Mary Beth Writes

I received a warm, easygoing, and professional phone call from Sara Rodriguez this week. She is running for Wisconsin State Assembly in the 13th district. Not my district, but I am ready and grateful to support people who will fight for issues I care about. Especially women. We need them and right now, they need us.

This is Wisconsin’s 13th District. https://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/?asm=13&single=y  It seems to roughly include Brookfield, Elm Grove, around the Zoo and the Wisconsin State Fair Park. This map was invented by Republicans to elect Republicans. What you are seeing is gerrymandering.

Look at the map if you are not sure if you are in it or not.

Sara is calling people who can work for her, vote for her, and donate to her. Read her bio and agenda and send money!  Like her on FB and invite your neighbors to do so, also.

https://www.saraforwi.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Sara4WI

It’s getting more complicated to talk about and write about things that are not directly about racial justice. When we live in a society where we have to talk about “racial justice” -- well, that says it all.  If it isn’t justice for everybody, then it isn’t and never was justice.

Our son dropped off some things to us this week and stayed for supper. Tacos in the garage (it was raining) with one’s kid, in this time of quarantine, is just about the finest dining I can imagine.

We are visiting our daughters in Chicago tomorrow. One has a new kitten and the other has our two grandkids. We will be wearing masks and when we are with the grands, we will be outside. 

It’s been a long time since we spent time with our kids. In some ways, we have communicated more via calls and facetime than we did before.  But we haven’t been with them in months.

So much of our information about each other is absorbed not through what we say, but through what we feel and intuit - that mystery of intermingling molecules that happens when we are in the same place as people we care about. Do you feel closer to your people or more cut off? I’m not sure if I could answer that but I am very aware that connections with family and friends have changed a lot in the last three months.

Our wedding anniversary is this weekend. We started celebrating wildly yesterday … by taking a hike and later by discovering a startling place we didn’t know existed.

Our hike was almost here. https://wisconsin-explorer.blogspot.com/2017/07/hiking-ice-age-trail-monches-segment.html  You park your car at a parking lot, walk a short distance into some woods, and then you turn left. Except we turned right and that, as Robert Frost promised when explaining about paths in the woods, that made all the difference. 

(We are going back to the Monches segment really soon. Looks lovely)

We hiked two hours on the Ice Age Trail as it wends through old forest. There was a place where the meadow was so green it was chartreuse. We saw a blue-bodiced damsel flies and chippy woodpeckers and all the regular small darty animals. Lots of trillium past their blooms plus some Jack-in-the Pulpits and other leaves of things I know are rare and native, but I can’t tell you their names because names of plants is not my forte’. (Ask Kathryn and Franc.)

I stood quietly on the path a while; Len was far behind taking photos. Wind was blowing way up in the tops of the tall trees. As I watched them sway sixty feet over my head, I both felt and saw how those bigger breezes gently fell and whooshed downwards, moving the air inside the woods, pushing into skinny saplings standing among their parent trees. Those leafy saplings’ thin and pliable branches rose and fell like lungs of the forest. All around me trees breathed and waved and I was more than a little awed to see it. I’ve been hanging out in woods all my life and I never noticed this before. That you can see and feel and hear the forest breathing.

...

On our way to find sandwiches, we saw curious signs that promised “Spectacular Sculptures.”. Len had seen this mentioned on a Google Maps list of interesting places. (Spectacular Sculptures)

We found it, dropped our jaws, and parked. Once again, all I’m doing here is telling you about an amazing place. Maybe you already know Paul Bobrowitz’s art.

It’s six acres of sculptures that are big and imaginative; there are LOTS of sculptures. Some are whimsical (a bunch of frogs-like critters riding bikes together). Some are edgy and feel political. Some are threatening. Think wendigo, boogeyman, nightmare creatures standing on slag heaps of broken sidewalks.

No one was there, we had the place to ourselves. (Another couple drove up as we were leaving.) The sculptures are created from recycled metal, wood, rocks, bikes, propane tanks. The artist lives on this property. It’s crazy but it is also under control.

Life is long. People honoring long decades spent together could do worse than wandering among chrome moons, painted suns, teapot bird houses, monsters, rusty lovers, and all the other symbols and prisms of a beautiful and complicated life.

 

Comments

I can't believe we are still doing this Quarantine Diary and yet here we are with no end in site... My kid sister went on vacation to free her brain of the burden she carries as a health care worker( Radiology Tec ) dealing first hand with Milwaukee's Covid situation... She got her resaults from her Covid test (negative ) before setting out... Had it not she would have cancelled... She asked if I would watch my two four legged nephews so she could focus on herself and nothing else and I agreed... I'm now five or so minutes away from my favorite Indian restaurant for the duration of her travel journey... Mr. B and I were supposed to have our flesh and blood second date on Wednesday, Ya THAT Wednesday, the one of endless rain... Mr. B called on Tuesday to cancel because of family issues and so we put the date off until next week the 17th, we'll be cooking Puerto Rican food and will see how well we work together... Instead of our cancelled date we had a three hour Zoom date today Friday... It was as they say "The next best thing to being there" it's amazing how we as a couple have relied so heavily on all this technology we have at our fingertips to move this *Relationship*( Mr. B's words ) forward... We are dating in the Age of Covid with all the checks and balances that entails, and yet it seems that we are growing closer and stronger every day...
Mary Beth's picture

I wonder if the LGBTQ community is doing better at starting and maintaining relationships during quarantine (than the rest of us) - because in general, the road to becoming who you are is not easy and requires years of conversations with oneself and then with others. So being able to express oneself is a survival skill.

Thank you, Mary Beth! I enjoyed very much your sharing of thoughts and stories, experiences and hopes. Happy anniversary! I can’t imagine a more perfect celebration of your life together than finding your way to where you can feel and hear the forest breathing, walking through the creative work of someone who knows how to create magic with old tools and natural things, and then, best of all, creating time and space for a visit with your kids and grandkids! You are the most creative quarentiner I know! Congratulations and best wishes!

Sometimes when I read the number day it is, I'm like, "Really, that's all?" and sometimes I'm like, "Wow, that's a lot of days!" Guess it depends on my mood. LOL. Thanks for sharing. Always up for a hike in the woods, even virtually.

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Quarantine Diary #141 8/5/2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain.  It is a remarkable book that asks more questions than it answers.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s and grew up grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mother would simmer stones for dinner so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not realize how poor they were.  (A whole different take on the children’s tale “Stone Soup.") The violent and terrifying Cultural Revolution that Chinese citizens lived through is over but memories of it are in everyone’s minds.

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

Quarantine Diary #130 7/22/2020 What's in your glass?

In the last few weeks one of my knees has decided it is the current star of the MB show. I overused it one day, I know when that was, ever since it’s been wonky. I have to baby it otherwise it hurts more than a little. Aging isn’t for wusses. 

I am walking less because walking a lot makes it worse.  I CAN ride a bike as much as I want since that doesn’t exacerbate the situation. I’m trying to weigh less, which is its own comedy.

Quarantine Diary #124 7/17/2020 As if it makes sense …

Our family lost a friend this week. I won’t go into too many details other than Tom died of a bike accident on a sunny day while riding in the country with friends. His wheel somehow got stuck in gravel, he fell, the fall twisted, and he died.

This is not his obituary or eulogy. This is a just a reflection on losing friends and how do we make sense of this?

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