The Long, Hard Slog

By Bob Howard

I’m writing this on the eve of the Presidential election. By the time you read it, we will, if all goes well, know who the Commander in Chief is going to be for the next four years – either Mitt Romney will have unseated the sitting President, or Barak Obama will have retained his position. The polls are suggesting it is a tight, neck and neck race, a race that could break either way. I’ll tell you what though, if Obama pulls it off, the rednecks up here are likely to go completely bananas. I might not be able to leave the compound until the smoke clears.

You know, frankly I don’t see the shift in President, one way or the other. making that great a difference in regards to the issues I care the most deeply about. The wars will go on, our ridiculous drug policies will remain in tact, and corporate interests will still take precedence over the rights of the average citizenry, you and me. Our civil rights and liberties will continue to be infringed upon in the name of “security.” There is very little daylight between the candidates on any of these topics. The underlying agenda marches on, regardless of the face plastered on the front of the machine.

The Supreme Court nominations that may be at stake give me pause. I don’t love the direction the court has taken of late – some of the recent decisions are straight out of some kind of Republican Dystopia. Rich folk can take your house if they feel it is unsightly, and that they can make money from your property. Rich corporations have the same rights to free speech as ordinary citizens, only they have no obligation to represent all of the individual points of view that comprise the company. Instead, the people at the very top can use the cash their workers generate to build a mouth-piece so loud and powerful that it mutes the voices of you and me.

It’s a messed up world.

Forgive me my pessimism – this election season seems like it’s been going on for years, and it has worn me out. One way or the other, I am going to be happy when this thing is in the books.

NaNoWriMo Update

My November novel is growing with each passing day. Thus far I have managed to keep my word count high enough to hit the 50,000 word goal by December 1st, but we’re only five days into this thing, and it’s definitely not a sprint. I’m afraid the hard days lie ahead.

Fall Garden

I’ve got a whole litany of seeds and bulbs that need to go into the ground ASAP. I ordered a few different varieties of garlic, a host of seeds including rutabaga and endive, and a creeping, mobile plant called an “Egyptian walking onion.” Digging into the soil, planting the seeds, watching everything grow – there is real beauty and value in this kind of living. Occasionally I even come close to feeling content, but usually that passes pretty quickly. There is always more to do.

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Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.