Mary Beth Writes

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?

I am observing how complicated getting groceries has become. Last week we placed an online order and the earliest we could pick it up was three days later. So, logically, Monday while eating stuff we bought Saturday, we made a new list. This earliest assured time to get it would be via delivery to us Friday night at 8:00. We looked at each other and shrugged. It isn’t like we have Friday night plans. 

Maybe a routine will fall into place around this but it feels onerous to be this proactive about groceries. Then, of course, one thinks about people who don’t have paychecks, don’t have income, are generally poor, or who live in harm’s way most of the time. 

So get over yourself, Danielson. 

But I really do miss not thinking about groceries five days before I need them.

(Since I wrote this, a friend mentioned in an email that she is connected to Instacart. She got what she ordered one hour after she ordered it for a 5% surcharge.  Which is less than we are paying.  I guess we are figuring this out together, right?)

I miss the background bustle of the world.  I miss knowing there are people at work, kids at school, customers scrounging endcaps at Target, singers at choir rehearsals, board members at boards. I even miss sports enthusiasts in stadiums. Though did you know authorities are pinning the disastrous Coronavirus calamity in Italy and now to Spain to ONE big soccer game (Italy vs Spain) played in Bergamo two days before the first infections began? https://time.com/5809848/game-zero-soccer-game-italy/

Yesterday I walked to, through, and then back home from downtown Waukesha. In that whole 70-minute walk I only passed five people and two of them were with each other. Most everything downtown is closed except for the exotic fish store. In case you suddenly need tetras? I also walked by the liquor store and thank God it’s open. I bet one can place an order and pick it up in less than four days... 

The quietness is unsettling. I’ve read that explorers and traders in north America in the 1600’s and 1700’s would sometimes come upon native villages where houses still stood, crops were growing, dogs were wandering, but all the inhabitants were lying where they had died. We won’t come to that but this quietness rings a warning.

Today (while walking, what else do I do?)  I saw three adults standing six feet from each other while talking and laughing. They all waved to me and I waved back.  Who could have guessed this would become a treasured moment in a person’s day?

You are watching or not paying attention to the news as much as you can stand to know what’s happening, or as much as you are trying to create some distance from the loss and fear. I’m not here to update you on the news. It’s everywhere.

But I think of this. Movies, television, and books have trained us to think that war and catastrophe are events that begin, ensue, occur, and then end.  War is guys in uniforms blasting away at each other. War is terrified women running for their lives with their babes in their arms. Catastrophe is the hurricane bashing, the flood spilling, the fire cascading down a mountainside. 

All these things are true. But we forget that calamity is also the little stuff.  How we get our food. What we tell our teenagers when they want to go out, but they can’t. How we decide who gets to watch what on TV tonight. The half-baked art projects we try to do with the grandkids. The extra lullabies and stories for our littlest ones. It’s waving at people we don’t know who wave back, because it feels so good to acknowledge each other. It’s virtual church and facetiming friends and the incredible amount of touching and funny stuff on Facebook and Twitter.

We are coping, observing, and changing. All of us together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags

Comments

On the plus: less laundry, cleaner house, more walking, catching up on paperwork, more reading, sharing coffee with a friend- outside and 6ft apart, happy to donate to those helping 'the cause'. Currently: coming up with something fun to do with my grandkids through the sliding glass door....hmmm
Mary Beth's picture

Good question. We can read to our toddler before her nap - but that probably isn't as appealing to a 6 and 8 year old. How are we all interacting with children in this time? Good question.

My husband and I are “seniors”, now, and retired, like you and Len. So my week was regular babysitting gigs for a few of my grandkids, lunch with my amazing 100(!) y/o mom, and church. All the anchor points of the week are gone now; I’m not even sure what day it is! Lois
Mary Beth's picture

Yup, all day today it was Wednesday until, wups, it is Thursday. I have kids (you know them!) who could use us to help do serious lifting on the child care while they work from home - but their intersections with the world are too great and the most vulnerable people are probably us. The markers are skewed.

TY

A woman on our neighborhood site "next door.com is writing about how she's dealing with the day to day stuff so I recommended that she and anyone else so inclined look your sight up...

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

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?

Tag Cloud

17 minutes AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable apples Arrows Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Berry birthday bistro BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter comet ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 creditreport CrimeShows death December DecisionFatigue decluttering Detroit Dreams Duty eBay Eclipse FairTrade farmer firealarm Fitness Five Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode ghosts GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras HouseinBlueRiver hurricane impeachment Innkeeper integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Love Ludington Macaw Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Mayan MayaWorks MindfulChickens Mistakes Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves New York City Nomadland OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon poetry Preaching privacy Protest Quern quest Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement RitesofPassage Roses Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory sick sickness snow Social Security SofritoBandito SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining StoryStarts Survival taxes teenager Thanksgiving ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather
Ad Promotion