Mary Beth Writes

Today it finally happened. Len asked if today was Wednesday or Thursday. I looked at him, opened my mouth to answer, and realized I did not know. I opened my phone to look at my calendar app – and I could not remember what my calendar app looks like.

It’s Thursday.

We made a grocery order this morning and one of us will pick it up this evening. We’re making an order for a lumber yard so we can do a yard project, we’ll have that one delivered. I’m figuring out how to order from a garden center. This morning I called the butcher shop, said what we wanted (including the fresh Polish sausage Len didn’t get to have at Easter this year), walked there, got and quickly paid for precisely what I ordered and then I came back home.

I miss shopping. I miss checking out what’s new or interesting. I miss harshly judging cool and unnecessary housewares at Target. I miss endcaps. I miss the Whoo-hoo items at Pick n’ Save (super cheap discontinued items). I miss wandering in acres of plants, finding a lonely $3 perennial with wilted leaves and a true green heart and adopting it.

But this is Wisconsin and the numbers of people with Covid-19 are on the uptick. As of today, 5052 have it (confirmed). 257 have died. Staying in my house and yard are as important today as it was weeks ago. Maybe more important as there are more people now shedding the virus. Coronavirus is BOTH catch and release.

We will keep on figuring out how to order what we need and want, and I will not look to to tell me about the lives of my ancestors. I will pay attention to what this feels like; to find and define happiness, satisfaction, and sometimes even joy by what I do and not by what I shop for.

And now I know why I come from a long line of cinnamon bun bakers. When you can’t have so much of what you sort of want to have – you begin to realize you could wander into the kitchen and a few hours later have mounds of baked goods. Not too shabby. I am the scion (scioness?) of women who triumphed at wrestling the meaning of life from sugar and flour.

I watched a movie several weeks ago that I am still thinking about. “Edie” is about a woman somewhere in her 80’s or early 90’s, I think – who sort of backs herself into accomplishing a goal she gave up decades ago. That goal is to climb the mountain Suilven in the Northern Scottish Highlands. It is not impossible to do this, but it is extremely hard. To accomplish it she needs to believe in her own desire to do it. She needs to face the lost years of her life when she didn’t pursue her own happiness. She needs the help of an athletic young man who needs the wisdom of her. She needs to not be such a grouch.

I like a movie about an old person who isn’t dead yet. I like a story that challenges one to keep pursing goals even when we aren’t sure what they are. I respect how tricky it is to figure this out when we can’t exactly leave our houses.  

Then again, I don’t like easy questions.

PS: The scenery is gorgeous. 













Omg. Did u make those cinnamon buns today? I want some.
Mary Beth's picture

No. Not today. I almost did but then I pulled myself back from that abyss...

It was an emotional day today brought on by a combination of things, none too serious but a bunch of little things piled on top of this whole corona stuff.... Add to that watching "The Greatest Showman"( Just push my buttons already ) after dinner and it just pushed me over the edge...
Mary Beth's picture

I know the emotional energy you bring to your life and to your friends' lives is big and rich. The downside to being a sensitive person is - one is sensitive. I hope this day is easier - though I'm looking out the window at our solid mass of gray gloom - it's not going to be cheerful on the surface, anyway.

Aren't coincidences interesting! I watched Edie yesterday, I grieved for/with her, I rooted for her, I climbed with her. It was wonderful, and yet, I was filled with melancholy after. Be well. Patricia/Fl
Mary Beth's picture

The hard and good part of that movie, and why I guess I'm still thinking of it, was that it didn't end with all the emotions dealt with and put away. Did her daughter "get" how cramped her mother's life had been? Did she apologize to her daughter for just running away without, apparently, saying where she went? Did that young man stay with his GF and that looming debt? I get stiff watching movies on our sofa. Will I ever do a hike that beautiful and adventurous again?

Oh, Mary Beth, keep showing up at my house. Please. A few days ago, my husband and I were talking about things we stopped doing after a critical voice (whose?) told us we weren’t “good” at it; drawing, playing music, sewing, dancing, singing... We watched Edie last night. I had not heard of it. We still own a piano. And a sewing machine. Thanks. Love, Lois.

I would not know if I did not mark off on my calendar...or looked at my electronics! Does the day really matter? Is it sad I am content, alone, with my cat? I have a housemate yet we do not spend much time is a “comfortable” friendship. (He just mowed the lawn for the first time this year...something I can no longer do) BTW: my go-to baking is scones and/or what Wisconsinites call Seven Sisters. My mother’s recipe from a 1948 Danish magazine.
Mary Beth's picture

'Sad' is a social construct that only applies if you feel it or if you do things that make other people feel it. If it ain't either of those, then say hi to your cat and knit til the cows come home!

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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

Quarantine Diary #200 The Debate

Regarding that Debate. 

I’ve been at a zoo when a cranky monkey starts throwing poop. That remembrance came to me last night. Watching Uncle Joe try to answer questions while Trump trash talked everybody and everything except white supremacists – that was damn ugly.

Quarantine Diary #198 Who we still are ...

I’ve been trying and trying to write but it hasn’t happened so this morning I looked at some of my old stuff and found this from ten days after 9/11. Made me remember who we are.

I think the miserable karma of Trump is happening. I hope we will be okay. I’m not sure how talk about the harm he has done and is doing now. 

But we … we are still who we are.

The flowers in the photo were a surprise gift, just yesterday, from a friend.

I have edited it a bit. 

September 21, 2001 Lost in Racine - An Aftermath of Civility

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