Mary Beth Writes

Over here at the Lucky Dog Chalet (our house) we are at Day #5 of being above-average happy about Life in General.

I’ve always been more curious about success than failure. It’s easy to be miserable; just eat a sleeve of store-bought cookies, blame it on someone else, then watch the news. Right? How to be miserable in 3 simple steps without getting off the sofa

But happy? Content? Pleased?

What happened? What brought on this Cloud of Mild Cheer?

Here’s what happened.

Less.

The past few months were by no means miserable. We have friends, things to do, good health, tasty things to eat and bikes to ride. Life was fine. But we were also pretty busy. I just deleted my list of the stuff we’ve been doing. You don’t need to read it; you have your own list.

We kept saying to each other that now that we were past this event or that thing, it was going to be easier. We could get back to days of being home, writing, learning Drupal (that would be Len), taking care of ourselves, and having time for walks and bike rides. And then another week would fly by that felt like that moment when you are just about to bite into the lovely s’more you just made – and an out-of-nowhere wind puffs ashes and grit all over your melted marshmallow. You stare at it as your heart fills with ridiculous disappointment. There are people on earth suffering. What is it with safe, healthy, whiny adults who can’t seem to ever be quite happy??

So we decided to cut back on activities - and we’re four-going-on-five days into mostly writing and computer-language-learning. Well, to be clear, don’t think we dived into some super organized schedule of productivity. The nature of what we do when we invent what we want to do- is to procrastinate with chores, walks, bike rides, and meandering conversations over coffee in the morning and wine at night. Being focused, at least around here, is surrounded by a lot of flim-flam time.

Nevertheless it’s working. We are calmer. We are concentrating. Stuff is getting learned and written. Sooner or later you will see my new website. At some point Len will create a professional website for his professional self. We will be here, working on all this, over the coming weeks and months.

I remember being a kid at the county fair. My two favorite parts of carnival rides were 1.) Imagining how awesome they were going to be, and 2.) When I got off them.

It’s like that.

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Quarantine Diary #15 3/28/2020

The Long-Awaited Groceries (The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is in my brain right now) came last night at 9PM – when it was raining. A woman named Sarah, late 30’s, brown ponytail, not-posh sweatpants and hoodie – carried ALL our groceries across the street from her car to our porch. This included 8-packs of Gatorade plus boxes of seltzer water, plus lots of other heavy stuff. Did I mention it was raining?

Quarantine #14 3/27/2020

Last night we did another wild and crazy thing. We got in our car and went for a drive! The first thing we remarked to each other was that we had not been in the car together in weeks.  It felt a little odd to be in there, next to each other, about to GO SOMEPLACE! Maybe this is the way it feels to be the family dog when they let you sit in the front seat and EVERYTHING IS SO AMAZING!

We drove west into the rosy sunset, filled with excitement to, um, see the sky.  Quarantines are easiest on people who have a low bar for excitement.

Quarantine Diary #13 3/26/2020

What do you miss?  What, in our new pandemical world do you miss most from our pre-pandemical world?You know, the one we lived in till two weeks ago?

I don’t mean the heartbreaking realities such as safe medical care providers and enough places to go should one become ill and the loved ones that we are losing.

I just mean, what are we getting used to? Or trying to get used to. What might we never go back to?

Quarantine Diary #12 3/25/2020

Right now it is 11:00AM.  Got up this morning at the regular time. Did regular things. Came to the office to write. Worked (hardly at all) on a project, wrapped an item for eBay. Announced to Len at 10:30 that I was sleepy and going to take a nap.

You know what he said?  He said, “Me, too.”

The following half hour he took the sofa and I took our bed and both of us slept like toddlers on cots.

Quarantine Diary #11 3/24/2020

Most mornings we wake up, get coffee, then sit in bed to read news websites and Twitter on our phones. This isn’t the most spiritually centering way to begin a day but IMHO any morning one can actually rouse oneself at all is good enough.

Except this. Remember when Len and I went to Kearny, Nebraska last spring to see the migrating Sandhill Cranes? (Right here.) 

When I have freaked out enough about the news, I go to this crane cam. 

Quarantine Diary #10 3/23/2020

This was a really good part of today. When my daughter was putting the baby down for his nap, Len and I read storybooks to our 3-year old granddaughter before her nap. Literally, she was sitting on her little bed in Chicagoland while holding mommy’s phone.  I read; Len moved the phone around carefully to show the illustrations. 

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