|Erin Lawson photo|
I’ve been missing in action since Election Day 2016.
I’ve been incommunicado, at least here, on this blog.
I could attribute my silence to some surgery I had about a week later. Or I could blame the busyness associated with winter holiday preparations and celebrations.
But the surgery went smoothly (although the post-op is complex; more on that another time). And I had a terrific Christmas, hosted for the first time by my daughter Erin and her sweet goldendoodle puppy, Millie (pictured at right). Thank you to you both for an extra-fun day.
So that leaves just the election.
I know this is a home interiors blog, and you’re probably sick to death of hearing about politics. But I’m convinced my reticence to discuss the election on this blog has kept me from writing AT ALL. That’s how writer’s block works.
And my regurgitation of disgust and upset on my personal Facebook page has done little to alleviate the despair I feel inside. So rather than give you pure politics and risk alienating what readers I have, I thought I’d combine the two—home décor and politics—albeit in a twisty, curvy post that has more detours than the president-elect’s latest press conference.
In my single days (almost too long ago now to remember)…
…I nurtured a Norfolk Island pine tree in a salt-glazed pickle crock I found at an antiques store. It accompanied me on four or five moves in as many years before it up and died, around the time I got married. Each of the Christmases it was in my possession, I decorated it with red velvet bows and tiny brass bells made in India.
I’ve always loved Norfolk Island pines for their soft needles and graceful shapes, and this Christmas I bought myself one again before the grocery store floral department sold out of its holiday supply. I decorated it in small-size red and silver vintage glass ornaments and surrounded it with a forest of bottlebrush trees.
After Christmas, I removed the red florist’s wrap from the pot and tried to figure out what to do with the plant now that the holidays were over. Part of my dilemma is that Chris and I both have allergies and indoor plants are a big no-no. Another part is that the light in our condo sucks anyways, which further encourages the growth of mold on the soil surface (those allergy culprits!) and seriously impacts the plant’s ability to thrive.
There’s no room for plants in the west-facing windows of either of my two bedrooms, so I’m stuck with north-facing windows—one in the living room and the other in my study. I opted for the study because, what better place for a plant I missed from my single days than on my desk?
So my “single gal” plant is now ensconced in my “married gal” pot. The seeming contradiction in itself appeals to my boho spirit.
You’d think that would be enough to satisfy me, but no, I’m seldom one to leave well enough alone. Once potted and positioned, I stewed over how to spiff up my tree just a little bit more.
I’d asked “Santa” for the VOTE FEMALE trinket dish because I wanted a special place to keep my Hillary Clinton campaign buttons. I’d bought just a few buttons as a keepsake during the campaign, not only because I supported Clinton, but also because it promised to be an historic election and I wanted a keepsake of it.
Little did I know I would NEVER get any of this election out of my head.
Backtrack to my Election Day post…
You see, I had no doubt as I blogged about hanging pictures in a corner of my study that day that America was electing its first woman President. Like a lot of other people (nearly 66 million, the majority who voted) who believed as I did, my heart broke as the returns came in and the electoral votes fell the opposition’s way.
It’s now months later, the inauguration is fast-approaching, and I still haven’t recovered. Neither have I blogged. At all.
All my life I’ve been a democrat stuck in a republican state. So you’d think by now I’d be used to the candidates I vote for not winning. Indiana doesn’t split its 11 electoral votes to represent how its population votes, so my vote for President seldom counts at all, period. It did count in 2008, when Indiana went for Obama—the only time I ever remember such an upset here, and it didn’t repeat itself in 2012.
In the past I’ve learned to deal with democratic losses because the republican alternatives, though not my first choices, weren’t complete wack jobs (on the national front anyway). That is to say, until this election.
But I’m not so sure anymore.
As I put my buttons into the trinket dish the day after Christmas, I decided that even though my candidate lost, she had still made it an historic election, and by gum, those few buttons of mine needed some company! I needed to remind myself, DAILY, that there were nearly 3 million more of us who voted for HER than for him (you know who I mean), and that counted for something, even if Indiana went red (like always).
The trinket dish sat on the table next to my single-gal tree in the married-gal pot. That’s how it dawned on me: Use the larger buttons to decorate the tree!!
I’m here to tell you, politics really CAN have a place in home décor!!
So I pinned each button around a branch without harming a needle of the tree. And I’ve managed to use my collection in a fun way to remind me of the bigger picture of getting through the next four years.
Every day I see my tree and its buttons, as well as my VOTE FEMALE dish and its buttons (more on order!), and I’m reminded to stay focused and keep a sharp eye on what’s happening in the surreal world that revolves around our equally surreal president-elect, soon to be (*sigh*) president.
Admittedly, there have been good takeaways in this contentious election season:
- Somewhere in the political crush of before, during and after, I rediscovered (and exercised often) my journalist’s voice and training, and my passion for the First Amendment.
- I started subscribing to the New York Times online edition to become better informed about politics in particular and the world in general.
- I found new allies (and friends!) in the battle for a kinder, gentler world.
- I cut ties with people whose push-come-to-shove views I was shocked to discover.
- I’ve started taking part in the political process by calling my legislators and congressman to tell them what I expect of them and attending town halls in my city. I may not turn Indiana from red to blue, but I’ll settle for purple.
Everything I’ve done, you can do too.
- Plug in your zip code and print out a list of your U. S. senators and representative and their contact information. Check out your state government website to look up contact info for state senators and reps. The research says politicians pay more attention to calls than to letters or emails, and I’ve always found staff to be friendly and polite, regardless of political party.
- Get yourself your very own VOTE FEMALE trinket tray or perhaps a coffee cup.
- Buy yourself some buttons that inspire you and decorate your own houseplants, bulletin board or clothes. If you don’t want to focus on a particular candidate, there are buttons that support voting and participation in the political process, as well as particular issues.
Meanwhile, what’s next for BoHo Susan?
I promise to get back into the swing of things and start posting on BoHo Home regularly again (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). And while I don’t plan to make future posts political, I DO plan to keep on watering that tree (the literal AND the metaphoric one). So stay tuned for lots of green growth gracing my workspace (and my boho world) from here on out.