Mary Beth Writes

Yesterday I posted a slick letter from my state senator in which he argued that it was fine to hold an in-person election in the middle of the pandemic. I argued back.

Some of you have talked to me about feeling angry and helpless that there aren’t places to respond to this stupid, deadly crisis that didn’t need to happen.

I will forward my letter with your comment to some state senators and assemblypersons this coming week. This is a place you can put your words. 

As I keep saying; this is a personal, non-profit, non-subsidized website. We are not selling or sharing your names or email addresses anywhere.

This is the post to respond to, if you want: Right here. 

This is probably confusing, likely helpful, and very, very real. My friend Otis (we met the first week of seminary) and his friend Dave make fabric art crafts; usually woven baskets and quilts.

Lately they have turned their considerable energy to making masks.  These are not medical care standard; these are masks we wear to protect others from us.

I have 12 masks currently in my Waukesha home. You can buy one/some of my stash by stopping by my house and I will run it/them out to you. Or let me know what you need and Len or I will drive them to you. 

If you are buying from us the cost is $5 each.

You can also order one/some directly from Otis at his email address: otis@otisthompson.com

Mailing costs vary, but he will sell them to you directly for $4 each plus whatever the shipping is. 

All the money collected this way goes to Otis and Dave who are secure but not at all rich. You know? 

Feel free to ask me or Otis more questions.

This is Otis, Dave, Len, and I last summer at Cahokia.

Thanks.

I know it is Easter tomorrow and if you are a person who has many family traditions about holidays, it’s going to be a weird one. Luckily, we’ve all been practicing weird for a month now, so maybe we are getting skilled at “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”

Len and I came up with a menu that we both want to eat. (Nearly came to fisticuffs over Polish sausage. Not really) Our grocery order comes tonight, there will be cream and strawberries and tomorrow there will be homemade berry ice cream as well as other things we both want. 

Our kids are checking in with us whenever we are not checking in with them.  The 3-year old has a new fluffy pink dress with dinosaurs on it. The baby also has a new sweatshirt and when his big sister pointed out to us the place on his tummy where HIS dinosaur it, he giggled.  Also, the Easter bunny is coming to their house and somebody is very excited. (Hint, mom and dad look a wee bit tired.)

Usually, by now on an Easter weekend Len and I would be in the kitchen. I’d be thinking about how to set the table. We’d probably still be cleaning the house. I’d worry that I didn’t buy enough candy and didn’t decorate enough. And so on. Martha Stewart and the Easter Bunny can be wicked taskmasters.

Instead, this morning I went for a really long walk.  I saw old houses in neighborhoods I don’t know. I waved to a few people, said hi to a dog, watched a Siamese cat elegantly cleaning itself on the very narrow inside ledge of a window. Len did a 28-mile bike ride and he’s over at his desk right now, concentrating on website development tricks.

I really, really love not feeling hectic.  Can I keep this feeling after the quarantine is over? 

I copied this months ago. Just now I looked it up and it is a quote from Octavia E. Butler, an award-winning African American science fiction writer.

“All that you touch you change

Everything you change changes you

The only constant truth is change

God is change.”

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Tomorrow celebrates for me the the most Horrible and gutrenching day of my 67 years on this earth.( I'll spare you the details ) I've already planned the day out... I will start the day staring at the beauty of lake Michigan and drinking good coffee. ( Thank you Michael for both of those ) then it will be a not so healthy but filling breakfast while I watch CBS Sunday Morning unless the story's are depressing then I'll pass... After that it's going to be a long silent bike ride by myself... Just me the birds and the wonderful sounds of springs rebirth... Then I will come home and take a very long nap... ¿Why? Because I can and I'll need it... It won't clear anything out of my head but it will fill it with enough distractions to help block things out...

So look forward to your daily e-mails.. Thank you so much..

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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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