Sunday, October 3, 2010


You'll never guess what I saw in the woods last week.

No, it wasn't a black bear [though there have been reports in these parts...]

And it wasn't a cougar, either [but a few hours north of here, there have been multiple sightings...]

Get this: I saw a senator.

It was 8 o'clock on a Sunday morning. The dog and I had the whole place to ourselves -- we passed not a soul on the crushed gravel path, no one except for the squirrels. But after we had turned around for home, I saw a pair of people round the corner just ahead. I shortened Emma's leash to prepare for the passing [not everyone likes dogs sniffing at their shins, I always figure].

Hello, how are ya? was halfway out of my mouth when I recognized him.

Russ Feingold.

I reigned in the reflexive double-take, though I probably stared a little longer than is customary when passing a stranger. I also stole a backward glance once I was safely behind him. I felt a little giddy. Russ Feingold.

Really, this wasn't SUCH an unusual sighting. I mean, he lives right across from the middle school the kids will attend. But still. 

At home, I told the kids about my walk: I saw Russ Feingold in the woods today!

Eliza (my "3 and a half-er") responded: Oh, good! That's why we vote for him!

Hm. Um.

Yah, kind of.

Politically? I'm a die-hard Apathetic. I tune out when folks around me start arguing about policy. I change the channel on political ads.

I just can't get fired up about the promises these guys make during election year. I understand the issues are important and I know we need to get things done, but I'm sick of party politics and all the unseen crap that boils under the surface. 

And I never see anyone running on my platform -- no one is out there vowing to create policy according to the Golden Rule. Can't we all just be kind to each other? Seriously?

I know it's all so much more complex than that. I know. I KNOW.

But I still want to cover my ears when folks start arguing about politics. And I cringe every time I see a campaign commercial.

But I like Russ Feingold. I think he's a good guy. People talk about how he's lived in my community for years. How he has a reputation for independence, voting against his party to stand up for what he believes in. I admire that. Respect that.

Feingold faces a tough race this year -- polls call him the underdog. A lot of folks don't think he'll win. That his 18 years in office are over. I'm not interested in listening to them argue. But I will voice my opinion on Election Day. Even though I'm a staunch Apathetic, I'll be out there to cast my vote.

Will you?