Mary Beth Writes


Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next morning, we were driving the sleepover grandchild back to their house when our kid called and said the Covid test that morning was positive and they were super sorry they had exposed us.

We cancelled things we had planned to do this week with friends. Three hours of close contact, several hugs, sitting two feet away at a chatty dinner – no way we would miss Covid this time around. I looked up the CDC site for quarantine guidelines. When exposed, quarantine for 10 days and/or wear a an N95 mask and don’t take it off.

We are on day #5. We don’t have Covid and I’m almost embarrassed because I ruined some really sweet plans for myself and others.

However, I do have a cold! My nose is so clogged it feels as if it’s been tuck-pointed and I have sneezes so profound they send cats flying. No fever though and I don’t feel run down or very sick. I just definitely have the cold Len had last week.

So even though I didn’t (apparently, there are days to go in this quarantining) save my friends from Covid, I did save them from this dumb cold.

I looked up “What happens when soldiers get sick right before a battle?” and discovered this interesting theory. It’s likely that General Robert E Lee was leading his army at Gettysburg while still affected by a heart attack he probably had that spring.

In March 1863, Lee suffered “a sudden onset pain in his chest, back, and arms. It affected his ability to ride a horse and he was known to have become anxious and depressed, both common conditions after heart attacks. It is proposed that “his heart disease may have affected his judgement which would explain some of the decisions he ordered that day, namely Pickett’s Charge. As the NIH diagnosis says, the loss at Gettysburg didn’t break Lee’s heart, it was broken when he got there.”  Read the article here. 

Do you find yourself casually referring to “before Covid” or “when Covid was new” or “I can’t remember how many vaccines and boosters I’ve had, I just know I got all of ‘em.”

It’s still weird, isn’t it? We KNOW this disease is everywhere yet we are going back out to shop and do activities. We know we can still get Covid, or get it again, though with precautions and shots it probably won’t kill us. Probably.

Also, if we are related to people with weakened immune systems (who isn’t?) then we need to think on their behalf as well as our own. Though from what one reads, there are plenty who think acting on behalf of others is a snowflake choice.

But – everyone is out and about. How bad can it be?

No clear answers.

What are you doing? Masking? Not thinking about it?





Went grocery shopping today.. No one has a mask on, including myself. All taking chances, even though I am boosted.

I am still masking and not exposing myself to people or situations where I could be in contact with someone who has Covid. Having ALL the vaccinations and boosters is good, but I’d like to be one of the people who does not get Covid. Can’t afford to be sick. Don’t want to be sick. It helps that I am a bit of a recluse.

Basically I try not to think about it. I am aware! We have all our boosters, we did get Covid last January and hubby was very sick. Me not so much. We wash our hands more often. Try to social distance. I think Covid is here to stay. We still need to go on living.

I don't wear a mask anymore but try hard to distance myself physically from others while in social situations. Honestly, I think I just got sick of wearing a mask. I do feel like I pay more attention to the possibility of catching an illness while casually socializing since Covid appeared. I didn't think too much about it "before Covid." Just last weekend my husband and I declined a dinner invitation because the wife disclosed she had tested negative for Covid but had a sore throat and was feeling punky. I don't need strep or even another cold, thank you. Likewise, if I'm not feeling well I stay home. Hope you feel better from your cold soon.

We always mask while shopping. I was at Aldi on Monday and saw more masked people than I have in a year. I am not complaining. My husband is immuno-compromised. A good friend has Covid Pneumonia and may be on oxygen for the rest of her life. It ain’t something to mess around with.
Mary Beth's picture

Yes, the long Covid, the serious damage to some peoples' health - its real. I hope your friend can heal. What a slog to get through.

I continue to mask when out in public places, and do not attend big social events. Neither, does the rest of my immediate family. My oldest daughter lives daily with the effects of having had mono as a teenager. Her immune system never recovered. My youngest has a heart condition, and my grandson is medical complex. We are careful, and vigilant. All vaccinated and boosted. I hope you are fully recovered from your cold soon. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

I salute how much caring and being cautious you need to do in your family. We did go to a college concert a few weeks ago, but the good thing about college-level concerts is that they are generally good ... and usually under-attended. Wore a mask, sat in a huge space with not too many people. It was amazing to hear live music again.

I got COVID at the end of October. Never had it before, and was thinking maybe my immune system was "strong like bull", and I was going to be able to evade it. Nope. Despite vaccinations and boostering, I got a doozy of a case when one of my co-workers came in to work sick ("I think it's just a cold"). Despite wearing a mask at work,(my sick co-worker did not) three days later I started with symptoms and two days after that tested positive. I found out that the incubation period for the new variants is less than 3 days. Boy - I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It layed me flat for over a week. I also have continued to wear a mask in public places. It feels like the right thing to do.

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Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 


Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?


It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day


So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

Lake Superior Fairy Castles

By the way, HAPPY HALLOWEEN today! 


10/31/2022   Fata Morgana

"One is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't." Ulysses Grant & a hike in Galena


Early in October some personal stars that Len and I had not been considering … aligned. I felt GOOD which was newly amazing. (Still is.) By persistently being himself (I’ll post the story another day) Len saved some bucks on a traffic ticket. We’d been talking about visiting Galena. I came home from a walk, Len was in a good mood about the ticket, I suggested Galena. Len said yes. He’s a tough sell like that.

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