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

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Cahokia

Last week we went to Cahokia with our pals, Otis and David. Our Corps of Discovery (not to be confused with Lewis and Clark’s expedition of the same name) started because, at my daughter’s request, Otis had sewn a quilt for her. Len and I decided it would be fun to drive to the central Illinois village where he lives to pick it up, thus saving them the fortune it would cost to ship it.

And if one is going to be tootling down along the Mississippi River, why not hop on down to Cahokia, across from St. Louis?

I mean, how much further can it be? 

4th Thoughts

I’m reading a new book about the Upper Midwest, late 1500’s - 1750ish.  The book is Indian Women and French Men; Rethinking Cultural Encounter in the Western Great Lakes, by Susan Sleeper-Smith - and I am reading it as avidly as my granddaughter listens to story hour. 

This is from the introduction: “In kin-based societies, behaviors change as people struggle either to attain or retain symbolic capital – what people sense as honor, prestige, respect, or authority.”

Pastor Betty Rendon has been Deported by Our ICE

This is on Facebook this morning:
...
 Here is a message posted by Pastor Betty Rendon, who landed yesterday in Bogotá after being d

Spring is Blooming!

Please click into this PDF to see a lot of photos and a few quotes and poems about what's blooming!

In Honor of Honor

Here we are at Memorial Day again. This is a time to honor those who have given so much to and for our nation. In honor of their honor - here are some of my thoughts and actions. 

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Some of you already know about this. If you don’t, please read the Sun-Times article.

Pastor Betty Rendon was arrested by ICE early in May in Chicago. She was a student pastor at Emaus Lutheran in Racine and just beginning her work on a Ph.D.

A Long Ago (sort of) American Camelot on the Mississippi

 I finally finished reading “Empire by Collaboration” by Robert Michael Morrisey. It is a history of the Mississippi River from what is now the general St. Louis area down to its confluence with the Ohio River. This is the area Len and I traveled to see the solar eclipse in August 2017. While we were there, we visited Fort De Chartres and Kaskaskia, we saw old houses in tiny river towns, and we saw one of the oldest cemeteries I’ve seen in the US; it filled with 18th century gravestones inscribed with beautiful French names.

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