The New Dawn, Beta, and a Deep Breath

This rose bush doesn’t look like much–only a flurry of unremarkable green leaves. But just two weeks ago, it was a mass of leafless brown sticks. This was a first, for over the 25 years of its life, this resilient New Dawn had never lost its green leaves until after December’s killing frosts.

But August’s string of 30+ days of 100+ temps was too much for it, and I hadn’t been much help. It was a long, brutal Covid-fueled summer, and I didn’t recognize the danger until Labor Day. I suddenly saw that the rose was leafless and brown. My inattention had killed it. I felt terrible. That rose was as hardy as they come. I count on its lush greeness to fill an important place at the end of the deck. How had I been so negligent, so inattentive, so care/less?

But then, last weekend, tropical storm Beta blew in off the Gulf, dumping a deluge of flooding rain on the Coastal Bend and the rest of the Southeast. At least two people died and the damage will likely be in the billions. Here in the Hill Country, 200 miles inland, we got barely an inch over a couple of days, but it came with a blessed cool-down. And just a day or two after Beta had spiraled off to the northeast, the New Dawn put out a sudden flush of eager green leaves. The bush has been seriously damaged, I’m sure, but its revival felt like a miracle. It was a miracle, far as I was concerned.

Nature is always teaching us something. The rose reminds me that the world we know and love is bravely resilient–but also frighteningly vulnerable. Beta is another demonstration of the truth that what’s damaging, even deadly for some can be beneficial, even hope-filled, for others. The episode warns me that I need to be more attentive, less negligent. I must care more, be more watchful.

And I have to learn that I can’t count on miracles. The term “Beta” tells me that it’s already been a very long hurricane season–and there are still two more months (and another alphabet) to go. The disastrous  fires on the West Coast remind me that climate change can be irrevocable.The designation “Covid-19” carries the warning that there can be a Covid-21 or -22, with even more dire impacts, while the chaos and incompetence in the White House has given us no protection against this storm and others–and now threatens to wreck our hard-won health care and the crucial impartiality of our judicial system.

But back to roses and storms. I’m grateful to West Coast friends Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, who recently wrote this in their Peer Sprit newsletter: “The smoke was an event. The fires are a disaster. What we’re living through is a transformation. It’s not going to ‘get over with’ and return us to the old status quo. Like a burned forest, life will return— but it will not be the same forest. We are in it now, the big turn, the long work, the unraveling and reweaving. Whenever you can, take a deep breath.”

I’m taking a deep breath. Not the same forest, no. The big turn and the long work, yes. Bill and I are both over 65, so in Texas, we can both legally vote by mail, whether Trump likes it or not. Our ballots arrived yesterday; we will be returning them next week. We’re voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Your comments and thoughts are welcome as always. Trolls are not.

Update 9/28: Snarky troll remarks will not be published, so don’t bother.

 

83 comments on “The New Dawn, Beta, and a Deep Breath

  1. So good to “hear” your voice in your well written comments here, and rejoice at the renewal of your rose. I remember years back, after the birth of our second child, I visited my parents after planting the birth-day gift of a hydrangea. We lived in hot and dry central California at the time. I’d given my husband innumerable reminders that the water-loving hydrangea needed a lot of attention while we were gone. When I came home, late at night, my first step was to feel around the dirt for the hydrangea, and when I found only crackly leaves, burst into tears. It, too, survived, and so did our marriage.

  2. Hi Susan, I am so cheered up to have found your blog and the thoughtful comments from other readers and yourself, on both politics and roses. I’m in Canada, Southwestern Ontario – nearly as far south as the country extends; we had a particularly hot July with no rain, tho’ not as hot as your area! New Dawn is a beautiful rose and I’m really happy to hear yours is growing again, and reading the stories of others’ New Dawns … wonderful to hear the story of the rescue from the backhoes! Be assured that Canadians across the country are hoping for a positive change at your next election. I try to keep an eye out for articles that talk about how individuals, groups, and communities are talking with others and encouraging people to vote – helping people overcome barriers to voting. I have read books from all your series and always enjoyed them. I’ve learned so much history from your Darling Dahlias series! Thank you for that. And thank you for the stories of capable, real women in difficult times. Kindest regards, Maureen

  3. Thank you so much Susan and others that have posted such heartening comments. I have been slightly depressed due to all the negativity going on from our president. All of these positive comments have helped me see “the light” and feel so much better. I know next to nothing about roses and have received one as a gift so also appreciated the helpful comments about rose care. Thank you Susan especially for always giving me a lift both in these blogs and your books.

  4. As other posters have declared, my favorite series is The Darling Dahlias – it is so relevant to the problems we are now facing with strong women characters. Add our household’s names to voting for Biden/Harris and kudos to you for stating your preferences. We all need to be voices in this wilderness in which we find ourselves. We are working to keep MN blue.

  5. Hi Susan,

    I’ll avoid politics (almost) completely as I don’t think any contrarian views, questions, or issues would be welcome.

    Regarding your rose’s recovery, are you familiar with the product “Rich Earth?” (www.richearth.net)? It is a soil additive that is nutrient rich and full of trace elements you will not find in any fertilizer. We’ve used it for years with great results. I understand Colonial Williamsburg uses it as well.

    We aren’t connected to the product or the owner of the company other than being a very happy customer. Given what the stuff can do and given the struggle ahead for your rose, I think you might want to give their website a look. Billi says hi and sends her best wishes as well. JJ

  6. Here in MN the first day we could early vote my husband and I were there at 9:00 a.m. I felt like I could finally fight back in a manner that was meaningful.

  7. Thank you for all of the books you write, and which I enjoy reading. I was a librarian for 30 years, and always got them for my library, and suggested them to my mystery readers, of which there were many. I have always voted in person, but this year, though we live in a small-ish town, about 12000 population, we are leery of voting in person as we have tried so hard to stay home, safe, and away from anyone who might give us the virus. So I called the county clerk and asked about voting absentee, and we are allowed to do that for the covid reason this year. I asked if I could be absolutely SURE that my vote would count, as it meant a lot to me. She assured me it would and that only 2 people are allowed into their office at a time, that they all wear masks (mandated in our town since Aug.) and that we would just turn around and put our ballots in the voting machine, just as we always do.

    So a week ago we called up there to see if there was anyone there, then went up and cast our votes. It was safe, easy, and quick, and I watched my vote go in and, as the clerk said “your vote is counted now.” It was number 92 on that machine, so I imagine more are doing it this way than in normal years.

    My vote was also for Biden/Harris, and I fervently hope that they win. However, I think it’s past time that we have a new rule that no one over age 70 can run for national office. I’m 69 myself, and I know that both the current candidates are too old for the job of President. At least Biden is a decent human and I will hope that he will win and be able to pull our divided country together again.

    • I’ve heard from so many others, Melissa–all with the same concerns. So glad to hear that your voting experience was positive. I think we’re all hoping for a more stable government that works for ALL of us, not just a few.

  8. I hope that your rose continues to grow, I only have one rose and would hate to loose it and yes I d check it multiple times a day while the Japanese Beetles are herewith my dish of soapy water.
    My ballot arrived yesterday and will be filled out and hand delivered next week also with a vote for Biden and Harris as well. After last evenings debate, if that is what it was, I do not understand how anyone could vote for our current president. I can only hope and pray that civility and promise come back to our country as it has been sadly missed for the past three and a half years.

  9. I hardly ever comment anywhere, especially living in my neck of the woods, WI, but I’m glad to hear some other people also voting for Biden. I just got my absentee ballot and will be filling it out. About roses, this is the first year where I have added some more roses – 7. I decided they are less work than perennials, don’t have to divide them. The only problem that I had to deal with where the Japanese Beetles. I was on a warpath, 3 x a day I went out and removed them into soapy water, kills them instantly. They just love rosebuds! The only other problem was the leaves dropping off due to a fungus, but some spray will take care of that. And now I look forward to next year, although my roses will be blooming way into the fall.
    And Susan, I just love your books. I’m in the process of getting them all for my library.

    • Jeanette, I understand about “neck of the woods” and feeling isolated. We don’t put bumper stickers on our cars; auto vandalism has been reported in commercial parking lots. Yard signs are regularly damaged or destroyed and Maga hats are everywhere. Good luck with those roses!

    • Fungus is probably black spot, which is hard to manage. A couple of tips: clean up all dropped leaves and don’t compost them; once new growth is seen, prune out dead stems, and those that are dark; start a spraying program EARLY, even before any damage shows. I use “Soap Shield”.

      • Ive actually tried the soap shield, didn’t work too well, so my daughter got some Neem Oil (recommended by Jackson Perkins – where the roses came from) and that seems to have helped, but of course having to cut down the stems since all the leaves had dropped wasn’t easy; they have come back very robustly and are full of buds and now it’s getting cold!

  10. Thanks for the encouraging rose story, we need that kind of hope and resilience for our Country! No matter how disheartened I feel reading some comments from Trump supporters my expectations will not be dampened. I helped my 91 and 89 year old parents fill out their mail-in ballots and handed them to a city clerk in person today along with mine. Three more votes for the return of kindness, sanity, unity, honesty, and most of all adult behavior! #BidenHarris.

  11. So glad for your rose. Here in Northern California it may be some time before we have rain and there’s a new fire in the Napa Valley. With all the fires, rain will be a mixed blessing — in areas where the fires have been there may be mudslides and where whole communities have been destroyed, there is soil contamination. This year of virus, heat, fires, protests about long neglected wrongs — I sometimes wonder how many miracles we have left. Will get my ballot next week, vote for Biden/Harris and take it to the drop box. I loved the quote from Mary Oliver. I’m not that lyrical, so my fantasy this past four years has been that I will wake up, Bobby Ewing will be in the shower and the last four years will be just a bad dream.

    • Oh, a fervent amen to Bobby Ewing in the shower, Carolyn! Maybe that would wash away these years, and especially the last. I worry that you may also be right about the possibility of running out of miracles.Stay safe where you are. Hope the smoke abates.

  12. Thank you for your thoughtful post, Susan. Like some of the other commenters, I am weary of political arguments—but you are exactly right, now is not the time to take a nap! Time enough to rest after we have straightened our course and begun the healing process, which I have to believe, I MUST believe, will occur after the election. In the meantime, I am rereading the Darling Dahlias series, which gives me hope—such good, positive attitudes there!—and writing postcards (under the auspices of Indivisible Chicago) to encourage folks to get out and VOTE.

  13. Yea you two! I went this morning and dropped our ballots off at the local county courthouse in the drop box. No way am I taking a chance on the PO – I think this election is the most important I’ve ever voted in during my 71 years. Now we wait and pray. So glad your rose is returning. Take care.

    • Re: Most important–I agree. But 1960, Kennedy/Nixon, was another hugely significant election. I shudder to think how Nixon would have handled the Cuban missile crisis. But you’re too young to have voted in that one, Jill. 🙂

  14. I loved the Fault Line Trilogy. Can’t wait for your next novels. I also love to read your comments, but wish that political comments could be left out. It’ so refreshing just to read your newsletter and the goings-on of your lovely home in our Hill Country. Not a lot of rain, but the Fall flowers are so welcome.

    • Thanks, Patty–glad you liked it. Re: political voice. As I said to Nancy below, I don’t often give voice to my political feelings but I feel passionate right now. We must all be paying attention. We can’t afford to take a nap.

  15. There was a local factory in my hometown that planted New Dawn roses along their tall chain link fence. They were beautiful and much loved. Folks in the community called them the “Shirey Roses” after the factory’s name. I discovered that I could get baby plants from the base where mowed grass covered canes and they rooted. I started sharing them after my own fence was a mass of pink blooms each spring. When the factory closed and the bank decided to cut all the roses, a group of dedicated people rescued them by digging out the roots while the demolition crew was at lunch! Those roses thrived in new locations and are still a treasure in our community. Along the way we learned the real name of the rose.

    • Lovely rose rustling story, Pud. Roses mean many things to many people–I often think that every loved plant carries its own personal story. Thanks for sharing this one!

  16. Our Cat 1, Sally came into Fairhope, as almost a 3. Not the time to listen to WIDOWS
    TEARS We had no deaths, thankfully. Other than many of us having roof damage, many trees down And no power for 5 days oh, and all my koi dying, we were so fortunate.
    I made certain my phone was powered up for books…I re-listened to mostly yours and Carolyn Haines. Please no politics. Now to call the adjuster again,

    • So sorry about Sally’s damage–roofs, trees, and yes, the koi. With every storm, I wonder about all the unseen little things, birds and butterflies, and such. What do they do in a Cat 3? Sad.

      Re: politics. You might want to skip my blog for a while. I don’t often give voice to my political feelings but they are fierce right now.

  17. Lovely story about the rose! Virginia opened voting on Friday, Septemver 18 and I went to the county registrars office on September 21st and did curbside voting for Joe and Kamala and the Democrat running for Congress. I am sick of Republicans who have no backbone and are enablers. I miss John McCain so much. He was not afraid to stand up to Trump but no other Republican is and it makes me sick that none of them have a backbone.

  18. Good to hear your voice, Susan. So much to learn from Nature. Indeed, we are due for NEW DAWN. Thank you for speaking up as I, too, believe that our nation is endangered and that BIDEN|HARRIS can breath hope into the lives of country whose soul has withered. Much love! Got my ballot in mail today!

  19. I find myself wanting to take a nap until the election is over and (praying) Biden and Harris have been elected. I’m thinking if it weren’t for covid, I’d move to Costa Rica if 45 somehow cheats his way in.

  20. years and years ago I got a brown rose, called Julia’s Rose. Partly I got it because my grandmother who loved roses was named Julia…It turned out to be a pretty tough little plant. I intend to act just like her and vote for what I think is right. Not what someone else or some political group or even some big, big entity thinks. I think Joe Biden is pretty good.
    California lets you chose to vote by mail if you want to – with all the fires (one came within 2 miles of my house), voting by mail sounds pretty good.
    China Bayles is okay, but I really like the way you’re developing the Darling Dahlias as the Great Depression and FDR affect their part of the country.

    • Re: the Dahlias, thank you, Julie! I began that series during our 2008 Crash and following reception, with the feeling that we were reliving the 1930s. That feeling is even stronger now. Lots of lessons to be learned from the way our country met (and didn’t meet) that challenge.

  21. My dad grew 46 different roses in their little suburban garden- New Dawn was one of my very favorites. May the miracle of your New Dawn story prove to be the harbinger of a new dawn for our beleaguered country after November’s election!

  22. Beautifully written, as always, Susan, Thank you! Nature does indeed teach us about resiliency. I have always held close those saying about change, such as with good change comes the hard work, and the most difficult trials come right before the biggest changes. We are all so exhausted and the change, especially of the return of decency, will be a much welcomed relief.

    • I share that exhaustion, Chery–and it’s dangerous. We have to somehow reach down and find whatever it takes to do whatever has to be done. You’re right: hard work, good trouble, biggest change.

  23. Rose bushes that large are very hardy and can be marched up to death and then recover with water….this year it appears you can vote by mail if you have health issues or feel your health is at risk when voting at the voting location…we are going to fed x ours in rather than mail it but travis county has not mailes the ballots out yet….we are voting for biden & harris and praying really hard that enough people will care enough to do the same because the alternative of trump will be very dangerous to the whole planet…

    • “Dangerous to the whole planet,” yes! But if the Dems move into power, we will have to hold them accountable, as well: From the broken place where we are now, they will have to gather all of us together to meet that challenge.

    • Funny how different States have different rules for voting by mail. I have been voting by mail for the last 10 years in NJ. I was first awakened to that option while I was living in NC during the 2008 election. Since I worked in a regional library, I got to see what was going on first hand. Plus one of my library customers was a train engineer and he told me he always did an absentee ballot because he never knew if he would be called into work at the last minute. I am grateful I can vote by mail because I could not stand in line and I can see the ballot better at home.

  24. Susan, your comments were as refreshing to me as the rain was to the New Dawn rose. I appreciate your candor so much. I’m glad that the rose is showing signs of new life and hope that it eventually comes back even better than before. It may be stronger than you suspect. A rose — I think it was the Peggy Martin rose — not only survived Hurricane Katrina, it bloomed. If anyone had told me years ago that our country would be in the state that it is today, I would have thought that it was impossible. I hope that we are able to make something better and more lasting.

  25. I’m glad your New Dawn is still alive. Hope that is an excellent portend for our republic. Be vigilant with the rose bush it’s been weakened. Like other things we hold dear.

    • Yes, you’re right, Linda, we must all be more vigilant. Over the past 4 years, I’ve been increasingly grateful to the investigative reporters who have dug up and assembled facts that help us understand what’s real. We can only be vigilant when we know what’s happening and can pay attention to it.

  26. Susan, enjoy your books and blogs. Keep writing and we will keep reading! Oh my yes! We are voting for Biden/Harris! We are absentee voters too and will be delivering our ballots on Monday.

  27. What a miracle your rose bush is. We need a reminder of resiliency right now and the metaphor “to weather the storm”. Stay safe and well.

  28. I live in Alabama, and we are able to vote by absentee ballot. My husband and I went to the courthouse last week, requested our ballot, and most importantly, cast our ballots. It gave me such satisfaction to vote for Biden‼️

    My hope is that all voters who lean the other way will come to their senses and vote for our country—not against everything it stands for🇺🇸❣️

    • Those of us who live in the South have some special challenges because of our history. Remembering it and pointing out the White Supremacy that still exists (and not just in the South) is painful, but we have to do it.

  29. Love the resurrection of the rose.
    All California residents are to receive mail ballots starting October 5. I voted for Ike in 1956. That’s a long time ago. I’ve never seen a worse time than now. So much of our future depends on winning and I have no faith in the electoral college

    • Oh, the electoral college! Don’t get me started, Margaret! You at least live in CA, where your vote counts. I’m in Texas, and disenfranchised by the long-outdated electoral college process. I’m afraid it won’t be changed in my lifetime, but that change will have to come.

  30. I am happy for you that your rose is blooming again. It is a miracle, this revival of life in anything that appears lifeless. I hold hope that the US will experience a revival of vitality after the malignancy that Trumpland has created. I have a feeling that it will be a slow, painful process but it will be worth it. Here in Michigan we have received our absentee ballots already and will be delivering them personally tomorrow. There are many poignant phrases here in your writing and those of your friends in their newsletter. I have been putting blue hearts in my posts on Facebook. They are to encourage my friends and family to stay hopeful during these terrible times and also to remind them to vote blue. Stay safe and healthy!

    • Blue hearts– such a heartening practice, Lorrie. Thanks for reminding me that even little things can count big when the situation is dire.

  31. What a perfect name for your rose! And I’m so glad it’s surviving to bloom another day. Also, thanks for the quote from PeerSpirit newsletter. I had not heard of this one, and just popped over to their site to subscribe. Times are indeed unsettled and perilous, yet knowing you and others like you are standing for democracy, caring, and other noble aims, I’m heartened. Thanks. Love and prayers, Beth

    • Beth, Christina Baldwin at Peer Spirit is the author of my favorite book on journaling–LIFE’S COMPANION. I’ve taught it many, many times. Ann Linnea wrote a wonderful book about kayaking around Lake Superior. They’re an amazing team.

    • At this crucial point in the American democratic experiment, I believe that we all have a responsibility to voice our choice. I’m responsible for voting for people and policies that that are NOT fueled by hate for others and greed for themselves and their friends.

  32. Really enjoyed your tale about the rose bush. It is a fine example of renewal from disaster. Thanks for your vote for Biden! Together we voters can renew our democracy!

  33. Susan, I have enjoyed and always in some way benefitted from everything you’ve written, including the English composition textbook you wrote back when you were a professor at UT-Austin. Now, here I am, ‘suddenly’ in my 82nd year, living on our family farm on the Blackland Prairie of Central Texas where I was born, determined to keep on living until we have a world that works for all of us. While I am a big Bernie fan and voted for him in the Primary, Biden certainly gets my vote.
    Jane

    • Oh, Jane, you must be thinking of Steps to Structure–how long ago THAT was! Thank you for the reminder; it made me smile this morning. You are one of the privileged, you know, to live on the land where you were born and where your roots are. And I was glad to hear Bernie speaking out last week, so firmly and thoughtfully.

  34. I enjoyed your comments about your rose bush,, and your optimistic attitude. It’s so easy to become depressed in this scary time. I’m re-reading “Blood Orange” and like it.
    Stay safe and well as Fall begins to move in. Some of the leaves are turning here in the Midwest and our temps are to dip into the 40’s this coming week. It’s been such a long summer because of the unknowables – – – friends suffering with Covid 19, trying to keep ourselves safe, and worrying about our country.
    We received our Missouri absentee ballots Thursday, voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and hand-delivered our ballots to our election commission office. Now, we wait and pray that all goes well Nov. 3rd.
    Caroline

    • Caroline, yes, it is thse “unknowables” that are so hard to deal with right now. I’m afraid that our unknowing is likely to stretch out into December. I remember 2000, which was finally settled in SCOTUS. We need to remember that the Younger Bush is the only president elected by one vote–so far. (And after that, 9/11 and Iraq,) Let’s pray that this doesn’t happen again.

  35. Susan. I have been reading your books for years. China is a gem. After 35 years in Texas I returned to Portland, Oregon. I am reading your books again, but on line from the Multnomah County Library. I will vote for Biden. Oregon is one of the six states that allows vote by mail. I double checked to make sure I am registered. Oregon is a blue state, so I have been making contributions to Wendy Davis.
    Glad your rose revived.
    Amorette ( Amy) Bryant

    • Nice to hear from Oregon, Amy/Amorette–you have your troubles there, too. Thinking of the Proud Boys and Portland. Hope the smoke subsides soon.

  36. How Awesome🌹I know I know how easy it is to neglect our plants especially here in Illinois after a long drought continuing to water day after day when reaching the end of our summer we fizzle out on maintaining feeding,pruning etc. Jus finished planting another round if plantings of perennials and spraying them with a non toxic to deter animals from eating🌸🌺🍁

  37. I hope you will look up Senator Amy Klobuchar’s statement from the opening of the Judiciary Committee responding to Senator Cruz. Her power gives me hope. I have lived long enough to know that this too shall pass, but getting through is very hard. Thank you for what you do to lift our spirits with your writing

  38. I love your honesty, your love of life, and your heartfelt words of caution, concern, and of care. We will check to see if our ballots arrived yesterday (a short walk to the cluster-box). We will return them next week. We are voting for Joe Biden. And now for that deep breath.

  39. Having moved permanently to Santa Fe I will be in line October 1 to register to vote and will be able to vote the same day. Having lived and voted in Texas all my life. The move to Santa Fe was a try out before deciding this is the proper place for me to spend the rest of my life. Biden will be my choice as well.

  40. We are totally riding with Biden! We need to take back the senate and not let RBG die for nothing! I was voted president of the MN Herb Society this year and it’s been really difficult to provide events this year, keeping lives safe. We have had a plant exchange in the spring and last month we had a book exchange and a picnic, all being out of doors. We as a group are mostly between the age of 50 and 95 so no one is dying on my watch. We have several of your books out there in circulation and we often buy new ones to add to the fun. Thank you for entertaining us!

  41. I love your rose miracle, and the image of being in a “turning” now.I once read another writer who said it was “not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb.” Watching my mailbox for that ballot like a hawk. I cannot wait to vote for Joe Biden, and for a new Congresswoman in my district. I plan to drive my ballot completed, sealed in its special PA secrecy envelope, duly signed and dated, etc. to the courthouse as soon as I get my hands on it. Be well!

    • I love your story and the message I got is that with a little nurturing from nature things can come alive again! I too am voting for Biden, but I am doing it in person! Hopefully we can see a new dawn and a new rebirth from the barren desert!

    • Thank you, Linda. I don’t know the source of your quote, but it was Mary Oliver who wrote: “Someone I loved once gave me/a box full of darkness./It took me years to understand/that this, too, was a gift.”

      I don’t know that we’ll ever look back on these four years with gratitude, but perhaps we can be grateful for being forced to submit to a long, hard civics lesson.

  42. In Wimberley, we’re enjoying a second spring because of that nicely timed rain and the early cool down, perfect for the Monarchs who are flying over us this week. I just finished reading The Poinsettia Puzzle and about to start your Deadlines trilogy. I so enjoy your books. Thank you for writing them. I want to recommend a book by Brene Brown called Braving the Wilderness. It gave me such insight and made me feel good, like your books but for a different reason. One chapter is entitled, “Speak truth to BS. Be civil.” Biden, yes, definitely.

    • Are you sure those are ballots? More likely, they are invitations to submit a ballot request to your local voting authority. There’s an important distinction here. I have received ballot-request forms from both parties. These are sent by other activist groups, as well. Another friend reported receiving six of these ballot-request forms. They are NOT ballots.

  43. Oh Susan. It makes my heart feel good hearing from you. A needed boost in such frightening times. I am awaiting my ballot too. Another 4 years like we have had will do irreparable damage I fear. Blessings to you and yours. Hilary

    • I will be voting for Biden and against Lindsey Graham too. Hope my vote will count but since I live in a red state and the Electoral College still rules….I am frightened for the future of the USA..

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