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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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  http://andreakowch.com/

...

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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