Sal’s (and mine) nephew and niece are with us. And it is really great! Yesterday, we hauled an old boat up on to the beach after first pulling a log into place on which to place it. Lots of heaving and winching and ‘making do’ with rocks and hammers and made-from-rebar spikes. The beach was rocky and irregular. The tide was not quite high enough but close. A real ‘woodsy’ chore. E wading into the lagoon up to her knees, J winching like a pig on steroids, me running a second winch and Sal pulling on ropes. Up it all came. We all felt like we had accomplished something. We are back in the OTG game!
It’s Fall, of course, and a lot of OTG stuff slows down. We still have a lot of chores to work on but the pace morphs from glacial to cobweb-and-dew. We just don’t get much done on any given day but, overall, things still progress. But part of our excuse this time, as you all know, was and is our pre-occupation with the election.
Which I will leave uncommented on. You know how I feel.
But, here’s a bit on it in a directly related way: Sal was a polling clerk to the returning officer. She had to ‘vet’ the voters and give ’em their ballot and all that. She worked the booth with one of our neighbours, Doug (he will remain anonymous even when named because every other guy up here is named Doug). They had the polling station set up at the old community house (about 800 sft) and were obliged to open up at 7:00 AM and remain open til 7:00 PM. A smidge ‘over-the-top’ for an expected turnout of about 50 or so. Still, the first couple were waiting at the door having arrived minutes before Sal and Doug. It was 6:50. They had to wait ten minutes. Doug is a stickler for the rules. Everything is done by the book and done absolutely perfectly.
Bear in mind that Sal left home just after 6:00 AM. In her small 11 foot boat. It was foggy. It was dark. And it was raining. She couldn’t see. She used her compass to creep up the coast. I shone house lights for her to have a ‘bearing’ from which to navigate. About half way there, the skies opened up and it dumped on her. When she eventually climbed up the hill to the old community house, she and Doug met the first two voters in a cold, dark room and set up the booth and opened all the necessary books and ballots. Over the course of the next twelve hours 54 people came in, most of them around mid-day.
I arrived at 6:00 PM and was the last voter. I went up so I could see Sal home. After the close of the polls, I scrutinized their efforts as a Canadian is allowed to do and I found the whole task quite confusing and complicated although they seemed to have it all together. It took an hour to count 54 votes, tally what needed tallying, seal what needed sealing, and doing the bureaucracy that needed doing. We left the place at about 8:15. It was dark. It was drizzling. We were several hundred yards up in the forest. There were no lights.
We eventually got in our respective boats. The wind was up. It was pitch black. We stayed close to one another. We headed slowly home arriving there by 9:00. Maybe 9:30 what with tying up boats and bailing and gassing up.
Normally – out here – the vote would go Green. Out of 50 votes, maybe 30 would be Green, 15 would be NDP and the balance sprinkled over the Liberals and the Cons. This time, the vote was strategic and the majority went one way – NDP – that party deemed the most likely to unseat the Cons. Still, all parties registered votes.
Sally, the part-time post mistress and construction-worker, the burgeoning quilter, gourmet cook and book editor, the gardener, the OTG chatelaine and urban veteran retiree gone feral added elections officer to her resume.
And you wonder what we do all day out here?