Mary Beth Writes

I have now had both Covid vaccinations with no miserable side effects after either of them. Color me grateful.

I read recently that some people with long-haul symptoms are finding surprising relief after receiving the first vaccination. Have you heard this? I hope it’s true.

Living through this Covid pandemic; waiting for scientists and politicians to find a vaccine and then get it to us - this has been walking on water WHILE looking for a miracle. What we needed yesterday is what we are trying to figure out today.

I said I was going to end this Covid Quarantine Diary when Len and I started going out and about again and I think are almost there. I went to Goodwill this week. I wore a mask, moseyed 40 minutes, and spent $9. It was not fireworks and dancing kittens, but it was good. I spent time by myself looking at things that were neither home nor trees.

I feel as if we have a path forward now. Continue to wear a mask. Be alert. Don’t crowd into a crowd.

Soon we will spend some time with our kids and grandkids. I’ll poke my toddler grandson in his little round tummy, and he will laugh, and that will be my fireworks and dancing kittens.

When it’s warm enough we will eat on the patios of restaurants. Still not quite ready to eat inside, I suppose our nerve for that will return at some point. There are still so many unknowns.

I feel changed. Do you?

I feel less convivial. Not antisocial, just more aware that being alone or being with others should continue to be a choice more than an obligation.

I read a lot this past year and I’m smarter than I was. I’m way more aware of the interconnections among people, and peoples, nature, our fiction, our science, art, and the stories that happened before us that still affect us mightily. A year ago, I thought racism and sexism, for example, were isms that politicians, teachers, and other leaders should address and fix. This was the year when I understood all this stuff is our story. What we won’t address in our personal lives is exactly the stuff that channels how our lives will go.

Oh, and white privilege. Sheesh, see it one place and then you can’t stop seeing it everyplace. Out there. In here.

Here is a place some of you can fight the racism that is institutionalizing one specific young man. Would you consider signing this petition? I’m never going to know whether you do or not, but right now the petition has close to 700 signatures and the hope is for it to grow to 1000.

This is from our church emailed announcement (why rewrite what has already been written?)

 “In Fall 2019, 17-year-old Tyrone Smith transferred to Waukesha South High School in Wisconsin. As a new student with documented disabilities, Tyrone also had an IEP (Individualized Education Program). Shortly after his arrival, he experienced ongoing intimidation, verbal abuse, and threats of violence. The necessary steps needed for Tyrone to be successful were never implemented by the school, and little was being done about the bullying he consistently faced. According to Tyrone and his legal counsel, on December 2nd, 2019, Tyrone brought a BB gun to school to intimidate his school bullies. After discovering the BB gun, all students and staff were removed from the classroom. Instead of the school practicing holistic care for Tyrone, they called law enforcement who have a well-documented history of violence against Black and brown boys. The School Resource Officer (SRO) and other officers on the scene confronted Tyrone. Tyrone, a child with known disabilities, was following commands to the best of his abilities, but the officer shot him three times, once in the leg, and twice in the arm. Portions of his body are shattered from the violent confrontation, and he now has permanent physical disabilities as a result.

Tyrone, now 19, sits in jail and is facing ten years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines for a BB gun that was never fired. He is a young Black boy with disabilities growing up in a suburban white community. The school system failed him, and he was forced to take a stand to protect himself as a result of persistent bullying. Ten years in prison is not an appropriate or a just response!

Please join in supporting Tyrone Smith and calling for his immediate release.

A new petition is being circulated calling on District Attorney to drop all charges. Click here to sign the petition:

https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/freetyronewaukesha-disabled-teen-stands-up-to-school-bullying-and-faces-10-years-in-prison?share=0d3bd1f0-0946-4bfb-becc-e1f145d2e433

Tyrone is in jail now, waiting for his trial. He never fired his BB gun. Kyle Rittenhouse is a young white male of the same age. He shot three men, killing two of them. He is free in his community right, waiting his trial. He’s been photographed at a bar, flashing racist symbols, drinking alcohol.

Injustice hurts.  

A friend suggested I download this app. It’s free, ominous, funny, and thoughtful. The app is WeCroak and their icon is a pink frog. The point of the app is to remind you - five times a day - that you are going to die. (!!!) When you click into their warning, they give you a cool quote.  I just got an alert that, “You don’t live on the earth, you are passing through it.” Rumi. 

“Anybody have plans to stare at their phone somewhere exciting this weekend?”
― Nitya Prakash

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

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