Mary Beth Writes

The picture is from a wonderful picture book, A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert. 

...

My computer was becoming slower than a cold sloth. I would turn it on before my morning shower and a half hour later when I sat down to work - it would argue with me over Microsoft Word. And Photoshop. And my email. And anything on the internet. Not everything was slow all the time; just here and there it would stop and spin. Len knew it was a background program that was using the computer at the same time as me. Some people disable that program, but we were anxious about disabling something that came pre-installed. 

It was on our minds that we should buy a new computer for me but I was reluctant. So much money and work!

My son was getting rid of old computer.

“Would Mom like it?”

Mom would.

There was still an awful lot of finagling, but Len does not go crazy doing this. This morning I am working on this new-to-me computer and it is amazing. I can flip from program to program. Things pop right up.

The right tool for a job is my kind of luxury.

PS: Inserting photos into my posts will require a different process. Curious to see if you can tell.

Mary sent a pix of her dog Moira. 

Moira swam in the Root River often last summer. Now they have to keep her away from the ice and water!

Nothing is more wonderful than a happy grandkid holding a puppy.

Len and I watched two movies this week that are worth talking about.

Both movies circle around these life questions. How does one build and maintain a meaningful life? What do we need? What do we deserve? What will make us happy?

(Also, will winter ever end and how do I get through another week of this weather?)

The first movie was Some Kind of Heaven (Review here)  It’s a documentary about the huge Florida retirement community named The Villages. The movie follows four Villages residents: a married couple, a single man, a single woman. The Villages is home to 150,000 citizens so discussing the place via four individuals is obviously a slanted way to look at the entire place. The movie is both fascinating and sad. It was easy to see what selfish and incomplete souls the two men were. Just as sad and weird is watching the women trying to navigate a world as complicated and arbitrary as high school felt for many of us.

By the time it was over, Len and I felt as if we were doing a good-enough job with our time and resources here in retirement. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since we watched it, both of us have volunteered to do some new things that sound interesting to us.  

The next evening we watched (recommended by John Harvie) Kenny. (Review here)  It’s an Australian movie about (da-dum) Kenny, a guy who is the crew chief of a porta-potty business in Melbourne. He talks fast and his patter is often hilarious. What a guy! I will forever cherish, “Some families are close and then some families are Christmas cards at twenty paces.”

It’s a mockumentary; the director is manipulating a story to show us this guy who is a Hero for Our Time. Many people disrespect him because of his job but he never stoops to their cruel or dismissive level. He’s clear-eyed about the strengths and foibles of his coworkers. He’s divorced; “One could skip the drama of divorce by finding a person they hate and then giving them a house.” His ex-wife complicates his life considerably but he never talks poorly about her to others or in front of their kid. It’s clear his love for his boy is everything.

By the last scene, honest to Pete, Len and I were cheering for Kenny.

So anyway, if you are feeling sluggish and underachieving with what you are doing in your working and not-working hours – watch both movies and the path will become clearer.

Err on the side of love.

 

Comments

I’ve put the movies on my list! Love the pictures.

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The Good Old Days???

9/28/2022

Over the past few days Len and I have been emailing with two cousins regarding this interesting topic.

Were the Good Old Days All That Good?

The four of us grew up in the late 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. We are from three hometowns. Two of us were and still are science nerds. Two of us grew up in the same family and church.

This is what Len said about his childhood.

This is a more intense version of joking to kids that our smallpox scars are power ports.

Send $ to Welcome the Strangers Among Us.

If you have a heart for new immigrants among us and are open to another way to support them – Listen Up.

Three Things - Surviving the News, Our Web, Hiking Pix

9/16/2022

Len and I went on a hike yesterday at the Monches section of the Ice Age Trail and the photos are from there. 

Was it only a week and a half ago? My how time flies when one lives in an open and free society under daily assault.

3 Things - Cool, 9/11, Bulbs

The photo is from Hiroshima. It's the shadow of what was there before the bomb. 

9/11/2022

Yesterday it was hot and muggy and sticky. Almost every day since May has been hot and muggy and sticky. We have a small house with air conditioning; utility bills are not prohibitive so I am a lucky that way.  It’s usually cool enough in here.

But spending time outside, as one ought to do, is perpetually hot and muggy and sticky. I’m weary of sweating. Most weeks my laundry has included nearly twenty spent t-shirts … just from me.

3 Things - QE2, Triplets, & Me

The death of Queen Elizabeth dominated the news yesterday and it still thick afoot today. ‘Thick afoot” is my attempt to sound like a wee English countryside river animal political pundit. You know. An otter with a pipe. A weasel in a dark suit and an appropriate tie. A crow with an Hermès scarf.

I have two responses to QE2’s passing.

Wild Horses & Other Beauties

8/23/2022 

I first saw this photograph on Twitter in April. I don’t know the photographer, but the photo stopped me in my tracks. 

The Twitter handle of this person is Chris Byrne @ChrisByrnePhoto. He has a website; I think he leads photography workshops. His website is: chrisbyrnephotography.com.

Meanwhile, here I am, awestruck by a beautiful and wild place I will likely never go. It’s called Torres de Pain and it’s a national park in Chile. https://national-parks.org/chile/torres-del-paine

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