Monday, November 11, 2013

Wrapping up the recent election season



        Another round of political campaigning is over. Whether or not you are thrilled with the results, or simply exhausted from the media coverage, signs no longer cover our lawns, and campaign promises are a thing of the past like questionable ballot tallies.
     I am checking in to see how you held up over the last few months. Did you feel clobbered with way more information than you desired to know? Are you a professional cynic?
     I have my own thoughts, and I invite you to trail along with me.
     No. 1— Truly it has been the most beautiful autumn in the history of the region. I hope that you noticed the natural gift that you received regardless of your political affiliation.
     Every day I was in awe driving around the last bend of my downhill road. I wanted to freeze frame the scene and keep it forever in my mind, without the part about dodging the neighbor’s free range chickens before colliding feathers locked into my grille.
     Further along on the state highway I have come to rely on fresh brown eggs at an easy pull off into a lady’s driveway. I save my cartons, and she refills them when I show up.
     No. 2— A highlight in mid-October was a trip to Manhattan to celebrate the opening my daughter’s contemporary art gallery in Chelsea.
      The risk my daughter is taking establishing her own business in this economy speaks to her ability to focus on her goals. There is no holding her back now, and I hope that she sells a lot of fine art.
     Autumn in New York weather is ideal for exploring on foot, and observing the locals maneuvering in their stilettos and designer boots.
     No. 3— Election season reminds me to get my flu shot, and not leave it until February when it could be too late to do any good.
      I did have a few bouts with allergies thanks to pesky weeds, and I have discovered that raw local honey works wonders (a half teaspoon twice a day.)  
     Ask my husband about his nasty battle with ground bees. His running skills were not adequate enough, and he seriously injured his shoulder in a backward dive to the grass. The final count may never be known, but the doctor believes he was stung over fifty times. (Talk about bee stings as a natural antidote for curing arthritis in your back, and there is a blessing in disguise for him.)
     No. 4— When relatives visit from out of state, there is only one thing to do and that is to play along like a tourist. I grabbed up handfuls of brochures leaving the political propaganda flyers for later reference.
     Letchworth State Park’s big draw never fails, and it makes no difference how many times that I have toured, there is a fresh sight overlooking the gorge.
     No. 5— I found an organic farm several miles from me, and I am now a frequent customer. Eating in season has many benefits, and besides, I like the new company that I have met.
     When the farm store is not open the owners leave out produce on a stand with an honor system box for payment. How destroyed they were literally when one morning they came out to find that they had been robbed of vegetables. They even think that someone had gone down into their chicken coop to steal eggs, too.
     The “regular” customers all stopped by the next day to commiserate and offer their support. So far, no one has been apprehended. We all felt sad at the violation inflicted upon good, honest people trying to help out those who shop at odd hours due to work schedules.
     No. 6— A major balloon festival, art festivals and area wineries brought out the crowds and the political contenders, too, meeting and greeting their constituents while chowing down on chicken barbeque, grape pie and elderberry tarts. I look forward to specialty regional treats like clockwork and political debates.
     No. 7— I get a big kick out of how people decorate their lawns for fall with Halloween characters, and at one place a whole scene cast of out of a horror movie appeared in the side yard.
     Little kids live in their costumes for weeks a head of the parade, and that is part of the merriment for parents. And grandparents. I much prefer children knocking on my door for treats, rather than adults offering up rehearsed campaign speeches in order to gain my support.
     No. 8— A country wedding, a couple farewell celebrations of lives well-lived for close acquaintances and a cooking party with friends learning together how to make homemade pasta and vegetarian sauce kept the calendar filled.
      Friendships are important, and honestly that makes for a good quality of life. There are those relaxing times when it is best to leave politics at the doorstep.
     You realize that I barely scratched the surface about campaigns. That’s right. I didn’t. I never planned to in the first place.
      There you have it. I don’t get all caught up in the frenzy of the electoral process. I do my homework and listen to both sides before I cast my ballot.
     In the meantime, I get on with life without grumbling about the gloom and doom of government. On the other hand, I am not one that simplifies or avoids major issues either.  

     And the national election is how many months and days away?