We have been in NY for about two months, in our apartment for one day past one month. It was our one month anniversary yesterday. In my mind, there are lists of things that I have had to do since moving. Things like opening bank accounts, trading in my HI driver’s license, getting my kid registered in school and registering my car. Most of these things are done. I really wanted to procrastinate and turn in my HI license at a later date but the problem is that I have to vote. Not voting is not a thing. Having been in seriously blue Hawaii for a really long time, there was not much to be done at the local level. But now, here I am in blue NY living in a red streak. Since moving to the town we are in now, I’ve written postcards and I’ve canvassed twice. I hate doing these things. I hate doing them all so much. But as soon as I think about what is being contemplated for health care in this country by this Administration. As soon as I think about the environmental roll backs. Arming teachers. Making contraception more difficult to obtain. And forget about abortions. Then I get really, really angry. And my anger makes me hate this Administration even more than I hate canvassing. And let me tell you, that takes quite a lot.
So I have been out canvassing for the Democratic candidate twice now. The good thing about canvassing is that I made a friend. She is a teacher, a former Deadhead and retains some of that hippy-dippiness I used to have. I really like her. I could have ended up like her. We have spent two Saturdays traipsing through our town, knocking on doors and talking to people. The list of people we get is supposed to be Democrats who have not voted recently and undecideds. So no one is out and out awful. And honestly, I think that most people find it difficult to be awful to someone’s face.
This past Saturday was more interesting than the last time we were out. It was a beautiful Fall day. Not cold enough for any heavy clothes. The air was cool. The sun was out. It is why people love Fall. No humidity. Just loveliness. Anyway, we were on this one road and there was a cluster of houses where the voters we were trying to track down were in their 80s. At one home, the caretaker answered the door and we asked for the woman. She came, and she was frail and seemed to not be entirely aware of what we were saying. She would grasp a thread, but we were unsure when we walked away if she thought we were talking to her about voting or asking her to a party. At one home the woman’s grandson answered the door and she yelled from the couch that she was in and voting absentee. Another door was answered by another caretaker, she told us that she thought that her charge would be voting.
At my favorite stop of the day. The inside door was cracked open a bit and we could smell the distinct odor of marijuana wafting from inside. My counterpart told me there was a loom inside. A dog began barking and soon a woman with a towel wrapped around her head came to the door. It turned out that she was very blue. We asked about her loom and she asked if we wanted to come in and take a look. It was giant. The kind of thing that I felt like you would see in an olden times recreation village. The woman yelled at her dog to stop barking at the “nice Democrats”. She was working on a woven piece that she was recreating from a watercolor painting of an outdoor scene. It was nothing short of remarkable. She told us that some of her work was being sold in a local store. She was lovely. We did not ask about the marijuana.
It is these interactions that make me keep going out. That make the entire process not terrible. That give me hope. In the red swatch.