Mary Beth Writes

Do you see their faces?

The beautiful woman who took her own life a few days ago. She was an ER doctor as well as director of the Emergency Department in a NYC hospital.

The little 5-year old girl Skyler, whose mom and dad are EMT’s in Detroit. They must have brought the virus home to her. 

Old couples, each of them them holding photos of each other, separated by this terrible disease.

John Prine, Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis, Terrence McNally

I could go on and on but you have pictures and names in your mind, too. Every day we see and hear more stories of these losses.  (In Vietnam over a period of roughly ten years we lost 58,000 people. As of today, we have lost more than 57,000 Americans to Coronavirus.)

I don’t know what it does to us to see faces who are gone, hear the grief in their loved ones’ voices, read and hear part of the stories of the famous and the ordinary people who have died and are dying.

But if this is a diary of what we are encountering in this time of quarantine from Coronavirus contagion, then we have to think about what it means to us personally and collectively to lose so many people so quickly. When it didn’t need to be this devastating. When the loss is real, the anger is real, and then back to devastating grief.

Sometimes I feel as if the news pelts us, like hail. We are changing, I am sure.  

This morning the weather was mild and sometimes there was even a sheen of light and sunshine, so I spent three hours outside, mostly in my yard.  I dumped out onto a tarp the garbage bin of the semi-composted stuff Len and I had discarded since last September. Lots and lots of coffee grounds and eggshells, veggie and fruit trimmings.  Next year we will not put citrus rinds in the bin. Live and learn.

The next bin was stuffed with leaves. Then there was the bucket of ashes from burning sticks all weekend.

I spent much of my morning dumping, mixing, and carrying buckets of this slurry to the places where I want to plant vegetables later in the spring. I decided gardening isn’t about "making things happe". It’s more like being a church or theater usher.  One ushers the dirt and seeds into helpful places and then ushers the weeds back out to where they can congregate in a dump.

I guess I'm a dirt facilitator and earth usher.

I have five miles on my pedometer this evening. I’m out energy, words, and thoughts. 

What did you facilitate today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I made French bread. First time in more than 40 years. I may make bread more often now.
Mary Beth's picture

Wow! Where were you 40 years ago and why did you make it then and for whom? Making bread isn't nearly as hard as convincing one's self to do it. IMHO.

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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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