something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving—Obama’s victory!

Rick and I spent Thanksgiving with my sister and her extended family of friends and relatives. The group gets larger every year with more and more table extensions. It’s a group of secular liberal Democrats and while there were no formal prayers, there were plenty of expressions of relief at not having to face four years of President Romney--and a whole lot of gloating about the shell shocked Republicans who thought they were cruising towards easy victory.

I’m not a religious person so am not thanking God for sending Hurricane Sandy to give the president a bump in the polls. So I guess my thanks goes to the president who had a record of accomplishment, , to the voters who came in numbers much higher than expected and to Obama’s stellar campaign team. To quote James Carville: :

They connected people in a way that had never been done before with Facebook. If they knew I was an undecided voter, they also knew I was in the Marine Corps, and they'd have a retired gunnery sergeant call me to get me to vote. It was way far above anything that's ever been tried in politics before. Political scientists will mine this data forever.

And also thanks to Nate Silver whose kept me sane in those tension filled weeks before the election.

It would have been a very glum Thanksgiving dinner if things had turned out otherwise!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I have never been so far behind in fall clean-up as I have been this year.

My garden desperately in need of fall clean-up!

During my working years when my garden was a mess, I was convinced that when I retired things would be very different. How wrong I was.

I have never been so far behind in fall clean-up as I have been this year. Sure, I can blame it on the election. I was immobilized by anxiety the entire Fall (especially after the Denver debate).

But getting older and taking a little bit longer to do everything is certainly part of the explanation. My husband managed to keep election anxiety at bay but has seemed much less interested in garden work then he used to be. I haven’t raked a single leaf and he hasn’t been much better.

And there are all these leaves which still have to come down!

I still have a lot of bulbs to plant and it’s clear that divisions of perennials I had intended to do this Fall will not get done. There’s no choice about the bulbs; they have to go into the ground and they will even if it means I’m out there some cold rainy night in December desperately trying to get the bulbs in before the ground freezes.

Just hope we don’t have an early snow fall!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Obama Victory

It sure felt different from 2008. Instead of the incredible high, there was just an enormous sense of relief. That word “relief” cropped up over and over in phone calls, emails from friends/family members today.

I’m a Democratic committeeperson and yesterday was a tough day at the polls—mainly because I could not sleep Monday night. I get caught up in worrying that I wouldn’t get enough sleep to handle a long day and that worry became a self-fulfilling prophecy. By the end of the day, I had a raging headache and could barely keep my eyes open.

The good news was that my neighbors voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Despite all those claims that liberals/progressives were disillusioned with the President, my neighbors were almost all voting enthusiastically for the President. So the vibes were good and that made the headache bearable.

When the networks called the race for Obama soon after 11:00 pm, I collapsed and had the soundest sleep I had had in a long time—no waking up in the middle of the night obsessing about the election.

There was so much at stake in this election. Obama has had real accomplishments-- e.g., health care, financial regulation, the end of DADT and support for marriage equality. It would be intolerable to see all this unravel.

But I think the intensity of my support for Obama is in some ways connected to my stage in life. I came of age in the 1960’s, a time of tremendous social possibility, but then spent my middle years in a time of reaction. There was bit of hope during the Clinton years, but then the dark ages returned with the George W. Bush years. Obama’s 2008 victory signaled the possibility of an era of progressive change. And we have certainly seen real movement in that direction.

I have hope (yes, a much ridiculed word) that we may see further change in the direction of fairer, less racist, less homophobic society. I so want to leave this beautiful planet on a note of hope.