I felt fortunate recently to be in Roanoke during the peak of the fall leaves. I snapped this shot from our deck on November 1. The shot reminds me of how beautiful the Roanoke Valley can be. The colors aren't with us very long, but they always leave a lasting impression. It's always easier to let your mind wander back to remember the good things than it is to deal with some of the tough things that we face every day.
The election will be here in a flash. My guess is that we will have just as many tough problems three months after the elections as we have today. The difference I hope is that we will have some people with fresh ideas who are more committed to doing the right things for the country than they are to spending all their energy trying to stay in power forever. If we don't see a change, we should work hard to get new people to run for office. We cannot afford to endure another several years of corruption, and I'm referring to a disease that isn't a stranger in either of the political parties.
I'm hoping the fear mongering ends, and someone can emerge who is dedicated to bringing out the best in our country not the worst. I have seen enough of politics defined by division and fear. I hope we can prove we're smarter than politicians think we are. If we don't elect new people, we deserve exactly what we'll get, more of the same, lame, corrupt, and petty politicians whose greatest pleasure is lining the pockets of those organizations who footed the bill for their election.
It would be absolutely wonderful to see some national leadership on transportation. Certainly it doesn't look like Virginia can figure out its own mess by itself. The Interstate Highways were a federal initiative, but they are badly in need of upgrades. Certainly Interstate 81 is a classic case, but the last thing we need is more pollution belching trucks coming down through the valley. Our landscape holds in the fumes, and I for one don't want to see the Shenandoah Valley turned into a three hundred miles long version of Los Angeles. There has to be a better way. If not, we'll be paying for the inaction with health problems and fewer opportunities to see those beautiful Roanoke Valley colors.
Vote, but vote wisely.