It has almost been a week since election night, however, I think it’s still safe to say that those of us that cast a vote for Barack Obama are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Last Tuesday night was rife with emotion and it certainly took its toll on me. For me, I think, it was a lethal mix of sleep deprivation and anxiety. But as I think about November 6th I can’t help but think of how grateful I am for that day.
I was lucky enough to have gone to the polls with my parents. We cast our ballot in the swing state of Virginia. It was a split decision that I made the morning before the election – spend the night at my folks’ house, vote early, leave absolutely nothing to chance.
I got to my parents house the evening of November 5th. Earlier that day I called home and asked my mother if she would have dinner ready (you have to ask because there are no guarantees!). I got home that evening and my Mom had some of the finest carryout ready for me. Styrofoam take out containers and all! That evening I also had the chance to introduce my parents to Spotify. We probably set up for an hour playing songs on demand that they wanted to hear. I slept in my old room with strict instructions from my mother and father that the plan was to be at the polls by 5:30 am. I must admit that I winced at the thought…at which point my parents gave me that look that said, you can do what you want to do but we’ll be pulling out of the driveway at 5:30 am, with or without you. Understood
The morning of November 6th we were in line at 5:30 as planned. My parents were right to have stuck to such a strict schedule. Even with our early arrival there were approximately 60-70 folks ahead of us. I think about that early morning — rising at 4:45 am, finally leaving the polls at 6:30 am — and in addition to being thankful for my parents smart planning, I’m thankful that I had that entire experience with them.
To be clear, we always vote. Not voting is never an option. However, this election was personal. To see how far we’ve come as a country. To see that more of us are alike than not alike. To see that we can re-elect a man not based on the color of his skin but by the content of his character and to be able to walk with your head a bit higher because that man just happens to also look like you…to get to experience that with my Mom and my Dad…well, that’s quite simply the stuff that memories are made of.
Watching the devastation in the tri state area has me thinking about my bad habits and the situation that I’d certainly be in if I still lived at the corner of Carlton and Greene in Ft. Greene Brooklyn.
Seeing the gas lines and reading the NYTimes about many of those that were ill prepared for this magnitude of a storm (who really could prepare for this?) I can’t help but imagine the trouble that I would be in. In my older age I’ve taken to letting my gas tank get ridiculously close to empty, so I would definitely be in a gas line. I rarely have a full fridge – however this is something that I’m trying to do better with given the shame I felt when a recent house guest gasped at my bare pantry. What can I say? I try not to keep a bunch of crap on hand (only the essentials, frozen meat and veggies) and I loathe the grocery store.
I just need to do better. Before the storm hit I was prepared with the following:
left over chinese food from twin dragon carry out (I affectionately call it “ghetto chinese”)
2 scented candles
And any minute there I was going to put my hands on my battery powered radio…yeah, I never found that.
In case of emergency in Petworth DC/upper Northwest I was certainly f*cked.
I’m grateful for the fact that the storm was not devastating in the DC region (though the federal and local government and the transit system shut down) but truly saddened by the havoc the storm wreaked in the tri-state region. New York city was my home for four years. The c train, the train that I took to work every morning, that I only saw shut down during the transit strike, is out of commission. What I’m seeing is shocking.
They say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Let’s hope that is true. As humans we are blessed with innate resilience, mostly because there is no reasonable alternative.
My thoughts, prayers, and meditations are with those trying to make it in the tri-state.
I’ll end with this – a wise man once told me tough times don’t last but tough people do.
– here’s to making it.
One of the worst things about having a cold is the looming bedtime hour. For some strange reason, it’s as if your body can tell that it’s finally time to rest and recoup and it’s at that exact second that the coughing starts. This is what I’m experiencing at this very moment. I believe I’m on day nine of this.
I’ve suffered through a soar throat, sneezing, coughing, temperature sensitivity, and fever and it wasn’t until yesterday, finding myself in the fell clutch of circumstance, that I turned to drugs – a Z pack to be specific.
Having been free of sickness for quite some time I had become quite unaware of the concept of forcing myself to rest. In fact, it’s still quite hard. How can I rest when there’s wine to drink? Laughs to have? Life to live? Suffice it to say, I’m having a problem with being sidelined, however I am working through it.
As I’m forced to be still and sleep sitting up (one way to keep the cough at bay during the midnight hour) I am reacquainting myself with my blog and putting a bit of mileage on the ole keyboard.
Here’s hoping that AT LEAST by Sunday I’ll feel like brand new money. Whatever that feels like.
– to health.