I spent the week prior to the election on a Sierra Club trip in the Florida Keys. Mercifully, the only TV we watched was about Sandy and my phone was silent. Reconnecting with nature, especially in an environment so different from my home turf, was totally refreshing for both body and soul.
In the weeks prior to leaving I, like everyone else in Virginia, had grown weary of the attack ads and phone calls from both sides, but especially those from Romney and his disgusting cohorts like Karl Rove. It is gratifying to know that the billionaires who tried to buy our democracy are POed at their bad investment in the man more responsible than most for dividing America.
Well, I didn't entirely escape the calls and ads. Returning home late on Sunday our voicemail was carpet bombed with a couple dozen messages - only three nonpolitical. There was Restore Our Future, the NRA, the Chamber, and an array of other more shadowy groups spewing lies and hate. Press #3 to delete. And trying to catch up on local news that evening offered more evidence of Sheldon Adelson's $53 million in what turned out to be an expensive bad investment. It is my belief that the volume, tone, lies, and hate blasting into our dens and kitchens actually helped turn the election in favor of President Barack Obama.
On election day I was again shielded from the last round of ads and calls as I counted absentee ballots for my county. It was uplifting (and exhausting) to be part of that experience - fellow citizens of both parties striving to make sure the most essential act of democracy is protected with honesty and integrity. Sure there were long lines and other problems, but Officers of Election and Electoral Boards met the challenges and made sure our voices were heard and accurately counted.
Emerging from the seclusion of this important civic duty at nearly 11:00 PM the radio told me the early signs were good. By the time I got home Ohio and the election had been called for President Obama. Surfing channels I landed on Fox just as Rove was ranting about calling Ohio too early and the fake news network sent Megyn Kelly hiking to its "decision room" to restore a tiny bit of dignity after its living-in-a-bubble pundits and polsters were just plain wrong!
Since then I've been enjoying the splendid fall weather, cleaning up leaves, and catching up around the house. Yesterday I got the opportunity to learn about banding of Saw-whet owls so it was yet another later night. A chilly hike to the ridge top to collect owls followed by lessons on aging, sexing, and understanding their lives and migration. I got home about midnight but once again nature, and the humans who spend time and energy helping to learn more and protect it, inspires.
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