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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Not Admiring Duty

Duty without empathy and imagination is handsome.

And dangerous.

This is what Robert E. Lee said. “Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more; you should never wish to do less.” 

This is what I say. “Duty” is a clichéd moral value lobbed at us by men (sic) who seem to assume leadership is about getting other people to do the work and take the risks at hand.”

What's in that Museum?

Do you go to museums? I enjoy them, but I think they are more complicated than we give them credit for.

This past weekend Len and I and our daughters, plus Len’s sister and her teenage sons, spent the day at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. At 400,000 square feet, the MSI is a huge old place; the buildings were part of Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 that were re-purposed into the Museum during Chicago’s 1933 Century of Progress. (An aunt once told me about seeing a black and white electrical show in a box at the Century of Progress. They called it television.)

Surprise Dancing Lessons 1/7/2018

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.)

December Seen Things 12/31/2017

Happy New Year's Eve!

Here is the latest edition of Things Seen in December.

You need to click on the icon to open it. It's small. 

PDF icon12-31-17_vol_1.pdf

My New Year’s Resolution

I mentioned to Len this morning that this year I am going to make a New Year’s resolution. Usually I don’t make resolutions because I don’t believe people change (very much) by determining to “do better starting tomorrow.”  The person who works mightily to stop eating cookies tonight - while there are still cookies in the house - is probably going to become healthier than the person who is going to Stop Eating All the Sugar and Only Eat Roasted Brussel Sprouts … starting tomorrow.  Don’t ask me how I know.

A Request for More Readers

A Request from Me to You

I just finished the She Writes post about being more courageous and stubborn on my own behalf.

This fits right in. I’m asking you to consider doing something on my behalf.

Do you know a person who might like to read this website?  If you are here you already know I write about frugality, I write random essays, I tell you about places I went and books I’ve read. I am fascinated by colonial American history. I repost things I wrote ages ago. Sometimes I write short stories.

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