Mary Beth Writes

3/20/2022

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Thanks for asking. I still don’t know the results from my 48 hours wearing a stickum heart monitor. I assume that not hearing promptly indicates that nothing is too alarming. If I don’t hear soon, I’ll contact them. Again.

Last week I had an ophthalmologist appointment. Good news is that nothing has changed and in fact my vision is slightly better.

But here is what I realized that I’d never thought too much about before. If one is going to have a procedure that could easily take hours to “recover” from and if one can choose appointment times – make the appointment late in the day. That way, you recover while you sleep. I’m talking about the easy stuff we all do such as vaccinations, dental work, eye dilation, donating blood. etc.

I had a 9AM eye appointment and then proceeded to lose the day waiting for my blurry and very light sensitive owl eyes to go away.

If I had done the check-up late afternoon, it would have been gone by the time I woke the next day and I could have accomplished things besides wandering and napping.

That’s all.

Our daughter who is aunt to our 5-year-old granddaughter received this important phone call as she was driving to her sister’s home to visit a few hours. “Could you drive Miss Five to Walgreen’s and help her buy her first gum? She wants some and we think she’s old enough now.”

So that happened and sounded extremely cute. She helped Miss Five find the best gum – pink Bubblicious. Then she gave Miss Five her own money and held her up so she could hand it to the cashier and everyone had a pretty good time with that moment.

Back home, Miss Five and two of her tiny neighbor GFs were given gum and then they were told, very carefully and clearly, that one chews gum, one doesn’t swallow it. For the next 15 minutes the three little girls walked silently up and down the sidewalk practicing chewing gum while not swallowing it.

From this moment onwards I’m going to think about this every time someone says, “That person couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time.” Because yes, sometimes this is hard.

Mr. Two wanted gum, too. He was given a small piece and also told and to not swallow it.

He swallowed it.

We watched this last week and I’ve been thinking about it since. https://www.womenoutwardbound.com/  DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT: MAXINE W. DAVIS We each had our reasons for signing on, but none of us knew how those weeks would change our lives. Fifty years ago, we boarded a bus that took us to the edge of a wilderness backcountry covering 2 million acres of lakes, rivers, granite outcroppings, bogs, rivers, and waterfalls.  We didn’t realize back then that we were changing history. 

 We soon learned that we’d get dirty and wet – but could also clean up and dry out. We paddled white water. We climbed rocks and ropes and plunged into very cold water. We gained the physical strength and mental tenacity to travel safely in "brigades" through the wilderness for the next 16 days. 

 We came to Outward Bound with such different backgrounds, abilities, and weaknesses. And when we left, many of us took something with us that we didn't realize we'd found – what I call “grit.” 

 It was 1965 and 24 teenage girls…including me…were having an experience that would change our lives forever.

 “Women Outward Bound,” is a documentary about those girls, what happened to them, and how 30 days in the wilderness taught us that we could do more than we ever thought possible.

I didn’t expect to be moved by an undramatic documentary about what some teenage girls did 57 summers ago, but there you go. This film moved me deeply.

Many of us are older women and men who have come through complicated lives. We had to go against what the “norms” were all those years ago. Sometimes we forget just how narrow our options really were. How did we get from that into the lives we lived? Not many of us were invited into structured self-esteem building programs, yet we more or less did it on our own.

Those kids helped each other. They weren’t “girlfriends” in the ordinary way of considering that. They didn’t choose each other; they didn’t know each other from previous experiences. They were thrown together and quickly learned to move beyond likes and dislikes into the work and adventure of supporting the person next to them. Sharing strengths. Helping each other. Figuring out who is best for what task.

They became adult women who often did hard things. They figured out who they wanted to be and what they wanted to do. They started programs and helped others and raised families and lived fun and worthy lives.

It’s powerful to watch what happens when kids learn how to work together.

It’s powerful to watch people sort themselves into effective teams.

It’s inspiring to watch how, sometimes, hardship empowers women into lives beyond what they could have imagine.

 

Comments

Loved the 3 small stories. Especially the gum buying and chewing. Adorable. Makes me remember the time we were coming home from Indy with the 3 grands. I taught them how to blow bubbles!

The Wi. Dept. of Natural Resources runs a program called BOW; Becoming an Outdoor Woman, for those of us who grew up missing our chance. For 3 days in the summer, groups of women get a chance to try out fly fishing , backpacking, and shooting. I know, not the same, but it was still wonderful for a girl from Wheaton. I will watch the documentary, too. Thanks.
Mary Beth's picture

Oh wow! https://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/bowWI/Pages/default.aspx I had never heard of it. I'm going to look into this more. Thanks!

To wander and nap ...

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WHITE CAKE!

The picture is our wedding cake, made by my friend Karen, who drove it from Indiana to Chicago on the hottest day of that year. It was in the back seat so their two little boys had to ride in front (remember when kids could ride in front?). They got lost in the city but I didn't know that for years because Karen and her husband start early and had time to get lost and then figure it out. Sometimes wedded bliss is a lot of work. 

The following story and recipe is not about the wedding cake, but it is the photo I have...

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6/30/2022

How Do We Remember What We Remember?

6/30/2022

The Jan 6 Hearings, huh? This is an amazing moment in US history and I’m trying to understand our incredibly intense response. Four of 10 voters have watched at least some of the hearings, which is 20,000,000 people. It’s not just me that can’t look away.

Our Terrible Canoe Adventure

The eagle photo was taken by Len - but not on this trip! 

6/23/2022

We are fine but I have a tale to tell.

American Successes / American Failures

Did you ever have to tell the truth when it was hard? Did you ever lie to avoid a hard situation?  Did you ever know a hard, wrong thing but you told no one because it was going to be complicated and some people wouldn’t believe you and you might end up disrespected or worse for “telling on” someone else?

Most people work hard at learning truth-telling when they are 4 and 5-years old.

Molecule Moving

6/8/2022     

I didn’t know a Panoply of Dental Moments was coming my way this week, but such is life with teeth. One can brush, floss, slosh, and swish - but if one’s teeth want to crumble, they do. Yesterday I had my six-month cleaning. The hygienist said several times that I brush and floss beautifully. I was proud and thinking maybe I would give myself a “well-done” sticker when I got home. Then the dentist came in to do the check-up and said two fillings had cracks around them and needed to be replaced.

Rough Stories, Tough Week

6/1/2022 

Last Friday evening on PBS Tonight David Brooks said something like this. “I am afraid for all of us. The news just pummels us.”

There are as many tough stories as there are fingers on a closed fist. The shooting in Uvalde. The shooting in Buffalo. The corrupt power of the NRA and other obscene wealth-mongers that are destroying our society from the inside of elected reps’ pockets outwards. Ukraine. Global climate mayhem. Oh, and covid is everywhere. Less traumatic for most; long covid for some. So that’s six fingers on that pugilistic fist.

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