Mary Beth Writes

As some of you know it was an unromantically large number of years ago when Len gave me flowers. (The story is here.) 

The next morning, he drove me home on his way to work (read the first article if you have forgotten how why I spent the night at his house and in his bed…)

He ignored me for a day while I rested and recuperated in my apartment.

The day after that I was better. He came around that evening and we did something. Can’t remember what. Maybe out to dinner where we talked. Like that hasn’t been a theme in our life.

It occurred to me this morning, Feb 16th, as we are packing to go to Chicago to watch our beloved little grandkid while our daughter and her husband go out to dinner – that, sure, Valentine’s Day is fun. 

(Thursday, while Len was out doing other peoples’ taxes for AARP, I baked banana-blueberry-strawberry bread for us. And because I love Leonard with all my heart, I taste-tested it by slicing side pieces from the loaf, thus leaving the heel for him. Am I not a full-blown romantic?)

After the Romantic Volubility of Valentine’s day - the more amazing day for lovers is the day your person comes back to you. When the one who sees you at your middling-best to absolute-worst; when they go off to live their life but later, they come around and talk and make jokes and help you make dinner and tell you about their days and ask you about yours. 

My son and daughter-in-law have two adorable and Very Energetic 2-year old dogs.  Bean and Berry are just nuts - and as much as you sometimes have to defend yourself from flying kisses when you walk into their house - they are the best.  Recently Bean learned to play fetch. You can throw his tennis ball from one end of their little house to the other and he never fails to run to get it, always crashing into the back door in the process. Then he trots the ball back to you. My son says he can play this for 45 minutes before he gets tired of it. 

Bean “gets it”.

Love is, as long as there is life, coming back.  

 ...

Like this.   Trigger warning. If you have lost someone you love deeply lately, this is Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” 

 

Comments

Love. I'm surrounded by it and it makes me feel whole either when I receive it or especially so when hand it out, my valentines day had both. I woke up that day to valentines greetings from George & Michael. I went down to feed Ms. Seema her breakfast. Feeling generous she got her regular nuts and kibble and to top it off banana,apple and orange slice's, She gave me a thank you grunt... Woke up Ms. Maya who's been having a ruff week because her hind legs don't want to work, I stood her up and she looked up at me and wagged her tail at me.(Makes my heart melt) Then Maya and I made a quick stop at Michael's on our way to take George to his Doctor appointment. We sat around with George after we got back from the Doctors. We stopped back at Michael's apartment on the way home he made us dinner and we watched a movie. He left to play piano at the Hob Nob and we dropped the movies off on our way home...We were barely home when Angela called to say she was stopping by for a bit. The perfect ending to what was not all that eventful a day except for the fact that all the key players in my life were there to share it with me. PRICELESS!!

Thank you for your loving words and beautiful video.

Heart. Heart.

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Let's go to Canada. It will be beautiful and convenient and nothing will get too crazy.

Hi! Len and I returned home at 1:30AM from our 15-day road trip through eastern Canada and Maine and more.  

In case you ever wondered, you CAN go to the “Glazed and Confused” donut shop in Syracuse, NY at 9 in the morning, peruse the  Erie Canal museum https://eriecanalmuseum.org/ and then drive back in Waukesha - all in one 16-hour day. We are generally closer to interesting places than we know.

But I get ahead of myself.

An afternoon in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault is a French word that mean topsy-turvy as in the rapids on the St. Mary river that tumbles between the US and Canada. Or summersaults. Isn’t that cute?

We walked a lot that first day. We thought the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site; which is two old houses that we wanted to see, were just around the corner from where we parked. Nope; more like two miles there and two miles back.  But it was a brisk day and after our hot, humid Wisconsin summer it was delicious to wear a jacket and not sweat.

Mountain Top Toddler

We drove to Chicago to help care for our 2-year old granddaughter. There is a lot going on in their family as is true of any family with a toddler, a new infant, and two working parents. Such as; my daughter went back to work the same week their daycare center closed for a 10-day break. A perfect storm of domestic hoopla. 

We only watched her from 7:30AM until 4PM on Monday and Tuesday. When our son-in-law came home from work, he took over. Other relatives are watching her the next few days. 

Here are three things I noticed about taking care of a toddler.

"Death Comes for the Archbishop" and How to drive to the Y without a map.

I read Willa Cather’s “Death Comes for the Archbishop” when I was in high school. I heard it was an important book which made me curious (still does), so I borrowed it from the library and read the whole thing.

It was mud. I didn’t care about the characters; two middle-aged priests who go to the American southwest to build and strengthen the Catholic church. Snooze. Nothing cohesive happens. They do a bunch of walking around in the desert followed by episodes of trying to be helpful a few days here, a few years there. Yawn.

When Weaving is NOT a Metaphor

I wrote this 12 years ago.  It's long and even I get confused as to what I wrote when one gets about half way through this  - and I was there!   But some of you will be interested to read how those "ethnic weavings" from Guatemala begin.  Next time you buy something hand woven, for less than $20, you will understand that price is not right.

.....

Retirement Smackdown

I just made a list of fourteen friends who have retired in the past five years. Of the fourteen, SEVEN retired early and abruptly when their employer’s business practices, for various reasons, changed or failed.

There is a myth out there that retirement is a fixed event with a date one knows years in advance. Then at the desired retirement age there will be a company party where one gets a memento from their employer - and after that they live aimlessly, trying to find purpose.  

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