Mary Beth Writes

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.

100 degrees with humidity higher than Borneo in the summer? Hey, what a great day to put on jeans, socks pulled over the bottom of the jeans to keep bug-biters off my ankles, a beat up T-shirt, baseball hat, and gardening gloves and I’m the one out there weeding with the Mad dogs and Englishmen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMlyT_Sb7sg

I gave myself heat sickness doing this a couple weeks ago at 4pm in full sun. I realized this when I realized I was about to toss my cookies into the zinnias. So I came inside. But this morning, on the shady side of the house, here I am. Weeding and mothering my garden for a while.

I don’t know why some of us have this propensity to go out in the worst weather, and so many others don’t. I’ve stayed inside all day long on many a moderate and pleasant day. But when the dastardly stuff comes along, I don’t like to miss it.

We earthlings are not all the same. What the polar bear wants is different from what the butterfly wants is different from what the albatross desires. Why is it so hard to accept that other people will do things different than we do them?

What’s weather draws you outside? 

...

 I’m paying attention to protests in Portland and Seattle and other places where people are saying their opinions - with their presence - on their streets.

We are seeing Incognito feds and many police ramping up conflict. 

We are seeing BLM protestors. Then the Wall of Moms. The Raging Grannies. The Wall of Vets.

This is unprecedented, beautiful, and scary.

Others are stating emphatically that Black Lives Matter protests are about demanding justice for people of color via defunding the militarization of police. They remind us that this isn’t a fight between white people and white people - this is about justice for people of color.

Have we ever had a national conversation like this before?

...

My grandchildren’s other grandmother asked a really powerful question. What happens to the social development of babies and small children who are ONLY held and dandled by their parents due to the rest of us social distancing?

I have taken on this social responsibility. When I’m out walking or biking, I catch the eye of any little kid I pass. I smile and tell them something about them (how fast they ride their bike, their hair is beautiful) that is awesome. This is really fun. Little kids are suckers for happy compliments. Second of all, I hope they feel for that half minute that we, the world, see and adore them. I don’t touch, I don’t ask names, I don’t stop and act weird. But man, I see little ones and it’s a good moment. Their parents and grandparents tend to smile, too. 

...

My knee is much better except when I sit at my desk for hours. This post has been brought to you as I write on my phone, outside, under my Le Bistro umbrella, with my legs stretched out from this chair to the next. Only thing I’m missing is a drink with an umbrella of its own.

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Loved!!!

I do not have your propensity to go out in worse weather. I salute you. It is like a blast furnace out there. I left my house once today —- that was to go to Dairy Queen
Mary Beth's picture

Ooh, DQ, There's a sweet thought!

MB, the Swedes say, "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing". I think we have that down to science.....until the past few weeks in the midwest. Hey, something interesting I discovered while looking the BLM website. When I go to the "donate" page I am linked to ACT BLUE. Checked them out and learned that donations go to Democrat political campaign funding. What are you thinking? Anyhoo, best to you and your!
Mary Beth's picture

I am laughing at the perfection of 'no bad weather' just 'poor clothing choices." We were raised by by people not afraid of a little weather. Here is Waukesha, in the past hour, the front came in and now it's raining. The temp in our backyard dropped from 92 to 73 in one hour. I asked the internet about BLM and Act Blue. PolitiFact says: "ActBlue is a nonprofit technology organization that provides a platform for people to contribute to Democratic campaigns and causes. Black Lives Matter and Democratic presidential candidates both use the platform to fund raise. ActBlue does not pocket donations that are facilitated by its platform — it ferries the money along to the organizations requesting it. It’s similar to a platform called WinRed, which facilitates fundraising for Republican candidates." Good catch. Now we know.

Just thought I’d mention that we happened to go to The Spot (Old-fashioned carhop/drive-in place) In Kenosha today, and it was 92 degrees with 90+% humidity. It’s a wonderful place but very little shade, an island in the middle of blacktop- The fantastic carhops and cooks just take it all in stride and keep their good spirits. They are also cheerful and calm when it’s 20 degrees!

I'm one of the crazy people who go out in this kind of weather because in January February I'm going to wish it were here.( Hate cold ) I headed off on my 2hr bike ride at 6:10 pm without a care in the world as I headed to Kenosha... Three blocks in I was too hot and sweaty so I removed the T-Shirt and wrapped it around my neck.( I love being a boy ) no one complaining about my 68 yr old man naked torso... I was in Kenosha at the half way point of my 2hr ride and I stopped to text Mr. B and drink some water... Shot a few photos of the dark clouds forming in the west and sent them to Mr. B with a short note saying that I didn't like the looks of the sky and that I was about to be soaking wet... Sure enough at about the half mile mark all hell broke loose and down came the monsoon rains, thunder and lightning... Glasses were useless in helping dodge the branches falling on the bike path from the wind... At one point a tree was down blocking the path so I took to the grass and went around it... I kept thinking that riding a steel framed bike during a storm with lightning was probably not really safe but what choice did I have... I never stopped peddling the whole way back, one of the scariest hours of my week... I wasn't even in the door as I stripped off the soaking wet shorts and T-Shirt, glad to be home in one piece...
Mary Beth's picture

WOW! We WATCHED that storm come is while sitting on our porch. here's a Danish tiny poem (a Grook) from WWII. "Here's a thought to help you live longer. Anything that doesn't kill you outright makes you stronger..."

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Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

Advent Light Post 12/24/2020

Judy Saunders. Photo of a Rose.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As folks of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

...

Len and I were delivering presents to Chicago yesterday. Social distancing, with masks, but we did it and we saw our kids’ faces and there’s your Christmas, Ma’am.

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