Mary Beth Writes

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

Just yesterday I learned that November 7th through 10th is also the anniversary of the 1913 Great Lakes Storms. (Read a longer explanation here. Fascinating!)   Those storms were three days of fury over the Great Lakes, over all the Midwestern states, and into Canada. Winds of 90 mph, 35’ waves, 26” of snow. Two hundred and fifty people perished; most sailors on twelve ships that went down on Lake Huron on one night.

I’m writing this as we sit under a tornado warning.

If you bookmark websites, mark this one - Wind Map - which is the Wind Map of the US. I look at it almost every day – and always when weather is iffy-chancy.  On the wind map you see great bands of air pressure and how they intersect.  Right now, late afternoon on the 10th, you can see wind blowing northward from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing power that is spinning off from Hurricane Eta. It is meeting a thousand miles of wind sweeping down from the Canadian plains. And where it meets is over all three of my kids’ homes, over many of you, outside my office window.

November is a dangerous weather month here in the Midwest. The great lakes are huge and deep repositories of energy, the still warmish water of summer. The lakes mix their energy with the colder air over them. November winds blow down from the Arctic to clash with the last of this year’s rounds of hurricanes. November is leashed and unleashed power.

Take this day, this weather, this month seriously. Take your sails down, find your batteries, know where you will hunker down if a tornado comes by.

If you are an ore hauling tanker in port right now – stay there.

And since I started this an hour ago - the temperature here has gone UP almost 10 degrees. 

Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride. 

 

 

 

 

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In more ways than one! ETA drenched our area over the weekend. The canal at the back of my house overflowed, and that combined with the 18 inches of rain received I am looking at a very flooded back yard. I can see turtles swimming from my bedroom window! It will take weeks for the water to recede. I am looking at substantial loses of trees, and plants. Keeping things in perspective. Change (despite every attempt to the contrary) is coming in January, and this fills me with hope. Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride is apt. Looking forward to having a leader trying to hold the ship steady. Be safe. Patricia/Fl
Mary Beth's picture

The best of luck waiting for your flood to recede. I don't want your mess, although I would LOVE to see turtles swimming past.

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Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

Advent Light Post 12/24/2020

Judy Saunders. Photo of a Rose.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As folks of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

...

Len and I were delivering presents to Chicago yesterday. Social distancing, with masks, but we did it and we saw our kids’ faces and there’s your Christmas, Ma’am.

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