Mary Beth Writes

One of the realities I like quite fiercely about becoming an “Older Person” is this. When the world tells me how to think or feel – I recognize that message coming at me and I am confident enough to agree - or disagee - or simply walk away.

I am deliciously cranky enough now to object to signs that tell me to “Feel Joy” or or “Friends, Family, Heart” or “Love Lives Here”.   Maybe I need a sign that says, “Watch Out, She’s Deliciously Cranky” ...

When it comes to The Holidays, this attitude is interesting. If I am no longer responsible to “Celebrate His Birth” or “Make Christmas Happen”, then what’s the deal?

It’s December and all I really want to do is be awake in it.

So that’s what I am going to do here.  As often as I can get around to it I am going to post – not what I think you should see or feel in The Happiest Time of the Year.  And not what I think is Fabulously Festive or Particularly Pious.

But just what I see. Because what we see, who we interact with, what we do in our days – that’s the good stuff. In this falling apart and realigning world we seem to be living in now – let’s watch what is instead of harping at each other about what used to be or ought to be next.

Let’s just look around at December.

Have you noticed that when you feel really stressed or angy or upset – if you go outside and look up at the sky for a while – some of your urgency of emotion seems to dissipate and it is easier to breath?

December sky

I was buying bibs for my granddaughter – and this made me laugh outloud.

We put our tree on our front porch.  When it gets sunny, the porch gets hot and Lulu loves to sleep onher tuffet.  She never gets bored sleeping in the sun.

When I was a kid my Grandpa Anderson generally had peppermints in his pockets, so if I sat on his lap in church, he’d give me one. Grandma would roll her eyes and whisper a hush when the wrapper crinkled.

Decades later I read that some Hebrew Midrash writer advised giving children sweets during the reading of Torah, so they will learn that religion is sweet.  Maybe all the religions of earth should claim peppermints as our mutual communion, and hand them out to each other often.

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Love this! Especially the part about candy during church. I too am trying to notice things around me more.

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Four Days Up North

If you click into the icon that's right here, you can read my take on our recent small vacation to northern Wisconsin. We hiked - and took photos!  Pictures are by both of us, though a lot of the most astounding ones are from Len and his 10-year old Nikon. 

Missionary Types in the Mississippi Watershed in the 1600’s. Oh yeah.

Happy All Saints Day.

Today (though it will probably be yesterday by the time I get this written) we are going to discuss Catholic missionary types who proselytized Mississippi watershed country in the mid-to-late 1600’s.

Nomadland. How people live well enough when there is no way to live well.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century - by Jessica Bruder

 

You’ve read these kinds of statistics before.  In the US our incomes are spread like this: The top 1% suck up 81 times MORE annual income than the bottom half of ALL Americans.

Len's Marinated Story Starts

Our family gathered for Easter dinner this year, um, the Saturday after Easter. I guess flexibility is one of our survival skills.  Our three kids have in-laws, one baby, two dogs and all three live 1-3 hours away. We are grateful when these kids show up at all, let alone needing them on specific dates.

So. Easter dinner. The kids had given Len a new Weber grill for his birthday – which inspired an Easter menu of kabobs. Some marinated and grilled veggies plus a lot of marinated and grilled meat.

Update on Our Brother

In June I wrote about Our Brother  HERE

Here’s an update:

Our Brother is still working at the same warehouse, full-time, $9/hr.  

Back in June the Child Support dep’t had negotiated 3 purges (purge is the term Child Support uses for the bond one pays in order to get out of or stay out of jail once warrants are listed). His three purges on his three child support cases were $350 and $500 and $500. I invited people to make contributions to his cause.

Detroit!

This is a small compendium of photos and observations from a quick trip we took to Detroit last weekend.  

Amazingly, this has taken ALL my time since Wednesday morning. Sheesh, one seldom really sees Giant New Things to Learn as they come down the pike straight at one. 

These photos are from my phone, Len's phone, and our camera. So I got to play with two on-line albums of photos and then, surprise-surprise, the end product was "too big" - so today I got to run all the photos through Photoshop to make them smaller pixel-wise.  

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