Mary Beth Writes

One of the realities I like quite fiercely about becoming an “Older Person” is this. When the world tells me how to think or feel – I recognize that message coming at me and I am confident enough to agree - or disagee - or simply walk away.

I am deliciously cranky enough now to object to signs that tell me to “Feel Joy” or or “Friends, Family, Heart” or “Love Lives Here”.   Maybe I need a sign that says, “Watch Out, She’s Deliciously Cranky” ...

When it comes to The Holidays, this attitude is interesting. If I am no longer responsible to “Celebrate His Birth” or “Make Christmas Happen”, then what’s the deal?

It’s December and all I really want to do is be awake in it.

So that’s what I am going to do here.  As often as I can get around to it I am going to post – not what I think you should see or feel in The Happiest Time of the Year.  And not what I think is Fabulously Festive or Particularly Pious.

But just what I see. Because what we see, who we interact with, what we do in our days – that’s the good stuff. In this falling apart and realigning world we seem to be living in now – let’s watch what is instead of harping at each other about what used to be or ought to be next.

Let’s just look around at December.

Have you noticed that when you feel really stressed or angy or upset – if you go outside and look up at the sky for a while – some of your urgency of emotion seems to dissipate and it is easier to breath?

December sky

I was buying bibs for my granddaughter – and this made me laugh outloud.

We put our tree on our front porch.  When it gets sunny, the porch gets hot and Lulu loves to sleep onher tuffet.  She never gets bored sleeping in the sun.

When I was a kid my Grandpa Anderson generally had peppermints in his pockets, so if I sat on his lap in church, he’d give me one. Grandma would roll her eyes and whisper a hush when the wrapper crinkled.

Decades later I read that some Hebrew Midrash writer advised giving children sweets during the reading of Torah, so they will learn that religion is sweet.  Maybe all the religions of earth should claim peppermints as our mutual communion, and hand them out to each other often.

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Comments

Love this! Especially the part about candy during church. I too am trying to notice things around me more.

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Why is it so hard to keep a poor Black man who has committed NO crime out of jail?

(Our Brother’s back story is here:  https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/what-happens-personal-finances-when-one-grows-poor-and-black-america )

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Our Brother is not in jail. This has been a challenge for him, for the people he loves, and for those of us who try to help and support him. Keeping O.B. out of jail is a modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress.

“Oh,” you ask. “Did he commit a crime?”

Love, two days later.

As some of you know it was an unromantically large number of years ago when Len gave me flowers. (The story is here.) 

The next morning, he drove me home on his way to work (read the first article if you have forgotten how why I spent the night at his house and in his bed…)

He ignored me for a day while I rested and recuperated in my apartment.

#UTLAStrong!

My niece Susan is a speech therapist educator in the Los Angeles public schools. She is on strike and I am proud to be in her family. Teachers are the foundation of everything else we all do. For most of the skills most of us depend on to live our lives - If no one teaches you, you don’t know.   

Some Unrelated Observations 12/31/18

I'm working on some big projects lately, so here are some small thoughts along the way. 

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Mansfield Park is Jane Austen’s weirdest novel. Jane-Readers love Jane because her best characters are bright women stuck in situations too small for them. Their observations are bitingly perceptive; you see their inner spirit and you identify, identify, identify.

I’m amazed at critics who think that those of us who love Jane Austen are not-quite-evolved humans; how can we love a book about a girl in a big dress catching her man?

A Small, True Christmas Eve Story

Christmas Eve is when we remember that we are capable of wonder and astonishment. It is a day for unexpected light and warmth, for animals who speak, and for people who thought no one was looking - becoming the center of a love story.

Four Days Up North

If you click into the icon that's right here, you can read my take on our recent small vacation to northern Wisconsin. We hiked - and took photos!  Pictures are by both of us, though a lot of the most astounding ones are from Len and his 10-year old Nikon. 

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