I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Election is finally over

November trail

Well, the election of our president for the next four years was called yesterday, Saturday, November 7. A day for the history books, after five days of counting almost 150 million ballots. The counting is still continuing, but it became evident that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would become the next executive leaders of our country, and the race was called when he crossed the threshold of 270 electoral votes.

Last night I watched the celebratory speeches by both of them, and was pleased to see that in that huge crowd of people, everybody was wearing masks, even if social distancing was impossible. The speeches were fine, not too long, but I just wished that Biden had not shouted into the mic the whole time. I had to turn the volume way down, but otherwise I enjoyed it all. 

When they started the fireworks, I was again amazed at the ones that spell out words, so of course I went online to find out how it's done. It turns out that these are special things called "lanceworks." Each lance is hand pressed and filled to burn for approximately sixty seconds. Zambelli Fireworks website explains:

If you have ever seen a name or company logo produced by pyrotechnics, it is called a “set-piece.” Nearly any logo, word, sentence/phrase, or other design can be created using fireworks known as “lances.” Lances are pencil-sized miniature flares that are mounted on wooden frames designed to the exact specifications of a word or logo.

Anyway, now the hard work begins in the transition period before January 20 next year. I am very worried about how the coronavirus has been spreading around the country, and pleased to hear that Biden is setting up a task force right away. Hopefully that might nudge our current president to take some immediate steps to contain the pandemic. But in any event, we cannot return to any semblance of normal life until the virus is under control. I'm just glad I am able to find places to exercise and keep my strength and stamina up during the coming weeks and months. Not to mention my mental health.

What else is on my mind this fine November day? I had a lovely walk last Thursday around the Lake Padden horse trails (which is where I took the picture above) and enjoyed the dry weather, even if the recent rains had made for some very muddy patches. Then yesterday, when I went out for a short walk with my regular Saturday walking friends, it began to rain. A lot, it turned out, and I was totally unprepared since it was not supposed to rain at all. My down jacket got soaked, and when I returned home, I learned that in the northern part of the city, where I live, it had not rained at all! From now on, I'm going to carry rain gear in my car, just in case. I'm not sure whether it would have helped yesterday, though, since we were at least a mile into the walk when it began to rain. Oh well, I didn't melt, even if it wasn't pleasant to be so unprepared.

Yesterday I began to watch the seven-part miniseries, "The Queen's Gambit," on Netflix. By the time I had finished the first one, I was hooked, and even had dreams based on that episode. Kelly Lawler, on USA Today, had this in her review:

Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, "Queen's" follows the rise of fictional chess prodigy Beth Harmon (a stunning Anya Taylor-Joy), a Kentucky orphan in the 1960s who learns the game from a janitor (Bill Camp) in her orphanage's basement. As a teen, she makes her way onto the international chess circuit, traveling the globe and handily beating men twice her age. She also spends that time battling addiction, a much harder fight for Beth than any chess match. 

 If you watched it, or intend to, I'd like to know what you think of it. I still have six episodes before I'm finished, but it's definitely a good place to take any thoughts of my current world into another sphere. I'll probably get the book after I'm finished with the series, since that's my usual pattern when I'm not quite ready to let go of a good diversion.

I've never played chess, but my father tried once, long ago, to interest Norma Jean, my sister, and me in learning it. I suspect he had visions of us becoming prodigies, but he was definitely not the best teacher. He had no patience with our inability to understand the intricacies of the game, much less how to move the pieces! Instead, he had two terrified young girls trembling at the thought of what piece to move next.  We really wanted to make him happy, but this was not the way to do it. I think we both now have a bit of an aversion to the game. We stuck to checkers after our disgrace with chess. Today, I can smile at the memory. 

Well, that's about it for now. I cannot seem to think of anything else that's currently on my mind. (That may change as I re-read what I've written here, but I don't think so.) Keeping myself and my dear partner healthy, both physically and mentally, is the big challenge in my life right now. I know I am not alone in this, either. 

The tea is gone, my dear one is still sleeping, and the day is beckoning. I'm meeting my friends Lily and John for breakfast in a little more than an hour from now, so I'll be finishing this and hoping I'll be more inspired next week. I do hope you find some enjoyment yourself during this coming period, and if you have any tips, please don't hesitate to pass them along. Until then, be well and don't forget to count your blessings. You are definitely one of mine.


Linda Reeder said...

Good morning.
I just spent some time doing research to inform myself on something several of my Trumpster family members had commented on in a posting of mine on Facebook. I am being very careful not to gloat and to be very accurate in whatever I post. Not everyone is so careful.
But enough of that. I don't know if I will manage to walk today or not. I hurt. I also have a football game and a soccer match two watch and a pot roast to cook. The sun is now up and shining in a mostly blue sky. I will most likely be compelled by the beautiful day to at least get in a short walk.
With the election over, life goes on. I'm grateful that I am not the one who has to figure out how to make this country work again.
Take care. Be well and happy.

ApacheDug said...

Always a thoughtful & entertaining read, thanks for sharing your thoughts DJan. As I sit here writing this, it’s around 11:40am and my television has yet to be turned on today—for the first time in too many days because of that election. I watched the celebration last night too, and yes Joe Biden was shouting pretty hard—at the same time though, it warmed my heart every time he gave a big toothy smile or started a sentence with “Folks”.

Appreciated the lesson on those “lanceworks”, I almost feel embarrassed for not knowing that—you learned that from Zambelli Fireworks, which is only minutes from me! They’ve been a part of Pittsburgh for a long time...

Finally, I’ll have to check out “Queen’s Gambit”. I’ve gotten several emails from Netflix saying I’d like it depending on my viewing history. That sure was a sweet memory of chess & your dad though :-) Okay I talk too much, hope your week ahead is a terrific one.

Elephant's Child said...

I am thrilled that your election results have been announced, and from the other side of the world I was very, very happy with the outcome.
I love that you can enjoy breakfast with Lily and John and that you have found a way to exercise and socialise.
Stay well, stay safe.

gigi-hawaii said...

I am glad Biden won, but now the fun begins. I am lousy at chess. A chess master was able to check mate me in 2 seconds. Lol.

Galen Pearl said...

I loved chess when I was younger, and I've taught my grandson to play, but I don't really have the patience for it anymore. I like games of strategy, but ones that move a bit faster. I watched the first episode of The Queen's Gambit. I look forward to the series. Relieved that the election has been called, but cautious about what the next weeks will bring. Hoping things will calm down, but not really expecting them to. We'll see. Still sad at the division in our country, and relieved that so much of it won't be coming from the White House. Very excited about Kamala -- a big step for our country!

Marie Smith said...

It makes such a difference to see a woman in a powerful position such as Kamala as Vice President, I am happy the election result is known and turned out at it did.

Staying healthy in these times is a challenge but the outdoors, walking and cycling has helped us. Take care, Jan.

Arkansas Patti said...

I must have had my volume set just right for I didn't hear Joe shouting but just being forceful in his desire for decency and healing. I actually felt pretty inspired. Sure am glad this part is over. Don't envy the job ahead for him.
Don't have Netflix but will try to hunt down the book. I was thinking about maybe learning to play chess just the other day.

Gigi said...

I absolutely loved Queen's Gambit! Even though I don't know anything about chess, I was hooked from the start and have finished the season. I didn't realize it was based on a book, I will have to look for it.

I am very relived that the election is over but I pray that the transfer of power is peaceful.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I am glad the election is over ...now we will see what The Dems do. I don't have much hope. But you never know. Not sure that they will be able to bring the Country together...it seems the divide runs real deeply for some people.
I really enjoyed The Queen's Gambit I watched it over two days. I never learned how to play chess either.
We have wild winds here today...sounds like a winter wind but it is warm outside.
Hope you had a good morning with John and Lily:)

Rian said...

Feeling relief now that the election is over and Biden will be our new president. I too liked his speech, but didn't notice he was shouting... could be my hearing isn't that great.
Covid is still very much out there and hopefully we will now have a leader that takes it seriously.
As for "The Queen's Gambit", I will check it out. Our family plays chess, but I really suck at it (not really a game player). Youngest son and grandson were playing last Christmas here at the house. Don't think I'm the least bit competitive - don't know what that says about me - but the series sounds interesting.

Red said...

I think I'll see many more comments from you on the election. What mayhem will Trump cause while he's still president. We want some unity but is it going to happen?

Betsy said...

I never played chess much either but our boys absolutely loved to play each other. Checkers is much more my speed.
I have to agree about being happy the election is over but I'm not sure how much more the new administration will be able to do about COVID. Hopefully we'll be on the downward bend by then anyway. Our son and his fiance and family are on lockdown in the UK for the month of November. The same in France. My husband does business in South America and South Africa and they are both in a world of hurt. The entire world is experiencing pretty much what we are. We have a huge amount of cases because we have a huge amount of people. All of that said, as an RN, our daughter has done rapid COVID tests for the past 4 weekends in Nebraska. She said each weekend the numbers have gone up. Last weekend they were well over 80% positive! It just scares me so much, having her in such close contact with positive cases on a regular basis. I hope a vaccine is perfected very soon.
I hope your week is a good one and you both stay safe and well.

Glenda Beall said...

I am grateful that the political ads are gone, well most are gone, but not the ones in Georgia. I am glad that most of the political signs on the road are gone and hope they all will be gone soon. When the election results came in, I felt like a heavy rock had been lifted off my shoulders. I had been withdrawn all the week not wanting to see or hear anything until the final results were in.
I have hope for the first time in a long time. I am so glad you can walk and have nice places to walk. That is so important for good health.
I, too, have been diving deep into series on TV, listening to audio books - anything to take my mind off the real world. Now, I want to do all I can to bridge the division in our country, in my area which all went for Trump. Today I heard from one of them who bashed Kamala Harris and said what I knew people would say about a woman who has made it as high as she has in government. We are not only racist, but this country seems to want to keep women as second class citizens and that makes me mad.

Anvilcloud said...

I was a chess coach at our high school for a number of years. When I say coach, what I really mean is that I let them play in my room at lunchtime and drove them around to inter school games. I played with them a lot, but haven't played now for more than 20 years. Queen’s Gambit was good. When I thought that it had taken a wrong turn of sorts, they pulled it back together.

Friko said...

Finally, it’s over.
You may think “what’s she got to do with it?” but in common with vast numbers pf people on the planet I am relieved at the prospect of seeing an outbreak of civility and decency. True, there are difficult times ahead but surely things cannot be as bad ever again as they were?


William Kendall said...

The long ordeal is finally over.

I've never learned chess.

Margaret said...

I am still extremely nervous about the election aftermath and what's going on right now. I would just like to relax and celebrate! I could never get the hang of chess and it isn't the kind of game that interests me. Too much thinking. :)

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, As always, I enjoyed this edition of Eye on the Edge. After reading your posts I often stop for a few minutes and just think about how we are so much on the same page about things. I really find it fascinating that I have found someone in the blogosphere who sees lots of things in the same way I do. I've been looking forward to telling you about 28 Summers. After seeing your mention of it in your October 25 post, I went to Audible and bought the audiobook version. It had me hooked from the beginning simply by Elin's brilliant starting with "the end." :-) Thanks so much for the recommendation! So, take care, my northern neighbor, and be safe! John

Debby said...

I feel like the outrage is growing at tRUMP's babyish refusal to concede the election. The republicans who are humoring him are beginning to be outnumbered by the republicans who are fed up with this nonsense. The tide is turning. I hope.