Mary Beth Writes

6/19/2024

Today was another hot one and right now, it’s still 93 degrees in my backyard.

What did we do today to stay cool? We drove two convoluted hours to the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union, IL where we met our daughter, two grandkids, Len’s sister and her young adult son. Why? Because Len has been wanting to take our grandson to this place for years. Our five-year-old grandson has been obsessed with trains and construction equipment for years, You gotta respect that. Also, my nephew and Len are also great fans of trains and we women are fans of our men. So we made this date back when the world wasn’t this hot. Schedules are tight. It was today or not at all.

It was about 100 degrees and everything was either outside or exposed to outside. It was very hot and kind of dull. Even Len thought so. Though not excruciatingly so. They should have had more trains open to the public; There wre many ginormous sheds of maybe 8-12 engines and cars in each shed and we could only walk through one car.

We did get to ride a noisy electric train (North Shore inter-urban) with open windows for a half hour. The wild rocking motion and loud whistle scared the kids at first but then the smiles came out and it was a fine ride that we all enjoyed.

We spent two hours there. Then we ate at a McDonald’s with the kids. Then we drove two hours back home.

I know this is boring for most of you, but, when one is trying to get through a siege of something like too-hot weather by keeping track of the details of one’s days, well, this is what today was about. Personally, I’m pretty excited because I’ve done a big thing nearly every day for nearly two weeks and tomorrow and Friday I am staying home to visit the inside of my own head.

Today is Juneteenth. This is not a day for Black Americans. This is a day for Americans. This is a day to acknowledge the deeply sinful evil of slavery in which and on which our nation was founded. The unpaid labor of millions of enslaved humans over hundreds of years is literally the wealth from which we grew. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation January 1, 1863. States involved in the war had federal union soldiers in them so on 1/1/63 those enslaved people were freed. But in border states like Texas, the war was not happening so there were no Union troops on hand. Local citizens didn’t tell - so enslaved people continued in bondage until Union soldiers showed up June 19, 1865.

Enslaved people were advised to stay where they were to continue to work for their past owners, only now they would be paid. But what happened was that thousands upon thousands of people simply walked away. Why? Because they could now look for their loved ones.

Juneteenth is about many things including this – that it is now legal to search for your kids, your parents, the love of your life, your siblings, your best friends.

When people are entitled and rich, they use their freedom to get richer. When oppressed people become free, they look for their loved ones. This is a bit simplistic but not to African Americans in Texas in 1865. 

 

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Ugh. I’m hot just reading this. Love the updates.

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What Now, US Constitution?

7/2/2024

Not sure if I wrote this post for you or for me.

I was close to the end of my volunteer shift at the Food Pantry yesterday. The morning had been tougher than usual (see the upended boxes we didn’t have time to flatten) and I was tired. Then I got this text from Len, “Don’t look at the news.”

I’ve never received anything this cryptic from Len in my life. I told my co-worker Nancy I needed to look at the news because something weird was going on.

She replied, “The Supreme Court.”

Hot Weather Diary #4

6/26/2024

Guess what amazing thing is happening at my house right now? This has not happened in, I think, two weeks…

OUR WINDOWS ARE OPEN!

Yesterday evening the heat index was 100 degrees. Tonight the temperature is 70, low humidity, breezes wafting in the windows like angels’ breath.

Hot Weather Diary #2

6/18/2024

“Time wasted at a lake is time well spent.”  (I tried to learn who wrote this; it seems to have arisen spontaneously on a Pinterest plaque for your cabin.)

There is an argument that civilization started on the banks of rivers, the oceans, and along the shores of the hundreds and thousands of lakes on our earth. Waterfront is where people and animals gather to drink, eat, cool off, and watch the youngsters while they play. Also, it’s where adults gather to chat, fish, breathe in beauty, and sometimes swim far out there where joints don’t ache and its quiet.

Hot Weather Diary #1

6/17/2024

We all knew it was coming and here it is. A Hot Week! We are in the news! We are important! Humans around the nation, especially in the East and Midwest, will be living through a week with temps in the 80’s, 90’s and worse.

What the Dickens?

The photo is from Barnados, a childrens charity in London in the 19th century. 

6/15/2024

Argh! I have a new phone because the old one stopped staying charged plus a few more foibles. My phone cost $400 five years ago so it makes sense that it stopped working reliably, right? If an appliance worked like this we would burn that manufacturer to the ground.

Swan Story

6/3/2024 

I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s writing lately and I have decided there is too much to read. Much of it is very good but there is JUST TOO MUCH!

So my goal going forward is to write shorter posts, more often, that might remind you of the glory, power, and goofiness of your life as well as mine.

So, let me say again what’s always very true. Thank you for reading what I write.

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