Mary Beth Writes

“Unexpected travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Kurt Vonnegut

Yesterday I got a text at 5AM from one of our kids. “Mom, are you awake?”

Heart stops.

Heart starts again.

Nancy Drew (her cat) was sick. Nancy had been stumbling, rolling to her side, couldn’t walk, tried to jump up to our daughter’s bed and fell. Daughter took Nancy to a 24/7 emergency vet clinic.

Obviously, she had already done the only thing there was to do. Get to a vet.

Daughter was almost back home, sans cat, when she called. The three of us worried together and then Len and I fell back asleep. Two hours later we realized it might be a good idea to get a crate big enough to put Nancy in when she would come home from the vet. Keep her from jumping and falling. Keep Frank (the other cat) from bothering her.

So yesterday we drove first to Madison to borrow a dog crate from our son and daughter-in-law. Son had had enough time to make a cherry custard pie for us. (He was also boiling a deer skull in his garage for a friend who wanted it for whatever unfathomable reasons men want deer skulls.) My son is a true Wisconsin Renaissance man.

Next, we drove from Madison to Chicago to deliver the crate. Then we sat around a few hours watching the cats, watching Nancy Drew looking much better and not stumbling at all. We ate pie. We talked. 

Len and I got home around 8:00 last night. Nancy Drew is doing well and has an appointment to see her regular vet this afternoon.

Our other Chicago daughter called this morning. The nanny can’t come to their house tomorrow and daughter has some important work meetings.

“Umm?”

Absolutely. We can drive two hours to watch our grand-kiddos. It will be a lot of energy and a LOT of fun.

Daughter called back a few hours later. Things got rearranged and we are no longer needed.

Won’t miss getting up before 5. Will miss playing with the kids.

I read these tweets this morning:

“It took me a long, long time to realize that I should not try to build my schedule based on what I could accomplish in crisis mode.” @MaryRobinette

“My therapist told me that if I had to perform ‘at my best’ all the time, then it wouldn’t be my best, it’d be my norm.” @yeseniaa

When I was 16 my sister told me this. “If someone asks you to do something and it isn’t illegal or immoral, say yes. That’s how to have adventures.”

Most of us have learned how to say no to plenty of things. I say no to getting my hair professionally managed. I say no to many lovely and/or important opportunities in my congregation and community. I say no to social invitations I know I would enjoy because I want to spend my energy on personal projects. I have enough time to do more things, but not enough focus. You know?

But family is different. When they ask (they don’t ask very often) we say yes.

Maybe the way to have adventures is to say yes? The way to love and belong to your family is to say yes? The way to know who you consider family and who are just the people you are related to is to observe who you say yes to and who you don’t? The way to have a rich interior life is to say yes to oneself?

I think it’s curious what we say yes to. Dancing lessons from God. 

Comments

Leonard's picture

Try what's on your plate. You might find that it's not so bad, after all.

Love this one! It’s so “that’s how life is”. Cherry custard pie made my mouth water. Glad Nancy Drew is better.

One of the VERY BEST!! One of those 'bingo!' moments!! thank you. xxx's
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate knowing when something touches "home."

Amen to all of this!!!!

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Making Memories?

This morning the Washington Post has an article about how we make memories. Interestingly, just because we say we are “making memories” doesn’t mean we are. Most little kids will not start making many memories until they are around age 8. Memories get stuck in our mind if they involve several senses and we are going slow enough to pay attention. If one WANTS to remember something, stop paying attention to everything else that is going on, focus in on the thing you care about using more than one sense. Recall it again later. Deep sleep on it overnight and good luck with that.

Three Things & One Announcement 7/16/2021

Thinking Outside the Box: 

Len once told me this WWII story. The first generation of bomber raids from England to Germany resulted in a terrifying number of bomber planes being shot down. Experts carefully examined the returning planes to create detailed reports of the bullet holes as they tried to understand how to reinforce the planes to make them safer.

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Israel’s Health Ministry this week announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — one of the world’s most effective shots — was offering only 64 percent protection against infection and symptomatic illness caused by the delta variant.

The vaccine was still highly effective at preventing severe illness and death, the ministry said.

(I read this in the Washington Post, though it’s other places also.)

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Last year was the Covid quarantine so most of us didn’t do very much over the 4th of July holiday.

This year, with half Americans now vaccinated there’s more freedom to do things and be with people.

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Bill Cosby is out of prison on a technicality. The judge said 40-year-old Britney Spear still can’t run her own life. Yesterday 88-year-old war criminal* Donald Rumsfeld died comfortably in his bed.

My gut is twisting. How are you? Power, injustice, and money still row the boat that we’re all on. This nation is playing whack-a-mole with justice, hope, and human rights. It feels ominous. I thought I would just mention this in case you thought it was just you that felt assaulted this morning.

Nope.

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Almost two years ago I went to a local optical store for an eye exam. The nice optician said I had a cataract and he could refer me to a specialist. He also said I could wait but if it got worse, I should see to it (hah, see to it…).

I have considered my looming doom several times a week since. Low grade anxiety. Don’t you love it?

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