Monday, October 27, 2008

drivin' 5 to the polls

last night I returned home from a trip down to metro dc to visit my folks in northern virginia. it was a spontaneous trip, a friend told me she was driving down for a conference, so I took advantage of essentially a free trip - free is definitely for me. I had planned to go down early november, so I go down a little earlier than planned. now that my parents are in their eighties I really like to see them as often as I can - gotta make sure everything is copacetic - and there's always a little batch of things around the house that can benefit from an an extra set of hands. I'm happy to report mom and dad are better than just 'hanging in there' and when I left they were in good spirits and holding their own.

the trip down on wednesday was smooth - beautiful weather and until we hit the washington beltway, traffic just zipped along and even when we hit the traffic on the beltway at least we moved. yesterday was a different travel story. the trip started out wonderfully - as evidenced by the photo above which was snapped at a scenic overlook in maryland. but no sooner than we got back on the road than bam, this was the speedometer looked like for most of the next hour and a half - there were times when we did reach a record breaking 5 mph:

finally we reached the scene below and the highway parking lot made sense. I hope the truck driver wasn't hurt when his rig went down the ravine.

visiting metro dc and northern virginia less than two weeks from the presidential election was intense. I thought the media assault here in ohio was bad, but I think in metro dc it is even worse. on television it was back-to-back advertisements. then there were the signs. there seemed to be a different ethos in northern virginia regarding yard signs than here - or maybe it is just a whole lot easier for folks to get signs for their candidates down there than it is in the cleveland area. in the neighborhoods one would occasionally encounter a sight like that on the right of a house divided. I have yet to see that in my neighborhood.

median strips on major roads were packed with signs - often twenty to thirty of the same sign or an equal number of signs for opposing candidates - it was wild and seemed meaningless, wasteful, and aesthetically disturbing .

we have signs in my neighborhood as evidenced below but not quite as many as in northern virginia. I'm pleased with what I see as the obama signs clearly outnumber the mcsame signs in my hood.

well speaking of the obama and mcsame - I just got a text from e - she's on her way to pick me up - we have a date with other friends this morning to head down to the board of elections and vote early!!

thanks everyone for thoughtful comments on the post on flow - sometimes when I'm on the road, it's hard to keep up on my replies!

a vid from one of sing out the vote ohio concerts. jim miller of what's up northeastohio filmed both the cleveland and kent concerts and is sharing the songs on youtube. thanks jim it' been great to relive the concerts and I hope the songs entertain and inspire others!

emma's revolution (sandy O sings & pat humphries) and the rest of the crew at the kent stage on october 21 singing drivin' 5 to the polls.


tut-tut said...

What a nice neighborhood. It reminds me of where I lived when I was in jr high and high school.

I'm glad your parents are not just "getting by." From what is in the news with seniors voting, there seem to be quite a contingent of people in their 90s out there!

Happy voting! We're voting on Election Day at our town's gym

R.L. Bourges said...

...I don't know if I agree with the previous comments or not so I'll stay on message here :-)

as in: bet I know who you'll be voting for - yayyyyyy!
bet you and everybody else will be glad when it's over

glad you're well and so are your folks ya...that should do it from the cheering section.

(and this is funny: I'm trying to get my blogpost up and can't get blogger to load up my pics of ducks. ANd the word verification is? ducksts. hm...

Merle Sneed said...

I voted two weeks or so ago. Mail in voting is the best. I didn't have to deal with bossy old people.

Obama in a landslide.

Saretta said...

That whole No.VA-D.C. area is politics mad, super-intense. My parents lived there for 20 years and I was always amazed when I went to visit...even when it wasn't election time!

Unknown said...

Those trees in their autumn colours look so beautiful. And your neighbourhood looks lovely too. You have no idea how lucky you are to be able to live without six foot walls and electric fencing - it's so refreshing to see those open front gardens.
Good luck as things gear up for maximum intensity for the elections.

Coffee Messiah said...

Friends and neighbors are still getting their signs stolen. ; (
Forget where I saw the photo, but someone had a big sign made and put in front of their house "thanking whoever stole their obama signs. this made them purchase more signs, and give more money to the campaign."
On my way to indy sat, on the roads through small farm towns, mccain signs everywhere. A town big on the kkk back in the day was full of obama signs.....indy, more obamas.

We'll see.....glad to hear the parents are doing well.

Crazy traffic. Appears to be less cars on the road out here.

bitchlet said...

Happy Voting!


mouse (aka kimy) said...

tut - at first I wasn't at all interested in voting early, but after last week's concert the argument made convinced me to do so. and if yesterday's lines are any indication of what the lines might be like next tuesday, I'm glad I voted already.

it was very exciting to be surrounded by so many pumped up people and everyone was so happy and positive about the real chance for change!

rlb - no secret about who I voted for! we will be glad the election will be over, but when obama wins it will just be the beginning!

merle - kudos!! and I'm banking on your prediction! a landslide will ensure that another election won't be stolen from us (the people).

saretta - small world...sounds like your folks no longer live in no va? I wonder if they lived near my folks?

av - I do count my blessings each day.... I wish the world was a safe place everywhere! thanks for the good wishes

coffee - stealing signs is so low! don't we have a constitutional amendment that guarantees freedom of expression - wonder what is in the head of sign thieves (answer not much)....traffic in the d.c. area sucks!! especially on the beltway where it seems that rush hour is about 12 hours long!

b - thanks!!

TCL said...

Minerva mouse,

It looks like a lovely neighborhood.

Actually Ohio is usually far better, or worse, than DC metro during campaign seasons. Ohio is a competitive state. Virginia usually isn't.

But demographics changes in Northern VA and bad Bushies for 8 years may have changed a lot of minds.

BTW - thanks for visiting my blog. The destination is Buenos Aires for 8 months, followed by grad school in either Paris or Brussels. So more wine than suds (except for Brussels). 10 years on Capitol Hill has been enough for me thank you.