Mary Beth Writes

I wrote this to my friend Karen who said I ought to share it here. She’s right. 

Well, at Woodman's yesterday a man threatened to put a 9mm in a clerk’s face because store rules say he could only buy one pkg of ground turkey, not two. When cops went to his house to discuss this a little more, they discovered he doesn’t own a 9mm.  I’m hard pressed what spin to put on this tale, other than that clerk doesn’t get paid enough

I read somewhere yesterday comments from a woman who is a manager in a customer service dept of a big chain store. Target or Walmart or something. She says the level of rudeness is astonishing. That she’s done this job for a long time and has never encountered such mean people who will say such awful things to her store’s clerks. And clerks are not allowed to respond to that crap, so clerks feel harassed and stressed. She says if one is in a line and a person is being rude, feel free to defend the clerk a bit, since she (it’s so often a she) can’t.

I’m wondering if since lovely humans like you and me are going out of our way to stay out of stores, this leaves an unusually big percentage of shoppers who don’t believe in the quarantine, and my take on them is that many are sort of angry to begin with.

A guy on Twitter was arguing w Len and me (I’m sure he never connected that we are married) about testing. Long story, in diff ways we were saying that with testing people to see if they are positive for the virus, or if they have antibodies indicating they have had the disease recently and overcame it - with testing some (many?) people could go back to work right away. The govt could pay people to get the test.. so that freedom of choice exists yadda yadda. The twitter guy was was adamant that quarantine is stupid and unnecessary. Then he mentions he lost his job. To which Len says he’s sorry and is very good at filling out forms (AARP tax guide) and would be glad to help. The guy says no but thank you.

To stop a futile, heated argument that way. “I’m sorry. Can I help?”

I am totally welcoming here of your stories of things you have witnessed, experienced, done, or said where you responded to craziness with politeness or kindness.

All I’ve got is that when I was dropping a package into the post office lobby hopper (that sounds like a bunny in a mailman uniform) the other day, I saw a postal employee walking in to work. I thanked her for being the Post Office and she laughed all the way in. 

This morning I went on vacation.  Yes I did.

We woke up to day #97 of gray, chilly, gloomy, foggy, almost raining dreariness. All three weather places I look (you can’t be too careful when one is still in bed) said it would be like this all day, although it wouldn’t actually rain.  Just 40ish and as gray as elephant underpants.

Well, hell. We aren’t Midwesterners for no reason. One gets up and does what needs to be done.

So we drove eight miles outside of town along the Drumlin* Trail. Len took his bike, I walked.  In short, all I did was walk 2-plus miles one way and then those 2-plus miles back. Hardly climbing a Highland mountain. 

But along the way I saw the osprey nest that Len has been watching. Later I saw a little footpath that leaves the macadam trail, so I walked up it and found myself alone in a quiet forest. It was still chilly and damp, but inside those woods that translated into a very good moment.  I was in a place that didn’t need me but didn’t mind me being there either. Places like that are magical for people who tend to overthink stuff. It was just quiet. I admired a burl on a tree that was fine being nothing but a bump.  I heard birds and the hum of air moving and the muffled sound of my footsteps on wet leaves. 

And then, when I was done there, I walked back out to the path and then back to the car. But now I saw the pearlescent early colors of spring. And tiny flowers. And hobbit moss. 

I was away.

*Drumlins. A drumlin, from the Irish word droimnín ("littlest ridge") is an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half-buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated ground. Clusters of drumlins create a landscape which is often described as having a 'basket of eggs topography'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drumlin

I noted this last year, I don’t know who said it or why.

“The inability to see failure as a solution.”

I like this a lot. One lives long enough and fails fabulously enough; one begins to see that failure is often the logical response to what was going on. Such as divorces that are good solution to poor marriages. Disappointingly calibrated cake recipes. Sending that kid to college. Not sending that other kid to college. The “new” car that breaks down every other week until you give up, call a lemon a lemon, and ditch it the best you can. The belief in and search for a comfortable high-heeled shoe.

Trying to put unfettered capitalism and justice in the same place at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 



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Comments

Yes - one of the best lessons of my recent years has been that sometimes the sensible thing to do is to cut your losses and move on. Some may see it as quitting or giving up and so what if they do? Cut your losses and move on -- some things are just not meant to be.

Another "Loved it"

A surprise vacation day is the very best. I am going to remember your lesson — I think, sometimes we get so busy, we forget to be nice.

I have two unsuccessful life partnerships under my belt that became good friendships... And I failed to go to college and yet have had a richer life then many who have a degree... Failure is in the eye of the beholder...

Love your vacation!

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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.

Preaching, Cheating, Thanking & Eating

I am preaching this coming Sunday at my church. I think if you check our website Sunday morning (11/29) between 9:20 and 9:30 - the URL for the service will be there. The November theme for UU’s  is Healing, so that’s what I am preaching about. https://www.uniteduuc.org/

The Gales of November

Today is November 10th which is the 45th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. (Listen to the song here!) 

11/6/2020 Wow! It's happening!

I wrote this yesterday: “I’m all over the place. How about you?”

Today I’m: “I think I lost weight last night and it was some of the heaviness of persistent stress.”

It’s happening, Friends. Yes, we all know nothing will be sensationally simple going forward. Right now, the Senate is where it was pre-election. (Though hold on, Stacey Abram’s Amazing Georgia is having TWO senate races in January.)

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