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Alaskan post-election reflections

Heather Lende
Heather Lende photo

I am so glad that I don't have to keep checking the web, listening to the radio and clicking back and forth between opposing news channels on the TV anymore -- the election sucked my time like a black hole. It also made me very anxious for what turns out was no reason.

The other thing that struck me, when the Obamas came on stage that night, was how much can change in a family in four years. The president's daughters aren't little girls anymore. They have changed more, it seems, than our politics, or the country, and no matter how you voted, that should be a heads up to pay attention. The wheels of government turn slowly while time flies.

When my husband was on the Haines City Council for about 15 years, there were several older women (now that I think about it, they were probably about my age, or my friends' age) who were rabid politicos on every issue -- from environmental to economic to the school or helicopter tours.

He used to say, often with a sigh after getting off the phone with one passionate gal or another, "You'd think she'd want to spend more time with her grandchildren than yelling at me."

This week, when I was ranting and raving, he suggested I babysit more. He said it in the kindest way. I think it is time for a media fast and a family fill-up. Maybe that's why Thanksgiving comes on the heels of election day?

My dad and mother-in-law did not vote the way I did, and we also split some votes with our children and in-laws. But we're still family. The same is true in this small town. My husband is off on his annual deer hunt, the group of old friends are more red than blue. There was choir practice on Thursday, as there is every Thursday at 6 p.m., and we are also, I'm pretty sure -- since we don't talk politics -- a purple-ish bunch.  

Friday morning, once again, children and parents and grandparents of all political stripes (and sizes), including my three grandchildren, gathered for storytime at that most enduring and beloved American institution, the public library. 

Heather Lende writes from Haines. Her new book is "Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs." This post originally appeared on her blog. It has been reprinted with permission.