Voting Day 2017 And Last Year’s Election Day Sadness Lingers

An old downtown building in the process of being improved: out with what no longer serves, in with what will make it safe.

  Later this morning I’ll make my way to our current voting precinct in its current polling place. 

It’s in an old Greek Church now.  The decor in this church is gold and overstated, think My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but the church members who welcome you to their church/polling place are as sweet as can be.

They stand in sharp contrast to the election board people who, it seems, would prefer to not be doing what they’re doing, as shown by the snarls on their faces.

Same grouches, every year.

  When we first moved here over 20 years ago we voted at the VFW Hall. 

Situated back a long creepy lane, to get to this polling place you followed the signs for the “Sunday Turkey Shoot” that lead to a grass parking lot.  Then you stood outside in the weather until the election board people allowed 2 voters at a time inside the building.

We’d moved here to this big city suburb from an upscale small town and were shocked that the polling place, reeking of cigarette smoke, still used paper ballots– and consistently ran short on pencils.

We learned to take a Benadryl before we went to vote and to take a pencil with us.

  Our next polling place was at a fancy golf course. 

It was easy to get to this place that had a real parking lot, lighted even.  At first it seemed ideal, however this is the polling place where Zen-Den, Esq., got mad and made a point.

He was not pleased about how the partisan people who lurk around the outside entrance into the polling place were positioning themselves;  they were too close to the building, thus breaking the law.

Inside the building he told the election board people this was wrong–and they shrugged. So Z-D called the sheriff’s office and filed a complaint. The pushy lurker people got in trouble, and the election board people have never forgotten about it.

Or Zen-Den. Or his wife. Who they consider to be has much of a troublemaker as he was.

Guilt by association, you know?

  All of which brings me to today’s foray into the American voting process.

I’ve paid no attention to any of the people who are running for office this election cycle.  In what will a first for me, an Independent voter, I’ll be voting a straight Democratic ticket.

If the GOP won’t do the right thing and depose our so-called president, a sexual predator, business fraud, Russian-backed, draft-dodging old man, then I’ll start the ball rolling by getting rid of the GOP.

Are you with me here, kids?  If last year’s presidential election confirmed one thing for me, it’s that you can do everything right and still fail;  BUT it’s important that you do that right thing anyhow.

Words to live by.

Share Your World | Hell’s Bells Nut Shells

Walnut shells on the garden bench left by industrious [hungry?] squirrels.

 What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

APPLES: Natural. Sweet. Healthy. Portable. Alkaline. Reasonably priced. Easy to sauce. Nice to crisp. Wonderful to pie. Tasty to cider. Pretty to look at.

 Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

I’m usually focused on both.  They are, after all, connected to each other in ways unbroken.  Like the flow of the eternity symbol [figure eight on its side] my mind glides effortlessly from today to tomorrow, and then back again to today.  I’m mindful of now, but with a sense of perspective about later.

• If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

The only great-great-great grandparent that I know of is the man who immigrated from Scotland to America.  He was, supposedly, from a well-off nobleman’s family [weren’t they all?], but being a minor son with no title to inherit, he decided to come here to make his fortune.

If I could talk with him I’d ask him: why did he came here? what did he do for a living when he got here? and how did this life differ from the one he left?

• What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Here’s what inspired me last week: did you know that a rainbow can happen even if it’s not raining where you are?

I didn’t, nor did Zen-Den.

On Thursday night he drove home from where he works downtown, and noticed, as he drove along, that a rainbow in the sky seemed to end at our house.

When he got home, he walked inside the house and asked me when it’d rained.  I told him that it hadn’t rained here.

He said that it hadn’t rained on his drive home either… BUT there was a rainbow in the sky out front of our house now.

Of course, we both went running out the front door to see this rainbow– and by golly there it was.  Large and bright and colorful.

Now how amazing is that?

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Catch up with everyone else who is answering Cee’s Share Your World Questions this week by clicking HERE.

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Be The Light: Of Hurricanes & Happy Hellos

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INTRODUCTION

As you may remember, starting last March I joined a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of September, I’ve a news story to share with you, my gentle readers & fellow #WATWB participants.

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THE NEWS STORY

Earlier this month when Hurricane Irma made landfall in the USA, Key West was hard hit.  After the hurricane moved farther north, for those people who didn’t evacuate Key West, there was no running water, no electric power– and no cell phone service.

One of the people who didn’t evacuate was Buco, a mechanic at The Green Parrot, a famous bar and Key West icon.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, Buco figured out that the closed restaurant next door had a landline connection that was still working.  Using an old hand set, Buco was able to get a landline telephone working and accessible to people at the side door of The Green Parrot.

The bar then allowed anyone to make a free two-minute call using the phone so that the residents still in Key West could assure their friends and family that they were ok.

[Full story here: A Key West Dive Bar Closed For The Hurricane, But Let 500 People In To Phone Loved Ones]

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MY COMMENTARY

Overlooking the fact that what Buco did, pirating a phone line, is technically illegal, this story is a feel good one in which human ingenuity and kindness comes together to help everyone.

I especially liked Buco’s observation about the people who stood in line to use the phone.  He said: “it’s always their mother’s number that they remember.”

While The Green Parrot [“a sunny place for shady people”] is famous in and of itself, the latest mention of it in the news, under the circumstances, makes me smile about the bar and the people who work there.

[Click here to view Bar Cam].

I can’t help thinking… road trip, anyone?  ‘Cause I know a place I’d like to visit. 🍻

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{ photo images via Pixabay |1||2| }

Be The Light: The Art Of Turning Hate Into Great

INTRODUCTION:

I’ve joined in a yearlong monthly event called We Are The World Blogfest.  

The purpose of this event is to highlight positive news stories, presenting these stories on your blog on the last Friday of the month.

This being the last Friday of August, in a month that’s been like no other, I have a small news story, albeit political, to share with you, my gentle readers.

THE NEWS STORY:

Early in August I saw this news story, Berlin street artist group cleverly undo swastika graffiti.

The artists featured in this news story have collaborated, voluntarily, to make their city “100% swastika-free” by responding “with humour and love” to the unwelcome swastika graffiti.  They are doing this by modifying the swastika graffiti, turning it into benign, rather cute, images.

MY COMMENTARY:

Considering the recent violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA, this article is more timely than I expected it to be when I first read it and saved it for this project.

I liked the story because I thought these artists had found an inspired + simple way to handle hate.  By defacing that which was defaced, they have created something not morally reprehensible.

Something that shows a bit of style and, dare I suggest, angelic grace.

Something that quickly and quietly has effectively turned hate into great.

Of Black Coffee, Morning Clouds, and Self-Expression

EARLY THE OTHER MORNING about 6:00 a.m. the clouds floating over our house were so pretty that I decided to sit on the deck, drink my mug of black coffee, and photograph the clouds as they drifted overhead.

AS I WATCHED CLOUDS morph into one shape after another, I remembered a recent interview I’d heard with Carly Simon.  She was on Here’s The Thing podcast with Alec Baldwin.  [Interview here.]

WHENEVER I THINK OF Carly Simon I think of the lyrics to You’re So Vain, specifically: “I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee, Clouds in my coffee.”  It seemed like the perfect thought for where I was sitting, what I was drinking while musing on clouds.

I HAD ENJOYED LISTENING to the podcast as Carly explained her life, her music, her memoir. Her conclusions.  My impression was that she sees her past clearly, with a wit and wisdom that made me appreciate her struggles. And her triumphs.

AS I WATCHED THE CLOUDS, reflecting on what Carly Simon had said, I began to wonder about my own abilities to understand and describe myself to others.  Would I ever be able to explain my past, either in verbal or written form, as eloquently and truthfully as she had explained hers?

NOT THAT I HAVE an overwhelming desire to tell all to everyone, but should I feel the need to do so for some reason, would I be able to do it?  Would you?

Talking Daylilies Here: No More Happy Returns

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Good-bye cervine freeloaders.  Hasta la vista deer buffet.

Yep, after 17 years of growing and tending a patch of Happy Returns Daylilies out front of our house under the lamppost, I had the landscaper remove them all and re-design the area.

The irony is, and there seems to be irony with anything I do, that when we built this house I was adamant about wanting Happy Returns Daylilies, which are a lovely shade of lemon-y yellow.  I paid extra to not have Stella D’Oro Daylilies, which are more golden-yellow, and common around here.

They’re in all the gardens in this subdivision.

Nope, planning ahead, as is my way, I wanted lemon-y yellow colored daylilies because they would look better with our particular brick–and because doing things, just a little differently than everyone else, comes naturally to me.

However, turns out that Happy Returns Daylilies are a favorite nosh of ye olde deer.  Also turns out that these pretty plants need lots of almost daily maintenance during the summer to keep them looking fresh and lovely.

So, with just a tinge of regret, but not much, I decided to embrace Admiral Grace Hopper’s famous quote and let go of my favorite Happy Returns Daylilies [and a patch of Russian Sage + Bergamot– and a few lost Daisies] to make space for a simpler, more modern, design out front of our house under the lamppost.

One that looks infinitely better than that which I thought that I knew that I wanted… years ago… before I became a wiser, and lazier, gardener.

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Here’s the new look: Boxwood [hedge], Fineline Buckthorn [small ornamental tree], Barberry [small bushes] + Liriope [used as ornamental grass].

Social Media: Rambling Thoughts About People Who Hate-Follow

It’s not that I’m a martyr to nice, but I don’t hate-follow anyone on social media.  It seems like more work than fun to me, but maybe I don’t know how to do it right.

I know it’s a thing to hate-follow other people.  I keep hearing about it from friends and family, sometimes in the context of harmless mischief, other times mentioned as, what I’d call, peremptory maliciousness.

They tell me who they follow, often a high school nemesis or a work frenemy or a disliked neighbor.

They tell me that doing this makes them feel good about themselves. That by keeping tabs on someone who they dislike, they come to understand themselves better &/or stay ahead of any trouble that might be brewing.

I don’t know if I totally buy into my friends and family’s reasoning behind the hate-following. To me their reasoning sounds more like rationalization about doing something kinda fun + almost amoral, than behavior contributing to a person’s good mental health.

But considering no one expects me to become a hate-follower, and no one seems to have upped his or her dosage of Zanax because of the hate-following, I figure what the heck?

I mean if nothing else, these friends and family do seem to have some fun, juicy stories to share about people– and you know me, I always love a good story, regardless of how someone learns about it.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:

• Do you hate-follow anyone on social media? If so, how’s that working out for you? Details, please.

• Alternately, do you know anyone who hate-follows on social media? If so, do they have good stories to tell because of it? Or is it warping their brain to the dark side?

• Even more intriguing, do you think anyone is hate-following you? Hmmm?