Mary Beth Writes

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Maybe we are experiencing, at a visceral level, what it feels like to not be insulated by privilege. To be a native American shopping in a Walmart in the Dakotas. To be a black person walking into a diner they’ve not been in before. To be a person who “looks” LGBTQ. To be a not-preppy teenager, a person who is too short, too fat, too sick, too handicapped. To be a poor person in a developing nation still governed by the corruption of post-colonial power.

Time for us to acknowledge the American Dream is to feel safe where we live. This is not a birthright. It’s our hope, goal, and best wealth when it happens.

We are in a pandemic. I preached on Julian of Norwich two years. She lived through the astonishingly horrendous European Bubonic Plague of 1348. And other awful things. This is my sermon. Read here. 

The leading photo is of St. Julian’s church. The photo is from Susan Bergmann who belongs to my UU congregation. She grew up in Norwich, England and often walked by Julian’s church.

All this week I feel as if I have been chased by my to-do list. I’m writing more which is good for my sense of who I am, but also takes a lot of time. I need and like to walk a lot, but that also takes hours. There are appointments to keep and make. Friends to reach out to or respond to. Supper to make. Laundry to do. Cat litter to change. Order the groceries, pick them up, carry them into the house, put them away. Realistically, that’s about two hours a week. I’m grateful for the food but that’s a long chore.

Everything gets done, but not everything gets done promptly. Things I care about fall to the shoulder of the road.

There are so many cheap and expensive ways to get one’s life organized. But behind the organizational tools, how do you balance your spirit and what it needs to do – and the things that simply need to get done – and the things that help you put your love and talents and service out into your part of the world?

How do you decide what to do and what to do next? I know we have different answers and I'm curious. 

FYI from the Washington Post today: 10.6 million Americans have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. This is 9.60% of the prioritized population and 3.20% of the total population.

Our nation's population is 329 million. About 250,000,000 of us are over age 18 and thus should be vaccinated.

Took us about six weeks to get this far. You can do more of this math is you want, but boy oh boy do we need an organized federal response right now.

Because 25 times six weeks is too long.

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Leonard's picture

Many states have expanded their lists of who will get the first dose of the vaccine based on the Trump administration's decision to "release the vaccine held as reserve for the second dose." Well, those states are about to have their plans changed, because that reserve HAS ALREADY BEEN USED UP. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/01/15/trump-vaccine-reserve-used-up/

I try, most days, to spend a few moments in quiet reflection over that first coffee. No news, no screens, yet. Gratitude; I made God’s “wake up list” another day! And intention, maybe a little more presence, a little more kindness. After that, the “what’s” fall into better place, it seems.

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Dancing Lessons & What’s Next on Your List?

“Unexpected travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Kurt Vonnegut

Yesterday I got a text at 5AM from one of our kids. “Mom, are you awake?”

Heart stops.

Heart starts again.

Nancy Drew (her cat) was sick. Nancy had been stumbling, rolling to her side, couldn’t walk, tried to jump up to our daughter’s bed and fell. Daughter took Nancy to a 24/7 emergency vet clinic.

Obviously, she had already done the only thing there was to do. Get to a vet.

A Wonderful Photo, Brownies, Voting Rights, Kids & their Books

These are things I thought about this week:

1. I am a person who has to use self-discipline to not bake cookies and desserts ALL THE TIME. I can go from “Hmm, brownies would be tasty” to made-from-scratch brownies in my mouth a half hour later.

Every strength - is also a weakness - is also a strength.

Here’s my brownie recipe from a Lutheran cookbook I impulse bought at McDonald’s Bakery in my hometown in the middle 1980’s when we were visiting my mom. I made these so often the cookbook fell apart at this recipe, so I threw the rest of the book away and just kept this.

Your Favorite Poster’s Post-Easter Post

I don’t often share my physical challenges with you, but today, Friends, I have suffered. I own three barrettes and I cannot find any of them and my hair has been slip-sliding into my eyes all day.

Why is it the littlest stuff that trips us up?

I could buy more barrettes and perhaps someday I will. Though I have learned this tricky lesson in my life - the more one owns of a small item, the more likely it is one will not keep track of that thing and it will become utterly lost.

Anyway…

MB's "Twilight Bark"

Today I am writing what I could most accurately describe as a Twilight Bark. As in, one dog barking a heartfelt warning to many other dogs. (Do NOT miss this Twilight Bark clip from YouTube.) 

On Friday Len went for his annual checkup. While there, he received a pneumonia vaccine, because after all the hoopla about the covid vaccines, the pneumonia shot is no big deal, right?

Len started feeling lousy that very afternoon and he still felt awful on Saturday. So we didn’t go to Chicago to visit our kids and grands. 

A Slower Week

Last week I had enough to say to write three posts. This week, not so much. This week I cooked and baked things to share with some friends who were having trickier than usual weeks. I wrote letters to the Third Graders. I always enclose some stickers (many from you guys) which are super cute, and I didn’t think any more about this, except, this week, one kid asked for a toy.

The End of The Quarantine Diary 3/16/2021

It’s time for me to end this Quarantine Diary. This has been a place to sort what we were hearing and seeing. So many, including the former president and his minions, said Covid would not be a big deal. Medical and science experts said otherwise.

Show us Trump and Fauci standing next to each other? That wasn’t a hard choice. We went with science.  

So, like you, Len and I mostly stayed home. We ‘ordered and picked-up’ what we needed – groceries, wine and IPA’s, library books, some cats. We went outside almost every day to walk, ride bikes, or find new places to hike.

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