Mary Beth Writes

I wrote this in the first week of 2014:

A is for apple.

Well, we made it through the first Monday of the year.  Did you twirl brilliantly through your Monday? If so, the rest of us salute you.

Over here in my corner the best I can say is that I didn’t get hurt. I did pretty much what I was supposed to do and I’m going to bed sober and tired.  For many, that would be a very good day, indeed.

But I didn’t write anything profound. I didn’t glean an inmate story that moved my heart or his. 

I ate too much bread. Probably because I made five loaves yesterday – 3 loaves of zucchini-cranberry-walnut and 2 of all the whole grains I could find, which in this house is considerable. So tonight I feel somewhat like a fish who escaped the baited hook – in order to swallow the sinker.  In my defense, it isn’t that I ate bread all day long – just that I had it for breakfast, then for lunch, then for dinner. 

Len and I each take a sliced apple to work every day for our lunch. Apples are healthy, crunchy, sweet - a simple food straight from Mom Earth to us.

Every day I eat my sandwich, and then I eat my apple pieces. 

Except, about one day per week I don’t eat my apple. Maybe guys come in while I’m eating at my desk. Maybe I’m not hungry right then and I forget later.  Maybe I’m stuffed on whole grain bread.

I try to remember to eat it in the truck on my way home, but today I was wearing mittens; it just wasn’t going to work.

Do you have ordinary health-full, reasonable things you do most days -- but not all of them? 

This is just about humankind’s oldest question. Why, if we know something is a good choice, why don’t we always make it?  Why do we sabotage our own health and happiness by skipping the brisk walk, over-indulging in too-rich treats, not doing the next thing on our list of needful things to do, skipping the apple?

I don’t know why, when we see what it is we ought to do, we don’t always do it.

But it does mean that we are here on Mother Earth. And tomorrow is the first Tuesday of the year and I have an apple ready.

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"Brotherhood" by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr - A Book Review

10/13/2021

“Brotherhood” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the most compelling novel I’ve read this year. I read the first half as if I was reading a book for the first time; it felt as if the writer was expressing a story so powerful he called it fiction just to get it out, to me, to us. 

I skimmed the second half because I was exhausted by the impossible trauma and decisions the characters would need to endure and try to survive.

Let me say right here than many will survive. Not all.

Thanks & Now Let's Do Pups!

10/13/2021

 Thank You!

I sent our collated list of “Ways to Help My Community” to the Third Graders this morning.  Laura has already shared it with them; I just received this from one kid. This was really cool and helpful thank you for coming back to me so quickly well you always respond quickly like all the time and also I like hiring (hearing) from you always make me smile from writing to pictures I love them all.”

3rd graders on Community Building

10/12/2021

... 

I’m just back from volunteering in the third grade.  I’ve done this for five years; Laura Zahn who is this class’s teacher, plus her friend and fellow teacher Mara, have become among my favorite people in Waukesha. 

My Relationship with a Door 10/5/2021

Dear Friends,

I seem to be out of Deep Thoughts lately. Not sure if this is apparent to you but it is to me. This is not exactly a problem but keeps me guessing what in the world I should be writing. Or - since “should” is a sometimes toxic and generally unhelpful word – these days I am not sure what you want to read and I want to write.

So maybe I’ll just write you a quick Dear Friends. Sometimes relationships are just about checking in.

Up North 9/30/2021

Here’s why I’ve not posted anything in nearly two weeks.

Last week Len and I took a trip to Duluth, MN and Ashland, WI. We hiked seven hikes, met new friends, ate too much. (We didn’t eat IN restaurants. We ate take-out dinners while sitting in our car overlooking Chequamegon Bay.) We marinated in the breezy Up North rhythms of woods, streams, rivers, and Lake Superior. 

Then we came home to all that stuff one does up returning; laundry, groceries, and bringing in the Big Dozers to deal with cat litter boxes. 

Cabeza de Vaca & Company: A 500-Year Old Story for Our Time.

I’ve been thinking about Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca for years and I’ve also been thinking about him for a week.

It’s crazy out there in the world right now and people are, I think, kinda sick of each other. Racism, sexism, and classism are the muck we walk through to get to our cars while our climate is turning into flying monkeys. And the rich keep getting richer.

So let me tell you about a guy I admire.

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