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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Quarantine Diary #141 August 5, 2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain. It is a quietly stupendous memoir.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s, grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mom would simmer stones for dinner - not because they were going to eat that - but so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not know how poor they were. A whole different take on the children’s tale "Stone Soup".

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

Quarantine Diary #130 7/22/2020 What's in your glass?

In the last few weeks one of my knees has decided it is the current star of the MB show. I overused it one day, I know when that was, ever since it’s been wonky. I have to baby it otherwise it hurts more than a little. Aging isn’t for wusses. 

I am walking less because walking a lot makes it worse.  I CAN ride a bike as much as I want since that doesn’t exacerbate the situation. I’m trying to weigh less, which is its own comedy.

Quarantine Diary #124 7/17/2020 As if it makes sense …

Our family lost a friend this week. I won’t go into too many details other than Tom died of a bike accident on a sunny day while riding in the country with friends. His wheel somehow got stuck in gravel, he fell, the fall twisted, and he died.

This is not his obituary or eulogy. This is a just a reflection on losing friends and how do we make sense of this?

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