The alternating red and blue yard signs are long gone, and people here have gone back to familiar rhythms of life. Long morning commutes, after school soccer games and maybe a family dinner at Clyde's Willow Creek Farm.
But, as Barack Obama begins his second term, the air is decidedly unchanged in this northern Virginia community of tidy subdivisions and endless rows of townhouses.
After a viciously fought, pavement-pounding political campaign, the people are left divided, the gulf between them wide like the grassy medians that separate left and right sides of the roads that lead to the nation's capital.
There is the reliably Republican old Ashburn. Some of those folks remember lush fields and woods brimming with redbuds and ash. Legend has it the place took its name from an old ash struck by lightning so hard that it smoldered for a week.
There is the new divided Ashburn that looks like America's new normal. An explosion of growth in the last two decades turned this place from a largely white conservative constituency to one that is darker-skinned and comprised of more professional women. They call themselves progressive thinkers and are a big reason that Obama in 2008 became the first Democrat to win here -- and in the state of Virginia -- since Lyndon B. Johnson's victory in 1964.
This time, the commonwealth again hung in the balance. Loudoun County was a battleground within a battleground. Ashburn was its epicenter.
In the end, Obama took Virginia with 51% of the vote to Mitt Romney's 47%, but Obama won in Ashburn's nine precincts by a mere 212 votes. In the Belmont Ridge precinct, the difference was six votes. That's how close it was here.
The people in Ashburn hold widely differing visions of how to steer America in the next four years, but they are tired of the partisan bickering in the halls of power in Washington. They wonder what happened to the voices of reason, the voices of moderation.
About eight in 10 people see partisan divide as the largest conflict among Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last week.
As Obama takes the inaugural oath Monday, the wish from divided Ashburn is voiced in unison: Mr. President, they say, "We want you to work with Congress. We want you to fix America."
America, the patient
Mike Oberschneider, 44, founded his Ashburn psychology practice in a suite of offices atop a strip-mall grocery called Giant. He was attracted to the area for the same reasons so many others are: a high standard of living, good schools and Washington just 40 miles away.
Ashburn boasts the nation's highest median household income, in part because of dual incomes. Many here work for the federal government, defense contractors and tech companies. Facebook, Amazon, Wikipedia and Microsoft all have data centers in the area. More than 50% of the world's Internet data runs through Loudoun County.
But it is also a place where housing and the costs of daily life are high and when the economy started its downward plunge, people felt the stress.
Oberschneider believes the wave of optimism Obama rode in 2008 quickly waned as the recession choked America.
One day gas was $3.50; the next month, it was $4.50, he says. One day the Dow closed at 12,000. The next it plunged to 8,000. It all made for an uncertainty that began to commandeer people's lives.
"Mitt Romney and Barack Obama entered the room a lot more than I thought they would," Oberschneider says of his sessions with patients. "We're not feeling confident as a nation that we're doing well."
Oberschneider, who voted for Obama in 2008 but not in 2012, says the president was dealt a bad hand. He took office last time just when the recession was taking hold. "But he played it all wrong," Oberschneider believes. And it got too negative and too aggressive all too quickly.
Before Obama places his hand on the Bible on Monday and begins his second term as president, Oberschneider wants to tell him this:
"I'd like to see you stretch your ideological bandwidth," he says. "Holding on to an ideology, even though it's true to your heart, is not the right approach."
He sees America like one of his patients -- perhaps an alcoholic or someone in a failing marriage. The patient is in bad shape and Obama needs to help.
"I don't think it mattered who won -- Obama or Romney. We'd be facing the same problems," he says.
"As a nation, we need to get more responsible. Debate less. Agree more."
They all eat BBQ but they don't vote the same way
Not far from where that ash tree is said to have smoldered, there's a blazing fire at Danny Hurdle's barbecue joint. Everything here is pig. Pig aprons, pig signs, pig candy holders. A chalkboard next to the entrance proclaims: "Today's pig was from South Mills, N.C."