December 14th 2020

December 14th 2020

Today, December 14th 2020, is a day that needs to be marked for history’s sake. And there was even a total solar eclipse that added to the drama of it all.

Election News

The electoral college voted to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be the next president and vice-president of the United States. Because the current president refuses to concede that he lost the election, this vote feels like the win is cemented. Dozens of court challenges be damned.

Pandemic News

The coronavirus vaccine is finally here! Today, the first doses were administered in the United States and the vaccination effort is happening all over the world. The vaccine is being given to healthcare workers, the elderly and other vulnerable groups first. Since I’m not over 65 and have no underlying health issues, I most likely won’t be able to get it until March or April. But I will be getting it.

December 14th 2020, is a day that I want to remember and one that will no doubt be in future history books.

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Image: YouTube

Quote of the Week: John Adams

“Posterity!
You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your freedom!
I hope you will make a good use of it.
If you do not, I shall repent in heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.”

~ John Adams

Thinking about the presidential election has occupied way too much of my thoughts. Especially over the last couple of months. And the last couple of weeks. But how can I not think about it?

At the end of September, I visited Peacefield, which is part of the national park system and the historic home of John Adams and John Quincy Adams. It’s not even a ten minute drive from my house, so one day when I was feeling especially distressed, I decided to visit the garden. I walked around and then sat for a bit. Looking at the old house.

And then I prayed. Prayed to the spirits of those presidents to protect this country and keep our democracy. When John Adams spoke of posterity in the quote above, I took it personally. Posterity included me and he was thinking about me and the people in this time.

If these former presidents had any kind of pull with the election, I figured that going to their former home might be enough to get my prayers over to the other side. Autumn is said to be the time when the veil between life and death is thinnest, so I might as well take advantage of the season.

I looked at the magnificent tree in the garden and wondered about all that it has lived through. How long had it been there? Did its roots begin back when these presidents were alive? Did they sit and admire it too?

Joe Biden won the election, but our current president is doing everything to prevent a peaceful transfer of power. He has no respect for democracy. He has no respect for anything. I fear for our nation.

It’s been about three weeks since I last blogged, which is far less than normal. I’ve been waiting for something definitive to write about and to feel less stress about the democratic process. But the stress is still here. When I’m upset, sometimes I stop writing. But that’s the time that I need to write even more.

So I’m writing. But like with the pandemic, we are stuck in the in between. Waiting for the inauguration in January when Biden’s presidency will be real. Waiting for the vaccine, so we can start a new normal way of life without the virus. Just waiting.

Until then, I’ll write for the future. One day, months or years from now, I’ll look back at this post and feel grateful that this period in time is over and our country is still standing. And hopefully John Adams does not regret the pains he took.

AKA Sorority Sister Kamala Harris

2020 will never be remembered as an easy year. Nor one of the happiest. It certainly isn’t a boring one though. My mom said that Kamala Harris’s nomination for Vice President is one of the most exciting things to happen in a long time. My mom is an AKA, just like Harris, so they are sorority sisters for life.

Growing up, I always knew that my mother was part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and that pink and green were the colors. Two of her best friends, my godmother and my brother’s godmother are also her sorors and they are all thrilled.

While I never pledged to a sorority myself, being part of the AKA sisterhood has been part of my mother’s identity for as long as I can remember. With nearly 300,000 members, Harris has a powerful force standing behind her and financially supporting the campaign as well. Founded in 1908, that number is significant to the organization.

It’s not surprising, that soon after Harris became Biden’s running mate, thousands of donations in the amount of $19.08 showed up. According a Washington Post article, more than 14,000 of these donations poured in, adding up to more than a quarter million dollars. And the money keeps coming in.

While you may see women dressed in pink and green at some campaign events, you won’t see any AKA symbols, says a Richmond Free Press article. Also, don’t look to see an endorsement of Biden and Harris. As a tax-exempt nonprofit entity, there are limits to their allowed political activity. Keeping their tax-exempt status requires compliance with IRS regulations. Non-partisan voter education drives are generally okay, but not much more than that.

The debate between Pence and Harris is tomorrow and I’ve been looking forward to it. However, given what’s going on with the spread of the virus around the White House, I’m a bit nervous. Pence was at the superspreader event, so he really should be in quarantine and not out and about. Apparently they will be separated by plexiglass, so that hopefully will make the event much safer.

Every day appears stranger than the last. I cannot even imagine the drama that tomorrow’s debate will bring.

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Photo Credit: Luke Harold | Flickr

Do You Window Swap?

window sill

About a week or so ago, I saw a tweet about a website called Window Swap. Have you seen it?

The simplicity is addictive. You see views out the windows of other people. That’s it. But those views let you travel around the world in an instant and catch a glimpse into their lives. Like a short film.

Over the last several days, I looked out about two dozen windows, but didn’t stay on many for long. However, this window pictured above is different. It belongs to Justin in Rochester, New York.

The view is calming. A real moment of zen — with trees gently swaying in the breeze outside, part of a sofa or chair cushion in front of the window sill, with a watering can to the right. The window sill has a vase of colorful fake flowers, a tiny potted evergreen tree with a cat seated in the middle. The cat turns around and looks at you, walks a bit, then turns around and sits again. Music plays in the background and you can hear people talking, the sound of food sizzling, the microwave timer, and dishes clanking.

Above all else, music always grabs me, so the songs cinched it and I decided to blog this scene. Further, I downloaded Shazam so I could find the music. I couldn’t find all the songs, but found four. The music is perfection — all mellow grooves. I wonder what they’re cooking? For a moment you can see slight reflections as they walk around the kitchen.

The scene is on a 10 minute loop, so the same music plays over and over. The cat moves around the same way and the bits of conversation repeat as well. She asks him to write down something they need and then asks him to subtract 88 grams from (the lentils?), then thanks him. What a beautiful simple moment.

It makes me wonder more about this video and these people. What was the day and time? Just a normal day or a special one? I guess I’ll never know. Maybe that’s part of the intrigue. The mystery of the mundane bits and pieces of other people’s lives.

I haven’t closed the scene yet, because as I write I want to capture the feel of it. Once you open a new window, you can’t go back. And I haven’t seen that you can search for a particular place or scene. When I close it, it will be gone.

There’s also a place on the website where you can submit your own window and learn more about the project. It’s in response to the pandemic with everyone being stuck at home. This is a way for us to travel.

Below are songs from Justin’s window. Hope you enjoy them as well. Lifted by DAO is my new favorite song that I have on repeat!

Playlist – Justin’s Window

El Camino – Ganzo

lōland – taiyō

The Calm – DAO

Lifted – DAO

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Image: WindowSwap