Mary Beth Writes


It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

1. I read this ironic tweet. “A person who had a very good night who wasn’t even on the ballot was Liz Cheney.” Neither she nor Adam Kinzinger were on the ballot, but I don’t think, after this election, they are out of the picture.

2. Trump has been in our headlights for six years and he’ still there. It wasn’t congress, committees, DOJ, or courts that finally cut him off at the pass – and yes, I know he’s not over; I know this endless unraveling will continue – but from where I sit last night We The People disempowered him. Took this long, but I think it is finally happening.

3. Because there has been so much drama and violence about “stolen elections” we all know now, very clearly, that counting all the votes takes time. There are many races still up in the air today and most of us understand and accept this. Interesting what we've learned along the way.

4. I turned on TV at 7:00 last night to watch returns but quickly realized it was going to be boring and aggravating for at least another hour or two – so I watched a Nova show about the Nazca lines in Peru. I’m chuckling because I now realize for rest of my life I am going to associate them with sitting on the sofa waiting for election returns. 

5. When I mentioned in the comments yesterday that I made lentil soup so I would have something to eat besides chocolate and wine – I’d forgotten we have actually had a big bag of miniature Halloween chocolate bars. We have less now. 

What are you seeing and thinking this morning? Are we witnessing the slow churn of actual democracy? There is no huge landslide to either side, but it seems as if something is rolling back to the center.  We are disgusted by violence. We don’t want our rights taken away. The new youngest voters will be a force to contend with. Go Gen Z!  We still live in a very racist, sexist, classist society that can be exploited by the ultra-rich, but maybe not forever.

Thanks to all of us who particpated, volunteered, voted, and worked the polls.  







Leonard's picture

As Mary Beth said, it was grueling, and kind of reminded me of the only time I worked retail (Montgomery Wards, 1975, Christmas ... now, there's a memory). I had just a couple of observations: FIRST, voters were invariably polite to me. I am an older white male, so I know that privilege was hard at work here, but the general disparagement/distrust of the electoral process wasn't evident. SECOND, that isn't to say that people didn't have their eyes open. There is a vote tallying system that is visible to voters, and it was one off for a weird, good reason that would take a long time to explain. Two people asked me about it. They were satisfied by my answer, but they were definitely on the lookout. THIRD, I worked a heavily GOP area, and the results were mostly what you'd expect. But not entirely. People are paying attention to issues. Significantly, many people switched party lines to vote for one candidate or another (that is, the votes were not the same for all races at this one poll). FOURTH, part of my job was doling out "I Voted" stickers. One middle-aged woman took hers saying, "I need this sticker. I have to prove to my daughter that I voted!" No idea if that was true for all women or all young people, but it made it a little easier to stay on my feet for another hour.

Yes! for people paying attention to issues! I am feeling hopeful today, that maybe maybe we are ready to work together on issues --- maybe find some of that middle ground that has been left untouched for so long! Still an optimist today :)
Mary Beth's picture

I like that phrase! "Untouched middle ground."

Feeling much better today and thrilled Tony is still with us. Don't always agree with him but know his heart is in the right place..

I am especially encouraged by the passage (or non-passage) of each of the abortion related ballot initiatives.
Mary Beth's picture

I think we are all furiously glad those referendums totally say Americans want abortion questions left to women and their medical care people. This message is very clear.

In NM we had a blue wave - Dem governor re-elected and also 2 congressional representatives. The 3rd Dem, a challenger, is ahead of the GOP rep seeking re-election. So I am feeling good about my state and there were some other bright spots, but also some very discouraging ones. Seeing unqualified and despicable people win in other states is frightening. I have a lot of anxiety about control of the House and Senate in DC. I still have hope though.
Mary Beth's picture

It is vindicating that so many small and large elections went blue. Not all, but enough so that politicians need to assess and deal.

Still patiently/anxiously waiting for final tally in our Boebert/Frisch congressional race. Interestingly close. Also, Eeks. Daniel will be able to vote in the next presidential election.
Mary Beth's picture

Twitter is chock-a-block today with funny memes about what Boebert can do next with her "unique" skill set.

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Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 


Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?


Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Election Day


So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

Lake Superior Fairy Castles

By the way, HAPPY HALLOWEEN today! 


10/31/2022   Fata Morgana

"One is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't." Ulysses Grant & a hike in Galena


Early in October some personal stars that Len and I had not been considering … aligned. I felt GOOD which was newly amazing. (Still is.) By persistently being himself (I’ll post the story another day) Len saved some bucks on a traffic ticket. We’d been talking about visiting Galena. I came home from a walk, Len was in a good mood about the ticket, I suggested Galena. Len said yes. He’s a tough sell like that.

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