Mary Beth Writes

Coming right up, Pandemical Mother’s Day! If you are a mother you probably have one of two imperfect tomorrows in front of you.

If you are a mom with kids in your house, you will eat what they cook, or call in take-out, or cook the meal to celebrate yourself. If that 3rd option happens I’m suggesting cereal, candy bars, popcorn and Old Fashioneds. But you do you.

If your kids are grown and out of the house, well, there’s a conundrum. Cozy phone calls? Or Happy Social Distancing with the ones you love best. Air hugs just don’t cut it, do they? Maybe you will hug them anyway, I won’t tell.

I read this smart article earlier today which certainly suggests that if you can manage it – stay outside. Read here.  The weather in the Midwest tomorrow is supposed to be rain interspersed with snow. Fun.

Tomorrow you either will or won’t be with your mother, your children, and grandchildren. Mother’s Day is an easy day to start with the best of intentions and attitude and then whammo-bammo, one kid sticks his finger in the nose of the other (they are 40 and 42) and next thing you know … complicated feelings.

So maybe today think of things you would like to happen that YOU can be in charge of. A walk, with snowshoes? Cooking something you love to eat. Listening to your favorite music. Watching a movie. (We watched “Becoming.” It was like breathing clean air to remember how many good people are in our country.) If you have the money to do so, order something you’ve been coveting a little.

Never wait for someone else to make you happy on Mother’s Day during a pandemic.

In case you need or want a laugh: Best Tweets by Women this week.   

Things I saw on Twitter yesterday and this morning:

 Tweet 1: Trump's grandfather died in the 1918 flu pandemic and the subsequent life insurance policy that paid out created the Trump fortune. This is the most mind-boggling thing I've learned during Covid 19.

Tweet 2: In the past DAY, the 8 richest men increased their wealth by $6.2B:
Mark Zuckerberg: $1.08B, Larry Page: $956M, Bill Gates: $931M, Sergey Brin: $919M
Jeff Bezos: $907M, Larry Ellison: $634M, Warren Buffett: $429M, Steve Ballmer: $353M
Combined wealth: $653.8B

While 33M+ lost jobs

A friend asked me (via email, sigh) how I’m doing. I said I feel as if in the last few days I and America have finished Part One of the pandemic. We have witnessed thousands of people dying, bodies stacked in refrigerator trucks, Trump stumbling through his briefings and Cuomo gripping our attention in his. We know who Fauci is as well as the lady with the scarf. We know how to put on our masks. I don’t think much anymore about “going out” since being here seems so normal. Getting in the car makes me feel slightly giddy.

I check the Dow Jones a lot less than I used to; it seems dead and stupid and has so little to offer people who lost their jobs. Some businesses are re-opening but who is patronizing restaurants and stores now? According to surveys, about 70% of us are staying hunkered down until something makes more sense than this.

We are in Part Two where 46% of Americans are affected by lowered income. But that means 54% of us have about the same. Len and I and many of you are in the 54% - and it doesn’t feel a bit stable or kind.

I walked on the boardwalk through the slough behind Target this morning, my mind tumbling and whizzing. I leaned against the railing a few minutes to watch mud.  And wouldn’t you know, a piece of that muck began to move! It was a big ole’ turtle! 

It was so marvelous to watch that old lady (I decided she was she) pushing around, biting at weedy things, just being her perfect self. I smiled until I realized I was smiling and that I was excited. I wasn't trying to be delighted, that just happened on its own. I thought about the generations behind me who taught their kids to look for turtles for fun, science, and dinner.  All of those people and their kids crowded up behind me with their curiosity and respect, we all wanted to see the big turtle at the edge of a swampy city pond.   

The earliest known turtles date from the Middle Jurassic, making them ancient. Turtles are thought to have exceptional night vision due to the unusually large number of rod cells in their retinas; turtles have color vision with sensitivities ranging from the near ultraviolet (UVA) to red.

The story going on around us is so much older, wilder, and bigger than us.  

 

Comments

Watched Becoming the day it came out -- smiled the whole way through it. Michelle is such an upbeat, decent, encouraging person, she is amazing. Watching the Grant Park scene on election night made me cry, just as I did that night in 2008 when I felt so hopeful for my country. Watching Becoming did once again give me some hope. In spite of the dumpster fire that is the current administration, we did once have leaders who were decent and competent; so perhaps we could have that once again. Feeling hopeful is so much better than feeling despair. Feeling despair makes one want to give up, but feeling hopeful makes one try to make things better.

I have walked that boardwolk many times in past years....thanks for the memory. I have a big old snaping turtle who lives in my channel. Head as big as my fist. I see heim every year....but not this year yet....strange... one year he got stuck inside the fence around my veggie garden. I had to rescue him. Had to get him to grab a stick and drag him out the gate. He wasn't very apprecative. He's lucky I don't like turtle soup!
Mary Beth's picture

Aren't they awesome! Like a wave from millions of years ago, they hung out with dinosaurs and they hang out near us.

I too watched Becoming on the day it first came out. All I can say is that that woman has more intelligence and class in her little finger than that poor excuse for a president we have in Washington... And as for turtles how can you not love them... As kids we used to bring them home from a nearby pond and keep them in the backyard until they would escape or we'd take them back to the pond...

That reminds me of a turtle I had brought home for a "pet". It all went well until one day when holding it on my shoulder.....it bit me on the neck! After that I stuck to bring toads and frogs home....except when I got a muskrat from the almost empty city swimming pool after the winter draw down.....I was into bring anyting live home for a pet, snakes, baby black birds ( full of lice, my mother pointed out, when I set them on the kitchen table ) I also collected niightcrawlers with a flashlite after a heavy rain, by the coffee can full. My first "pets".
Mary Beth's picture

Michol, I can just see you with pet worms and a muskrat and a crow on your shoulder, giving heck to anyone who crossed your path. A mom who names her daughter Michol knows who that daughter is going to be!

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Happy Birthday to Len

11/30/2022 

Today is Len’s birthday. I told him this morning I might write about him but I would let him read whatever I said first. He said not to run it past him, he’d like the surprise of reading it when you all do. Let’s see what I come up with.

1. This is cute. Len was born in Chicago’s Passavant Memorial Hospital which was the grandparent hospital to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital - where two of our grandkids were born.

Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 

11/21/2022

Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?

11/17/2022

Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?

11/9/2022

It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day

11/8/2022 

So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

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