Celebratory Walk and Some Art

Dear Liza,

While we were reading the news and doing Duolingo this past Saturday morning, we heard a “Whoop!”from outside, a random celebratory yell.. We opened the window. More whoops, some car horn honks….

“Turn on the news!!” And there it was, CNN calling Pennsylvania’s ballot count for Joe Biden, putting him over the top and making him the President Elect of the United States.

Mouse was fascinated by the news!

We danced, we sang, we got dressed, we needed to get out and walk. Grandpa Nelson woke up and decided he needed to go with us. We waved to folks who smiled and waved back, sang, danced, and honked their horns. People in the park were happily walking dogs. The whole city was celebrating!

Happy trees in the Park

We stopped by Oblique Coffee for two pounds of their fine dark roasted beans, and the folks there were happy, too. We all felt as though we have been holding our breath and clinching our teeth for four years.

Between happy thoughts of new beginnings for our country (after the remaining 72 days of Mr. Trump’s term are over) and the lovely chilly morning, bright with leaves, we had quite a nice morning.

Weird Masonic symbol with Googly eye

Back home, I felt that I wanted to make some happy art. My first thought was “Making a New World”. I pulled some papers out of my collection, and laid them out very slowly, not thinking much, just eyeballing the colors.

The beginning of my celebratory collage

I cut a circle out of scrap paper and glued the collage papers onto it, overlapping and just playing. Once it dried, I cut out the circle out and put it on a page in my journal, then added some words. A little shading, and I think it’s done.

Sing “Thanks” Everyone!

We ordered pizza for dinner and watched our Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and President-Elect Joe Biden make their first official speeches to a socially distanced crowd in Delaware. They spoke of healing, caring, and uniting our bruised country, of fighting the corona virus and not each other. I was happy all over again at hopeful new beginnings.

Looking forward!

Love,

Grandma Judy

A Literal Walk in The Park

Dear Liza,

After an awful, nervous night and long cranky morning worrying about election returns, Grandpa Nelson took me out for a nice walk around Laurelhurst Park.

Morrison Street has turned into a colorful tunnel

Nothing soothes rattled nerves like walking around and noticing the colors of leaves, happy dogs chasing frisbees, and little kids on teeny tiny bikes.

Duckweed through aspens

The duckweed was still giving Firwood Lake that odd soccer-pitch color, and it looked weirdly beautiful through the yellow leaves.

Light filled tunnel across the park

There weren’t many people in the park, but those there were were all dressed for the chilly weather and making the park even more picturesque.

We just did a slow lap, then back home. I started working on a new face, which I sketched while looking at a picture of you! If it turns out okay, I will show it to you soon.

As the day goes on and more election returns trickle in, I am feeling better about the future of our country. Fingers crossed!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Vote Forward

Dear Liza,

Last month I started working with a group called Vote Forward. These folks collect the addresses of people who usually don’t vote, and send these addresses to volunteers like me, and we write them a letter. The letter doesn’t tell anyone who to vote for. It just tells them why we think voting is important.

My letter said, “I vote in every election because decisions are made by those who show up. Voting is a way for all of us to show up and have our voices heard.” Simple as that. Auntie Bridgett helped by addressing all the envelopes.

And Saturday was the day we mailed them out! It is part of a HUGE Get Out the Vote Project called The Big Send. This way, people get their letters in time to make a plan to vote. They can even vote early or by mail, if it is allowed where they live.

And away they go!

I have been very encouraged by the news from around the country, showing so many people voting early, or waiting in long lines to have their voices heard. I love that groups like “Pizzas to the Polls” are making sure folks in those long lines get something to eat.

With just two weeks to go before the election, it feels like our whole country is crossing its fingers, waiting for an outcome that will mean a change of direction, a turn towards healing, for all of us.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Election Advent Calendar

Dear Liza,

I am so excited about the upcoming election, it feels like Christmas! The Presidency, and all those Senate seats, are up for grabs. These races will decide how our country goes forward from our current mess, and I am ready for a new start.

So I am taking my nervous energy and making stuff! The usual daily Art-ober challenge, of course, but also, an Election 2020 advent calendar.

I wanted it to be flag-inspired, but I am short on colored paper. Not a problem! A few sheets of kids-level Crayola sketch pad and Liquitex Basics acrylic paint got me to the right zone. Plain white paper cut in slightly wonky stars carried the theme.

The Basics

I put the stars in place, some of them pulling away from the field and trying to escape (I know the feeling, stars), I cut the red into ten sort-of-regular stripes and glued them to the bottom

Stars trying to escape!

I cut and glued, all the time wondering what sort of trivia would be tied to this game. Trivia is sort of where I live, intellectually speaking.

My own Stars and Stripes!

By the time I was done, I had the game figured out. See those tiny numbers on each stripe? We will use this to countdown the twenty days until the November 3rd election. Each stripe represents two days. Each evening we will snip (or fold, or color, we’ll figure it out) that section of the stripe and I will ask a question about Presidential history, culled from random internet searches.

Is he reaching for his flask?

”Which President was the heaviest drinker?”

“Which President came from the largest family?”

“Which President’s favorite movie was “Hunt for Red October?”

Who loved Hunt for Fed October? I mean, except me?

The winner will get an as-yet-undecided prize.

Now we just play, and mail out letters to encourage folks to vote, and wait, and vote, vote, vote!!

Love,

Grandma Judy