The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Monday, September 19, 2005


In the midst of all the problems in the world, I suppose I should be embarrassed that I had one of the world's BEST vacations this month. We joined our friends Gerd and Duncan Ritchie in Orleans (no, not NEW Orleans, just Orleans...) and had loads of fun biking, hiking, walking the beach, eating, drinking, drinking, eating and laughing. I never did get any crab imperial or Wellfleet mix, but besides that it was perfect.

However, the reason I'm not embarrassed is that I am about to embark on a major outreach effort in my job, notifying 30,000 Medicare beneficiaries that their lives are going to change. I will be working nights, weekends and any other kind of calendar settings someone can dream up. I'll be on the phone or in public constantly. I will be the recipient of more unfocused anxiety than you can shake a stick at. So the least I can do is feed my soul in preparation.

My soul having been fed, I am also embarking in my private life working on the Affordable Care Today (ACT!) campaign in conjunction with Health Care for All. We are trying to collect 100,000 signatures, so my personal goal for Berkshire County (although if the truth be told my 'catchment area' is the whole Senate district...) is 2,000 signatures since we are 2% of the population of the state (Senate district is 2.5%) I'm trying to get 40 people to get 50 signatures each of registered voters. (I guess it really should be 50 and 50 to account for the whole Senate district...) So I'm going to try my best. If not now, when? If not here, where? If not me, who?

I am hesitant to make any comment on the state of the world, nation or state. I hear so much drivel that it seems virtually impossible that there are so many stupid people out there. So for now I will keep my thoughts to myself and just hunker down and try to make the world a better place. My commitment to this posture will probably last no more than five days, so I'm sure I'll be ranting and raving in this space soon.

But until then, I am going to try to bathe in the memories of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Nantucket Whaling Museum, dinner at Chillingsworth's, ice cream at Nauset Beach (September schedule: Open on sunny days 11-4), and more wine and lobster than you can shake a martini at.

Find someone today who needs a kind word. It's the autumnal equinox, and people who struggle with emotional ups and downs find this a very difficult time. I'm going to try NOT to think about the days getting shorter, but how beautiful the leaves will be in October.

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