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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Remembering Stuff

“I’m getting so old. I just can’t remember anything anymore.”

Okay, I understand and accept that forgetfulness is weird and awkward. We talk to someone about this movie and that house repair and that small restaurant from which we ordered amazing food a few weeks ago and it feels as if we are talking with 95% of the words we used to know. What was that guy’s name? Where did I read that really powerful thing about political strategy now?

Ayad Akhtar's "Homeland Elegies" & Do We Understand Colonialism?

I heard part of an NPR / Fresh Air interview with writer Ayad Akhtar so I borrowed the book from the library and read it.

In the 1960’s his parents earned medical degrees in Pakistan and then emigrated to the US where Ayad was born and has lived all his life. (His parents are now deceased.) His dad was a highly respected cardiologist. In the 1990’s, when Donald Trump was having heart issues, Dr. Akhtar was flown to NYC to examine Trump.

Susan's Birthday Questions 10/19/2020

(One decorates for October birthdays with orange trees.) 

Last week was my birthday. My niece Susan sometimes sends me birthday greetings where she asks excellent questions. She doesn’t know I still have the card she sent six years ago; I meant to answer her questions in the blog I had then, but I never got around to it.

Stereotypes Day

Today is October 12th - Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Not Columbus Day, okay?

I was in the process of giving birth to one of our kids and it was getting on towards midnight. The midwife wondered whether our baby would be born on the day we were in or whether it would be a few more minutes and then the child would have the next day as their birthday.

10/11/2020 This Crazy Advent We're In Now

This painting is by Andrea Kowch


Regarding Time: It’s been about a million months since the quarantine started. It will be an at least one epoch if not two, until a vaccine is available to quell it. Election Day is here now (I’ve already voted, have you?) yet it feels as if it will never be done and gone. Even when Nov 3 arrives we could be in for more epochs of anxious and angry waiting as ballots are tallied, argued over, recounted, all while lawyers and politicians fight and scrap.

Quarantine Diary #204 10/4/2020 3 Short Takes

Three things to say today and none are about our goatish, swag-bellied, canket-blossomed president. How to create a Shakespearean insult. 

1. I just read this WONDERFUL and REMARKABLE book! The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

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