Over Easy: After the election, different yard signs emerge

For the Valley News
Published: 11/25/2022 9:17:15 PM
Modified: 11/25/2022 9:17:21 PM

November is running out the clock, winter has already given us a noogie, and things are getting interesting in West Lebanon: cool mornings, dwindling daylight, snarling cold fronts lined up on the horizon.

Oh, well. We survived the midterm elections, which were from my perspective not a disaster. Huzzah! In matters political it seems I have spent many hours, months and years fearing the worst. The nervous energy could have heated our house.

I am but a poor pundit, but I took a closer look at the results to answer the question: How Blue is My Valley? Pretty blue, it turns out.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan took a whopping 87% of the vote in Hanover, with 83% in Lyme, 77% in Lebanon and 68% in Plainfield. The Mascoma Valley mostly followed suit.

You had to go to Haverhill to the north or Charlestown to the south to find a modest majority for Republican Don Bolduc.

I believe Hanover was the bluest of blue among cities and towns in New Hampshire.

Our reelected senator owes the Upper Valley a spectacular pork project, like a Maggie Hassan Bowling/Rollerskating/Laser Tag Complex. Or a Maggie Hassan Atrium, which would (sustainably) provide a semi-tropical escape for beleaguered residents. I’m thinking fountains, full-spectrum lights, saunas, free frozen yogurt machines, book nooks and hammocks. It would be like Florida, without the crazy.

Call it the Snowbird Relief Act. Hassan’s campaign ads called her the most bipartisan member of Congress. So get it done, Maggie.

It wasn’t easy for voters. This time around I noticed how joyless the Hassan-Bolduc race was. We followed it mostly via unavoidable commercials, which pounded the same negative points over and over. Bolduc (would/could/might?) eliminate Social Security and Medicare, and force women to deliver babies under the most horrible circumstances. Hassan was a Biden puppet, personally opened the borders to drug runners and is a crazed wasteful spender. One ad said, “No wonder defund-the-police groups support her.” Um, what?

The ads smeared TV and computer screens, nasty toxins from the political consultant complex. And they repeated too often. Nobody wants to see the same ad over and over and over, unless it has a catchy beat, like McDonald’s “ba-da-ba, ba-bah, I’m loving it” jingle. Even then you can have enough (unless it has a singing fish).

Now we have divided government. Fine. Democrats get their judicial appointments and Republicans can protect the multiverse from the ultimate danger: Supervillain Hunter Biden.

Unlike the “experts,” I will not declare the GOP done or Florida man Donald J. Trump finished. Nationally the recent results looked pretty close to me. Never trust an ending in politics or horror movies.

But enough about such things. The really big news at our house is the installation of our new Squirrel Buster bird feeder. It is reputed to be squirrel-proof, although I’ll believe it when I see it. Squirrels are nature’s safe crackers, and they keep at it until they have the jewels — black-oil sunflower seeds — or it’s summer.

The last feeder — cheaper, less squirrel resistant — was knocked down and dragged to the back of our lot. It could have been a bear, or a gang of finches, I suppose. The dazzling gold ones distract you and their accomplices can get away with almost anything.

Still, I am pleased to be a benefactor of chickadees, cardinals and other littles. They come and go, flitting where they may, and we take pleasure in seeing nature doing its thing, which ultimately is to make more nests, more babies, more bird droppings. You take the good with the bad, and the gooey.

Excitement is brewing over the light-up plastic Santa I bought at a yard sale this summer. It’s about 3 feet high, somewhat vintage, possibly ironic — and very red, white and black. I am pretty sure it is made of all-American hard plastic, the stuff that made this nation great (except neighborhoods near the factories). Anyway, I am quite pleased with it, possibly a little too pleased for a man my age. Like Santa, I may be reaching the colorful stage of life.

My own Santa — a toddler neighbor calls him “Ho-Ho” — is not quite as remarkable as a display that elevated my spirits last winter when I walked down nearby Farman Avenue. There, beaming in the night, was a replica of the lurid lady’s leg lamp prominent in the Christmas Story movie. When I first saw it, I stood, enchanted, frozen in place as I took in its magnificent nostalgic luminescence. “Perfect,’’ I whispered.

It was.

One year later, it’s time to prepare for a new season of wonders. If that doesn’t give us a little shiver of anticipation, the weather will.

Dan Mackie lives in West Lebanon. He can be reached at dan.mackie@yahoo.com.

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