Yesterday morning about 8:30AM, Labor Day here. Yes, the sky is beautiful, and the trees are turning but what this picture is all about is to the left in the parking lot is the secure ballot drop off box for the upcoming election. We are a 100% Vote-By-Mail state and have been for a long time. Until this last year one has needed to provide return postage, so it has been my habit to drop my filled-out ballot here on my way to the grocery when I vote. And I always vote.
Last month we had a runoff election for a City Council seat. I did mail that ballot in. We have a system you can opt into to get a text that your ballot has been mailed, received, and then counted. I heard they received more ballots by mail than ever before for that election because of the Covid.
Yesterday I walked to the grocery store on my own. It is a fairly long walk to do it safely, 3.7 miles. It is the first time I have shopped independently in six months. I have either had my groceries delivered or had Charity take me, week after week.
I was waiting for the bus across the street from the ballot box with my groceries when I took this picture.
It was a national holiday and we are still in the midst of the pandemic and I had to wait 40 minutes for the bus. When it came, much to my surprise, every seat that is not designated a no sit zone was taken but one awkward one with a pole in front of it. Everyone was masked in some fashion, including the young man nodding off in the reserved for seniors and disabled passengers with artfully ripped jeans and a skateboard.
The upper windows were all open, but it was a bit disconcerting to be so close to a group of strangers.
Halfway through the short ride we stopped at a group of relatively inexpensive apartments that house folks that for many reasons are struggling financially. Two people got on with bandanas tied bandit style. A man and an older overweight woman clearly disabled with a walking stick. They couldn’t pay and the driver waved them in, and they were looking for a seat. No one moved. I got up with my groceries and wedged myself standing in a corner of folded up seats. They thanked me.
But this is the kicker. The disabled woman started to cry. She whimpered the whole rest of the trip. It was only a few minutes, but it made a big impression on me before I got off.
The level of suffering out there in the shadows, in people’s modest homes and complicated living situations all over the place right now is staggering.
This was manifest in that bus ride.
I would say too that about a third of the folks on the bus were on drugs to help cope.
To me, that ballot box is a shining beacon of hope.
In the meantime, though, I am going to make an additional small donation to our food bank. The calls on it are up 37% since the additional unemployment benefits ran out at the end of July.
To solidify the creepy apocalyptic tone, we are having a crazy wind event and the humidity is unusually low. There are fires burning all over the state and the air is so bad it is better to stay inside and keep the windows closed even though we are still having a late summer heat wave.
We are all okay, so far Diego is having a pretty good day. They are evacuating towns south of where Kes and Most Honorable live. They are on a hill with no woodlands around them so they should be okay.
I can see why people are thinking this is all kind of Biblical.
We are amazingly resilient, and we will make it through this but man oh man.
Mr. Zanzibar used to tease me about always acting like life was a test. I am hard pressed to be disabused of that point of view about now.
Last updated September 08, 2020