Mary Beth Writes


Not sure if I wrote this post for you or for me.

I was close to the end of my volunteer shift at the Food Pantry yesterday. The morning had been tougher than usual (see the upended boxes we didn’t have time to flatten) and I was tired. Then I got this text from Len, “Don’t look at the news.”

I’ve never received anything this cryptic from Len in my life. I told my co-worker Nancy I needed to look at the news because something weird was going on.

She replied, “The Supreme Court.”

We looked at each other and then I swore. She nodded, “Totally. I agree.”

Immunity. They gave immunity to Trump.

If you don’t know what this means, read Heather Cox Richardson and Joyce Vance.

Sign up for their daily newsletters. They are calm experts who put news into historical and /or legal perspectives.

I’m so scared and angry. Many of us are. What can we - who are committed, informed, and unpowerful – do?

Hang on here. I’m not changing the subject.

I’m just back from a walk which is a fine thing to be able to say. Several months ago I messed up a knee so badly it was hard to walk without pain. I went back to Stephanie the Physical Therapist who gave me a variety of exercises to do. Now, a mere two months later, the pain is gone and I can walk. I do the exercises (almost) every day and assume I’ll be doing them the rest of my life. Stephanie was surprised when I told her I still do the shoulder exercises she have me years ago. Not hurting is one of my favorite things.

This last PT go-round I realized that the issues with my knees are connected to the way I walk. I looked pretty normal on the outside, but I unconsciously tightened my gait, curbed the sway of my hips, held my arms straight instead of letting them swing.  I was using energy to keep my various walking parts upright and in check.

I think a lot of us, especially women, do this. We are not even aware that we have learned ways of being ourselves in the world that keep us more tucked in. The energy we use to do this becomes a strain inside us as our muscles work to control our stroll.

I’m doing exercises that strengthen my quads – the four long muscles in our thighs from our torsos to our knees. When they are strong a person’s knees are not taking all the weight and work of walking.

So now when I walk, I remind myself to breathe deep. Take slightly longer strides. Let my hips swing with my natural gait instead of trying to constrain my movement. I’m sure from the outside I don’t look much different but from the inside, I’m looser and easier and I have more energy and take less ibuprofen.

So what does this have to do with yesterday’s Supreme Court decision that creates a path to constitutional destruction?

Don’t clench. Build the strengths that you, as one concerned American DO have. Don’t sit this out. Don’t give up. Don’t stay home because it aches to move.

Do the small exercises over and over.

Vote. We are descended from men and women who made great sacrifices for our nation. Voting is the way we honor veterans. Keep in mind we are not choosing BFF’s and sweethearts. We vote for representatives who best represent what we care about for ourselves and our families.

Donate money. One of the things that happens when we give as little as $5 is that “small donation” racks up not just funds but also numbers. When it comes to elections and campaigns, number count a lot.

Don’t despair about Biden’s poor debate performance. Yes, it sucked but one night “off” does not abrogate fifty years of experience. Want to see Biden’s strength? Look at his Cabinet (His Cabinet)  This is the first cabinet in US history which is 50% female and which is this diverse. If Biden resigns or dies in office there is an experienced and well-organized cadre of Americans ready to keep doing our work.

Contrast this with -  of the 44 people who served in Trump’s Cabinet – only 4 of them endorse him now. Forty of them will not support him.

Show upfor what you can. Most communities in the US will be having a 4th of July parade. Go online to your county’s Democratic website or Facebook page, see if they are recruiting people to march in your community’s parade. Join if you can. Len and I will be marching in ours. 

Waukesha 4th of July Parade! · WisDems (

(PS look at this cute secretary!  

Yard signs. Make calls. Write letters. Talk to friends, family, neighbors as you can.

Keep breathing. Swing your hips. Take the space you need to be yourself. Keep moving.

 As they say, it’s not over till the fat lady sing. And we are the fat ladies.




Leonard's picture

Money is, of course, good and TV commercials are probably good, too. Ditto for personalized postcards, buttons, yard signs and funny hats. Recent studies by serious people with pencils behind their ears and bad haircuts have shown that the very best way to swing the election is by person-to-person contact. That means walking around door-to-door and telling neighbors how important it is to vote. Strangers, too -- the worst thing that can happen is you make a new friend. And then you need to get those folks to go around and speak to their friends and so on. This is much more effective than any ad or phone call. If you have a county party office (you probably do), get to know them and ask how you can canvas. They will give you some easy training and set you up with someone who has done it before. If you are comfortable talking to people, it'll be a breeze -- and if you don't, steel yourself with the armor of valor and righteousness and do it anyway. Good luck to all of us!
Mary Beth's picture

Len has been canvassing lately. Len doesn't ask me to go, he knows I do not love it one little bit. But to all of you this deep in the weeds of this post, I changed my mind. I'm going out this Saturday and every Saturday from now on, if I'm not doing something else.

Besides giving $1 to the presidential campaign every year when filing my taxes (although I haven't filed in quick-with-numbers husband has taken over this task) I have never donated to a political campaign of any kind. That has changed this time around. A monthly automatic donation is directed to the Biden campaign until the election.
Mary Beth's picture

It's the steady steps that get us forward.

I was nauseated , truly sick to my stomach. I just have to hang on to the thought that there are a lot of smart and capable people out there working on the problem. A little person like me? I can vote, talk to others and donate! Peace
Mary Beth's picture

It was hard to sleep last night for the anger and the worry.

You wrote this for me. The anger, the worry are so real, specially at 3 a.m I have taken up writing, and calling again.Even, wrote PBS about their reporting. I am perplexed as to why only Biden's performance is being discussed? I am proudly displaying my support with my bumper sticker. Donated after the debate. I am scared. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Do you freak out, too, wondering about women and men through history, lying in their beds at 3AM, trying to tell themselves "my country is fine, this isn't going to happen" - and then living with the chaos when it does? Now that you mention it, yes, I am going to contact PBS and some others and ask them what they think they are doing, shredding Biden for one bad performance when Trump sits next to him spewing his FIFTY lies Yes, someone counted his lies during the debate. .

We must do all we can to make sure Mr. Trump doesn't win the General Election. He packed the courts with conservative judges whose decisions will compromise our democratic republic.

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Hot Weather Diary #4


Guess what amazing thing is happening at my house right now? This has not happened in, I think, two weeks…


Yesterday evening the heat index was 100 degrees. Tonight the temperature is 70, low humidity, breezes wafting in the windows like angels’ breath.

Hot Weather Diary #3


Today was another hot one and right now, it’s still 93 degrees in my backyard.

Hot Weather Diary #2


“Time wasted at a lake is time well spent.”  (I tried to learn who wrote this; it seems to have arisen spontaneously on a Pinterest plaque for your cabin.)

There is an argument that civilization started on the banks of rivers, the oceans, and along the shores of the hundreds and thousands of lakes on our earth. Waterfront is where people and animals gather to drink, eat, cool off, and watch the youngsters while they play. Also, it’s where adults gather to chat, fish, breathe in beauty, and sometimes swim far out there where joints don’t ache and its quiet.

Hot Weather Diary #1


We all knew it was coming and here it is. A Hot Week! We are in the news! We are important! Humans around the nation, especially in the East and Midwest, will be living through a week with temps in the 80’s, 90’s and worse.

What the Dickens?

The photo is from Barnados, a childrens charity in London in the 19th century. 


Argh! I have a new phone because the old one stopped staying charged plus a few more foibles. My phone cost $400 five years ago so it makes sense that it stopped working reliably, right? If an appliance worked like this we would burn that manufacturer to the ground.

Swan Story


I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s writing lately and I have decided there is too much to read. Much of it is very good but there is JUST TOO MUCH!

So my goal going forward is to write shorter posts, more often, that might remind you of the glory, power, and goofiness of your life as well as mine.

So, let me say again what’s always very true. Thank you for reading what I write.


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