Windy today. Raw, too. The National Weather Service in Binghamton issued a wind advisory for pretty much all of Northeastern Pennsylvania until 7 p.m. From the advisory:

IMPACTS: Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

PRECAUTIONS: Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

I drive a low-profile vehicle, but I saw plenty of unsecured outdoor objects blowing around on my drive to the office this morning. Most of the Times-Tribune reporting staff is still working from home, but with The Most Important Election in Modern History culminating (we hope) tomorrow, I had to come in and take care of some technical preparations. 

“Liberated” campaign signs littered lawns and streets. The carnage was bipartisan, which isn’t something we see a lot here in Our Stiff Neck of the Woods. I parked in the Marketplace at Steamtown garage and stopped at Starbucks before trudging up the block to the Times Building, which COVID-19 closed to the public months ago. 

I ordered four shots with steamed half-and-half in a tall cup. One of the baristas brought up the election and the other cried out “Oh, I just want this to be over!” She was referring to the election, but her objection applies to the coronavirus pandemic, the cratered economy, racial injustice and the specter of violence in reaction to election results.

Whatever it is, WE WANT IT OVER!!! 

The barista and I had a good laugh and commiserated, but I told her what I tell you now: We’re going to be OK. The next few days and weeks and months to follow are bound to be weird and ugly and messy and yes, likely to include violence in some places. Dread of what could happen the day after this election fuels much of the election fatigue most of us seem to be feeling. 

But this election will end, one way or another. Beyond deciding my own behavior, I can’t control what happens in its wake. What I CAN DO is VOTE. So can the baristas. So can YOU. The clock is running out on our democracy. If you aren’t alarmed enough to VOTE, you haven’t been paying attention or just don’t give a damn, likely both.

Those of us who do give a damn (and other curses I can’t use here) must be a cleansing, unrelenting, irresistible wind, sweeping aside the debris of the last four years and pushing the nation back onto the high road to recovery.  VOTE. It’s the one thing within our control, and the only thing that will change the miserable status quo. VOTE. 

Walking the block to the office, I noticed a face mask tumbling end over end down the sidewalk, carried by the wind. It reminded me that the president is flying in tonight for a taxpayer-funded superspreader event at the airport. The Cult 45 Rally is set to began just as the NWS wind advisory expires. 

I’m not a meteorologist, but an emergency Hot Air Advisory seems appropriate. 

VOTE.