Mary Beth Writes

This is almost a quote from Kurt Vonnegut. “Unexpected travel is a dancing lesson from God.” (Vonnegut said “Peculiar travel suggestions are…” or some such; I need to reread Cat’s Cradle.)

Our daughter called on Tuesday afternoon -- and the answer was: “Sure, we can take care of the sick baby while you guys go to work.” She was sick with Hand, Foot, Mouth disease which runs rampant in daycare sites. Most of her little friends had it, too. . https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/index.html  It was going to be at least three days at home; our daughter and son-in-law had a bunch of excellent reasons why this was going to be very hard for them to do.

So we drove to Chicago Tuesday night and spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with our 1-year old grandkid.

Here is a surprise in case you were thinking about visiting Chicago. The Hotel Versy is a renovated 100-year old hotel right at Clark and Diversy; the heart of Chicago’s trendy, upscale Lakeview neighborhood. http://www.hotelversey.com/#gref 

Hotel Versey is attractive, super-clean and functional, with Chicago themed décor. Right now the price is $65-70/night! This cost will skyrocket as the weather gets nicer and Cubs games happen (its walking or a short bus ride distance from Wrigley). A price like this rearranges one’s thinking about visiting a city in January!

Our kids put us up there because their condo is too small for overnight guests. We would get to their apartment at 7AM (which is why you can see the moon in this photo). Our son-in-law was already gone to work and our daughter would be leaving within the hour.

Chicago at 6:5AM

Taking care of one almost-toddler (she will be walking within the month)? Yikes! Awesome, exhausting, hard on the muscles (I don’t generally get down on the floor and then back up 27 times a day). We love her so much. She is funny for a person that small and new. If she didn’t have our attention, she knew she could get it by putting a toy on her head. I don’t know where she gets her humor….

She was pretty sick Wednesday and Thursday. She drank and ate enough, but she was punky and uncomfortable. By Friday she was much better. She had blisters around her mouth and a few in other inconvenient places, but they were drying up.

Isn’t it interesting how you can see, feel, and intuit healing in people you know and love – even when they can’t talk?  Her face was more relaxed, there were more toys on her head and fat toddler book dumped into our laps as she edged close to be picked up and read to.

Of course, because life is just this complicated, by Thursday evening our daughter realized she had a fever and was sick! We watched the baby Friday as she went to a doctor. Luckily, as is common for most healthy adults, her HFM disease was not as blistery and awful as the baby’s. By Friday afternoon she felt human again, too, so we came home.

Len and I don’t know if we have antibodies. Time will tell, so we are staying Far from the Madding Crowd until mid-week.  

Dancing Lessons from God.

What a week.

Comments

Poor kid! Germs are the worst! Glad you're able to help out in that way. Yes, it's exhausting, but rewarding as well. I hope to see you soon! C

Maybe you will spot us Wednesday night - if we are not spotted.

HFM?? Those of us who are childless (and of course grandchildless) miss out on many things -- this is one I am happy to miss.!

Grandparents are a blessing from God! I bet Lilly and Pete think so, too.

I love Chicago. So far this year, we have spent about as much time there as in Wisconsin. It was also good to know that we can still find a parking spot on the street (at least one day!). But having a granddaughter to visit was the best ever.

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Read this, Friends. "Home" by Warsan Shire

I just read this poem. The small part I can do today is pass it along to you.

https://genius.com/Warsan-shire-home-annotated

Home by Warsan Shire

(Shire was born in Kenya to Somali parents. She migrated with her family, as a child, to Great Britain.)

 

Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

To Never Return - “No Great Mischief” by Alistair MacLeod

I read a remarkable book that I think some of you might like to read, also.

It’s “No Great Mischief” by Alistair MacLeod (1936-2014) and it is considered one of the Canada’s finest novels.  

The book is set in the 1980’s; Alexander MacDonald is the narrator. Curiously there will be three Alexander MacDonalds in this novel; each lives out a particular destiny of immigrants to North America, each moves the modern story ahead.

Our Un-rocky 4000 Mile Road Trip to the Rockies

I am very happy to have this website back! So is Len ... now he can go go on to OTHER projects on his list.  Fixing this after the attack-hack of early May - it was not an easy thing. 

But we're good to go now ...

While I was offline I was one a big old road trip to the Canadian Rockies. And then I was writing about it.

Some of you remember the Prairie Dog Quadrilateral - my weekly newsletter. I published it in PDF mode because it allows me to add a lot of photos.

(Don't) Send in the Clowns

Where this blog-post started: Several posts ago “The Non-Consumer Advocate” was about clowns. Specifically, the weird clown flotsam one finds when thrifting.  Here’s what Katy Wolk-Stanley posted at her site. http://thenonconsumeradvocate.com/goodwill-badwill-questionable-will-clowns-clowns-more-clowns/  

Marching for Our Lives in Milwaukee Today

Len and I went to the March for our Lives in Milwaukee today.

Here are of our observations and thoughts.

First: There were as many not-young people as young ones. It was the most age-diverse protest/march I have ever attended and that felt good. This is a young person’s movement right now, and that's awesome – but the reality when one is there feels far less “youth vs old people” than the media makes this out to be. People young and old and in-between want our laws to reflect the common sense of the majority of American citizens.

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