Mary Beth Writes

In June I wrote about Our Brother  HERE

Here’s an update:

Our Brother is still working at the same warehouse, full-time, $9/hr.  

Back in June the Child Support dep’t had negotiated 3 purges (purge is the term Child Support uses for the bond one pays in order to get out of or stay out of jail once warrants are listed). His three purges on his three child support cases were $350 and $500 and $500. I invited people to make contributions to his cause.

Over time people gave him $475.  Also, he now has a bank account and part of each paycheck goes to it, so with his payments and ours, he has paid off the $350 and one of the $500 purges. He no longer has warrants on those two cases.  He has $470 left to pay on the last lone.

This has been done WHILE current support payments are also withheld for his current obligations.

This, friends, is faith, courage and oomph. I have seen a lot of these situations in my life - fixing a big problem slowly and steadily like this impresses me more than just about anything.

This Friday (this week!) his toddler son is having open heart surgery. His son’s heart has some anomalies, it can be fixed but it is not simple.

This little boy lives with his mom not very far away from where Our Brother lives, He sees his son frequently, and even more lately because the mom, who is only in her 30’s, is currently fighting cancer. Our Brother’s sisters and his older daughter are all trying to help take care of the little boy during the day, so that the mom can rest.

This is a hard time. 

Our Brother and I talked (texted) last night. He would appreciate your thoughts and prayers for the health of his son and his son’s mother.

If you would like to donate a little (or a lot!) more money to Our Brother, the way to do that is at the end of the original story.  (If you are moved to donate money to Our Brother, send a check to Franc Garcia / 2038 Russet Street / Racine, WI 53405. He will take a photo of it (so we keep track) and then endorse it to Our Brother’s bank account and deposit it that day or the next.)

I thought some of you would like to know this. 


Thanks for the update. I was wondering how he was doing. This is good progress. Wishing him the best for his son's surgery.

Ditto to what Kathryn just said.

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


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. 


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.

Ad Promotion