Hoping and Baking

So it’s about 6:30 a.m. on Election Day and I just fussed with my bread. Yesterday I put together Mark Bittman’s No Knead Dough which takes 18 hours to rise, thinking this would be a welcome distraction on a day where I could really use a welcome distraction. I also made about 12 lists, updated every calendar in my house, and put together a chart of “No Excuses November” goals. It was on line 29 of the chart that I realized what I was doing: Trying to bring order to my anxieties.

I wrote postcards. I text banked. I texted all my swing state friends and acquaintances to make sure they were planning to vote. I had tough conversations in my own house, explaining why this vote like none before (and God willing none to come) can be about your pocketbook. 

And now I’m baking bread. I’m biting my nails. I’m avoiding the news, because watching the news this early feels like watching Old Yeller: I’ll be shouting at the TV, desperately convinced if I keep saying, “No! No!” I can change the movie and he won’t die. 

In all my previous lives I’ve been in a control room on election night. In 2008 I was a sophomore in college, working the Rockbridge Report. In 2012 I was in New York City working the smart board with John Dickerson. In 2016 I was back in New York City producing Charlie Rose’s mini panels with commentators like Jamelle Bouie and Peggy Noonan. 

In 2020, I’m on my couch with all media turned off, and a printed out copy of Mark Bittman’s No Knead bread recipe. 

I’m hoping for news that Americans chose hope, kindness, civility, justice and respect. I’m hoping to wake up in a few days and know this is again the country where I want to raise a family, where I feel safe, where I feel proud. 

Wherever you are, I hope you have some lists to make or bread to bake or a plan to get you through this day. And if you haven’t voted already, make a plan to vote. It might take all day, which is fine, it’s better than sitting on your hands. Vote like your life depends on it. Vote, because it makes you feel big and strong. If you’re in DC or Virginia, same-day registration is allowed. Check this list to see if your state allows it.


Alicia Amling View All →

Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.

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