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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A-Z Danger

Years ago Len took this photo of a lone coyote. 


I just finished rereading Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News. Boy oh boy do I love her writing.

The story asks this. How do people who were damaged by their childhoods find purpose, meaning, and love as adults? Good question, huh?

A-Z Cats

This is Lil Girl hanging out while I wrote this. 




 “Every family needs a cat so there is someone to blame everything on who won’t actually care.” Quote attributed to Len. 

I was 21 when I got my first cat through the fraught circumstance of someone dropping him off on a highway. He made his way to the backstep of my brother’s house where Sebastian the dog began to bark his head off. Paul went to the door to discover a kitten hanging by its wee claws to the screen door.

A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska


I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z


I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?


Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

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