Autumn Transitions

Dinner salad, Oct. 7, 2019

Leaves of deciduous trees are turning to autumn.

Despite the changing season there was local lettuce, bell peppers, radishes, kohlrabi and tomatoes to make a fresh salad with last night’s pasta dinner.

I made the pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes as well.

Red Delicious apples are at peak ripeness. As I picked another bushel under an azure sky, I couldn’t resist eating those I knocked to the ground. The variety is unjustly maligned… and delicious.

Three things stand out in the second half of 2019: coping with diabetes, Mother’s death, and increased political activity.

When I was diagnosed with type two diabetes on May 13 I reacted with a lifestyle change. I counted carbohydrates consumed, then in September added counting calories. At around 200 carbs and less than 1,800 calories per day, I shed 15 percent of body weight since May 6. While my daily numbers are not exact, they accomplished what we hoped. I also keep track of exercise and work toward getting at least a half hour done daily. On Aug. 19 my A1C had reduced from “diabetes” to “prediabetes.” I’m hoping to get a clean bill of health during my November doctor’s appointment, fingers crossed.

I haven’t processed Mother’s Aug. 15 death. I feel her absence yet I’m not sure what it means now or going forward. My own mortality is in relief. I want to phone her, but she’s not there.

My calendar is filling up with political work. I decided to support Elizabeth Warren in the Feb. 3, 2020 Iowa caucus. My Warren organizer provided tools to begin a precinct canvass. I look forward to making the initial contacts. The presidential race is only part of it.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst has been popular in the state so making her a single-term senator will be challenging. Five Democrats announced campaigns for the nomination which will be decided in the June 2, 2020 primary election. In order for a potential Democratic president to make progressive change, a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate is required. Unseating Ernst will be a high priority after the February caucus.

My congressman Dave Loebsack announced his retirement. Retaining control of this seat is a high priority. There are two Democrats competing for the nomination with Rita Hart favored to win over Newman Abuissa. This race will also wait until after the precinct caucuses.

Yesterday Iowa House Republican legislators chose their leadership team. Democrats hope to regain the majority in the lower chamber. Our state senator Zach Wahls is not up for re-election in 2020, and no one has been able to beat Rep. Bobby Kaufmann since redistricting after the 2010 census. If there is a viable candidate for state representative this cycle, he or she will require some bandwidth. Kaufmann hasn’t announced a re-election campaign, but it is expected.

Today presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is scheduled to appear at a house party hosted by a long-time neighbor. I’m making an apple crisp for the event. Macoun and Northern Spy apples are warming on the counter after storage in the ice box. When I publish this post I’ll head upstairs to make the dessert and hope something meaningful came from this piece of writing.