2020 Isolation Grow: Survive & Vote

Nov 2, 20202020 Isolation Grow Blog

This has been a challenging summer for me physically. I had hernia surgery just before the pandemic hit, and about six weeks prior to cracking open seeds, so my recovery from that coincided with the grow. Physical rehabilitation is usually better when it’s not butting heads against competing activities. I’ll have a few months over winter to reset my workout schedule, revise it a bit, and then hold fast in my new discipline. At my age, it’s more of a challenge to get back in shape than it was only a few years ago. Such is life.

This week is why I’ve worked so hard to survive this year. It is why we’ve kept our gate primarily closed, and mostly locked since this pandemic began. This is why I’ve done all my exercise since the pandemic started on my property, and mostly around my deck. This is why Karen and I have been in a deep isolation quarantine since March 7, almost eight months.

At the end of most of my blogs this summer, I’ve included one line: Survive and vote.

That has served as a reminder to me, and a plea to each of you. I want you to survive this pandemic, and all the negativity and hatred in the world at this time. I want you to survive and be better than all that, and I want you to be part of the solution.

That means while you read this, if you have not done so already, I would like you to vote. 

I have voted in every election possible in my lifetime. I take my vote seriously. I have voted for candidates I truly admired, and I have voted for people strictly because I could not stand the other person available to select. I have placed votes that I later came to regret, and I’ve voted for candidates that did not inspire me initially, only to win me over later.

There are no guarantees your vote is going to deliver the outcome you most desire.

But if you care about your family, your friends, others with opinions similar to yours, or your country in general, you must vote. You must vote to protect the vulnerable. You must vote to defend the rights of others who are being stomped on by our current government.

You must vote for the immigrant children STILL SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES by this administration.

You must vote to help protect those who can no longer protect themselves, like some seniors we all know.

You must vote to help offset the people voting against what you believe. 

You must vote to help bring in an administration that works for all of us, not just the people who voted for them.

You must vote, because the way things are right now, IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, NOR IS IT NORMAL.

You must vote, because our country is literally at a tipping point, the likes of which I’ve never seen in my life. We could go one way, or another . . . DEPENDING ON HOW YOU VOTE.

I have worked this entire season in hope that I might provide some inspiration and guidance for someone waking up to a life of pain, and/or caretaking for someone you love who is in pain. In writing this blog, I have made certain to never introduce the kind of negativity currently permeating our world. I have never, not once, sullied a single page with the name of the person I’m NOT voting for.

I have written this blog as an alternative to the negative news in our world. I have written this, hopefully, as an educational escape. I hope I have not only described how to grow, but how it is to live and grow in harmony with the land on which we occupy. 

What I’m saying to you right now is this: If you enjoyed this blog, if you appreciate the effort it took, or the goals it has attempted to accomplish, please go vote.

Mind you, I’m an author with books for sale. I could be asking you to buy my books (and that would be nice), but what I really want you to do right now is put down this blog and go vote.

I’m not telling you who to vote for. I just want you to exercise your right, and to do so for yourself, but mostly do it for everyone else. Because when you vote for others, for a cause larger than your own, that’s when voting can be so cool. It’s a little like a birthday present, only it’s one that lots of people can share in the joy at the same time. 

I will also admit that the candidate I most supported is not on the ticket. That candidate did not win the nomination. I was bummed about that for a time.

I got over it when I soberly looked at the choice we are facing today. This is no time to sit on the sidelines and pout.

I’m 63 years old, folks. This is the twelfth time I’ve voted for President. I’ve voted for the winner five times and the loser six times. I have been deeply involved in some campaigns, really emotionally vested, and others where I placed the vote and walked away without much of a care. A long life is like that. But this year is not like that.

For the last twelve years, I felt my vote in 2008 was the most important of my lifetime. It’s also the vote of which I am the most proud. I suspect my vote in 2008 will always be the vote for which I’m most proud.

But this year is the most important vote I’ll ever make, and I’ve already made it. But I’m not content with that. 

I want to encourage you to vote. Right now. It’s not too late. I know it’s risky. Put on your mask and gloves. Keep your distance from others. Block out the noise if there are negative people trying to do negative things. You’re voting. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE THERE. You are exercising your right as a citizen to stand up and say, “This is what I think, and my vote counts.”

Never have we needed your vote more than now. Not at any other time in my life has it been so crucial to stand and be counted.

There is one blog left in this series. I want to feel joy while I write it, but I’ll only feel that way if you vote. How will I know if you voted? By the results, of course.

I ask you now to stand with me and vote. Vote for the candidate you believe in with all your heart.

That’s what we did. Our entire family voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

We have all survived to this day. Please join us, and vote.

Back with the final blog on Friday.


Jeffery Hickey
Oaksterdam Alumni

Jeffrey Hickey is a 2014 IPPY award winning novelist, performing in over 900 Reader’s Theater shows that featured his authorship of adult novels, and books for children. His accomplishments include a program of self-empowerment and effective oral communication, “Find Your Voice,” that he taught in public and private schools throughout Northern California. Jeffrey is the father of twin sons, and is arguably the happiest married man on the planet.