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 #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.

...

 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.

 …

Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

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