Mary Beth Writes

Yesterday I posted a slick letter from my state senator in which he argued that it was fine to hold an in-person election in the middle of the pandemic. I argued back.

Some of you have talked to me about feeling angry and helpless that there aren’t places to respond to this stupid, deadly crisis that didn’t need to happen.

I will forward my letter with your comment to some state senators and assemblypersons this coming week. This is a place you can put your words. 

As I keep saying; this is a personal, non-profit, non-subsidized website. We are not selling or sharing your names or email addresses anywhere.

This is the post to respond to, if you want: Right here. 

This is probably confusing, likely helpful, and very, very real. My friend Otis (we met the first week of seminary) and his friend Dave make fabric art crafts; usually woven baskets and quilts.

Lately they have turned their considerable energy to making masks.  These are not medical care standard; these are masks we wear to protect others from us.

I have 12 masks currently in my Waukesha home. You can buy one/some of my stash by stopping by my house and I will run it/them out to you. Or let me know what you need and Len or I will drive them to you. 

If you are buying from us the cost is $5 each.

You can also order one/some directly from Otis at his email address: otis@otisthompson.com

Mailing costs vary, but he will sell them to you directly for $4 each plus whatever the shipping is. 

All the money collected this way goes to Otis and Dave who are secure but not at all rich. You know? 

Feel free to ask me or Otis more questions.

This is Otis, Dave, Len, and I last summer at Cahokia.

Thanks.

I know it is Easter tomorrow and if you are a person who has many family traditions about holidays, it’s going to be a weird one. Luckily, we’ve all been practicing weird for a month now, so maybe we are getting skilled at “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Len and I came up with a menu that we both want to eat. (Nearly came to fisticuffs over Polish sausage. Not really) Our grocery order comes tonight, there will be cream and strawberries and tomorrow there will be homemade berry ice cream as well as other things we both want. 

Our kids are checking in with us whenever we are not checking in with them.  The 3-year old has a new fluffy pink dress with dinosaurs on it. The baby also has a new sweatshirt and when his big sister pointed out to us the place on his tummy where HIS dinosaur it, he giggled.  Also, the Easter bunny is coming to their house and somebody is very excited. (Hint, mom and dad look a wee bit tired.)

Usually, by now on an Easter weekend Len and I would be in the kitchen. I’d be thinking about how to set the table. We’d probably still be cleaning the house. I’d worry that I didn’t buy enough candy and didn’t decorate enough. And so on. Martha Stewart and the Easter Bunny can be wicked taskmasters.

Instead, this morning I went for a really long walk.  I saw old houses in neighborhoods I don’t know. I waved to a few people, said hi to a dog, watched a Siamese cat elegantly cleaning itself on the very narrow inside ledge of a window. Len did a 28-mile bike ride and he’s over at his desk right now, concentrating on website development tricks.

I really, really love not feeling hectic.  Can I keep this feeling after the quarantine is over? 

I copied this months ago. Just now I looked it up and it is a quote from Octavia E. Butler, an award-winning African American science fiction writer.

“All that you touch you change

Everything you change changes you

The only constant truth is change

God is change.”

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Tomorrow celebrates for me the the most Horrible and gutrenching day of my 67 years on this earth.( I'll spare you the details ) I've already planned the day out... I will start the day staring at the beauty of lake Michigan and drinking good coffee. ( Thank you Michael for both of those ) then it will be a not so healthy but filling breakfast while I watch CBS Sunday Morning unless the story's are depressing then I'll pass... After that it's going to be a long silent bike ride by myself... Just me the birds and the wonderful sounds of springs rebirth... Then I will come home and take a very long nap... ¿Why? Because I can and I'll need it... It won't clear anything out of my head but it will fill it with enough distractions to help block things out...

So look forward to your daily e-mails.. Thank you so much..

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Advent Light Post 12-4-2020

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I received this (above) lovely photo from Susan W of an old-fashioned city lamp seen through trees at night.

It made me recall the pix Karen P sent of her son and daughter-in-law at their wedding a few years ago. They lit and sailed paper lanterns propelled by small candles which (hopefully) flickered out when they flew high enough.

Which of course, reminded me of the paper lanterns at my kids’ wedding.

I don’t walk around noticing spheres and globes, but the image is just unusual enough to bring similar images to mind.

Advent Light Post 12/3/2020

The photo is Karen P's mom, Joan, who has been in quarantine in an assisted living residence since March. Her birthday party was a few months before all this began. Light for hope. Hope for light.

...

Yesterday I wrote “I liked figuring out the best way to position my stance in order to frame whatever it was I wanted to focus on.”

Point of View. 

Advent Light Post 12/2/2020

Len has been taking photos since he was a college newspaper reporter/photographer; (University of Chicago and University of Calgary). He has photos that he took from Willis (it was Sears then) Tower while it was under construction. Len had a journalist pass so he called to see if he could “do a story” and they didn’t ask if he was 20 yet, so he got the gig. When (if) he finds those photos, I will put some here.

As long as I have known him, Len has owned a camera. I think we are now on #3. He brought to our marriage the tripod that he still uses.

Advent Light Post 12/1/2020

(The photo is of headlights making a dotted line on the cemetery fence.) 

...

Oh that morning! Len drove us like crazy across Chicago to the hospital where we would birth our first child.  It was a very clear, very cold December morning, kind of like what’s outside my window right now. 

That same evening I was wheelchaired back out of that hospital. When the lobby doors slid open, the world had become night and the driveway vapor lights lit a blizzard of whirling snow.

It was a completely different world. Yes it was.

Advent Light Post 11/30/2020

Today is Len’s birthday and to celebrate being born on the last day of November in the upper Midwest, he is out on his bike right now. It’s spitting snow, there are 20-30mph winds, and the real-feel temp is 20. He has on both pairs of his bicycling pants. He also has a slice of pumpkin raisin Bundt cake (hmmm, I wonder who baked that) in his bike’s little trunk. 

Happy Birthday to the kind of guy who, when a girl invites him to attend the Sunday school class she teaches - comes to that Sunday school class. A rare man, indeed. 

Advent Light 11/28/2020

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the first Sunday of Advent. 

So first of all, like I said before, I’m preaching. I think you can listen to the whole service starting at 9:30AM, if you go to https://www.uniteduuc.org/ .  There is usually a link there that you have to click, when you click it, it says something about YouTube, so click that link, too. Otherwise, by Monday (maybe earlier, I don’t know who does this or when) it will show up on YouTube at United Unitarian Universalist, Waukesha, and my name.

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