Mary Beth Writes

Today is day #21. It’s been THREE weeks already, guys. 

Thank you, John Denver for saying it so well. 

 “Let’s go to the bakery and watch the buns rise…”

I’m going to try to be something besides pissed-off today.  The writer of my fav non-consumer/frugality website posted something new yesterday. She eloquently describes how ANGRY she is right now. She’s an RN. She has a college kid living at home instead of at his college. She’s worried about loved ones in their 70’s.

As I read it my stomach flipped and my thoughts exploded.  She is a good writer and what she says is cogent and clear.  But I’m already living in the stew of my own anger; adding someone else’s is way too hard. 

As much as possible for the next few days, I will try to give you observations that don’t come straight from my anger. We need to find more than one path through this stupid, deadly crises that is breaking the world.

This is the website. Non-Consumer Advocate. 

Sometimes some of my neighbors don’t ‘social distance’.  I heard kids playing basketball yesterday.  I can see adults and teenagers as they stop to chat with each other when they are coming out of their shared apartment building.

These neighbors live in the low-income housing that runs most of the block behind our house. These are money-poor people and I don’t know many of them. The news tells us that poor people fare less well than the financially-secure when coronavirus hits.  In Milwaukee a big percentage of the fatalities are of African American men past age 50.  The stress of poverty and racism is real and lethal. Always has been; is true now more than ever.

So even though I think my across-the-fence neighbors should be more careful, I also see that when one doesn’t have financial security, then one needs community. My neighbors are casually but powerfully minding their most important investment – each other. Quite possibly sickness will eventually strike many of them, but their community will endure.

My purse always hangs on the coat rack by the front door. Even in normal times I don’t use it often. It’s more like a church/shopping kit with pens, paper, hand cream, some cash (what’s cash?), a brush and a small tape measure (handy when one is a Goodwill shopper). Today I looked at it and realized I haven’t used it in three weeks and am not likely to use it until this crisis is over.  I moved it to my clothes closet for the duration.  Weird.

Useful phrases for this time we are living in now.

If you awake in the middle of the night when it’s long past midnight but not yet dawn – do you know what time that is? I don’t know where I read this, but you really need to know. It is “Before sparrow fart.”

If you pull something off very badly – like the sourdough bread Len and I are still hoping might turn into something - this is called “An Arctic landing.” No runway, but you survived.

Nancy Drew naps on.













Leonard's picture

Although I like leave a little time out of each day to be angry. We can multitask.

I am angry, also. I read Katy’s blog this morning and felt it all. My three year old granddaughter should not have to say” I don’t want to die from this Coronavirus. I want to stay with this family. We wash our hands”. I should not have to worry about my daughters in nursing or my laid-off son and DIL and how they will pay the bills in a few months. THAT man and his cronies were alerted to this pandemic on Dec 31, 2019. Nero just fiddled. A thousand years ago I took a course about women and stress. We were told “ It is not really a problem if it just takes money to fix it”. All the money in the world cannot fix this. So, yeah, I am pissed.
Mary Beth's picture

There is no comfort zone on this. Maybe I am fine, but we all love people who are not fine now, will not be fine soon, will suffer loss of love, people, and stability. And it didn't have to be this way.

I read Katy's blog too. I "met" you through reading her blog. I am also angry, but I need to keep anger in a little compartment that I let out at certain times during the day, like the news, and anxiety. The rest of the time, I MUST focus on something else: the yard, learning a new skill, encouraging others, and fanning hope. Hope that he will be voted out NOv. 3. Please. Oh, please. Patricia/Fl

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Quarantine Diary #108 6/30/2020 Woke Neighbors

I was quietly sitting here, just writing, when I heard yelling. I looked up and there was Modern America Right Here Right Now, in front of my house.

Cops had a car pulled over and were yelling at someone to come out. A black man with dreadlocks got out, hands in air, protesting and arguing to the cops. I couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying, but he was arguing respectfully. I heard his “Sir” several times. He was not swearing that I could hear.

Quarantine Diary #104 6/26/2020 Common Sense

This very small story has been lurking in my mind for decades and I have been thinking about it again, just recently.

One afternoon I overheard my dad complaining to my mom about schoolteachers. I suppose they were having a busy week in the print shop when a teacher from the high school dropped off, late in the day, a print job that needed to be completed in less time than was convenient. I’m guessing it was the school newspaper.

Quarantine Diary #101 6/23/2020 Today the Protest Came to Us

I keep saying Len and I are not going to protests because of Covid.

But then one came to us.

Late yesterday afternoon we heard that Mike Pence and Betsy DeVos would be at a meeting this morning at Saratoga STEM school here in Waukesha. It's three blocks from our house. 

The meeting was to talk about school choice. School choice is when you take taxpayer education funds away from local schools, change neighborhood schools into “choice schools” that will attract kids from outside that neighborhood and then you underfund the neighborhood school that's left.

Quarantine Diary #99 6/20/2020 "A bonfire of small changes ..."

This evening Trump is speaking to a political rally in a Tulsa venue that can hold 19,000 people. There will be no social distancing. The place is enclosed. Masks are optional. Boggles the mind.

Yesterday morning I went to a local Stein’s garden mecca to see if they have marigolds on sale yet. They don’t even have marigolds NOT on sale!

But this happened.

I wore a mask. There were only about six other people shopping while I was there and they were all masked, too. The clerk, working outside in that 85-degrees of drenching humidity, was also wearing a mask.

Quarantine Diary #97 Le Bistro de Garage..

People don’t need to care about “decorating and home design.” As long as one can live safely in their abode while getting done the things they need and want to get done, that’s civilization.

Quarantine Diary #93 6/14/2020 What happens when life goes on hold?

Since I stopped writing every day the Quarantine Diary number no longer precisely matches the number of days since I (we) fell into this pandemical rabbit hole. I just calculated. I started intentionally quarantining March 13th – which means I am now on day #93.  From now on, I will label the days since quarantine started, not how many diary entries I have written.  It’s more relevant to consider how long this has gone on. Your tally might vary by a few days, depending on when you realized you were in quarantine also.

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