Mary Beth Writes

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? Yes, we had tipped her well when the order was placed but still- that was hard work and she and all the other gracious delivery people out there are the Empresses and Emperors of quarantined Americans.   

This morning we had whole wheat pancakes with yogurt and raspberry preserves and an egg.  Plus I ate grapes, one by one, while I was making the pancakes. Nobody in a thousand-dollar suit brought me my food. Just one strong woman who smiled and said she is kind of enjoying the deliveries; “Gets me out of the store sometimes.”

Also, after I slid my egg onto my plate I forgot to turn the burner off. Len noticed it 20 minutes later.  Wasn’t someone just writing about Safety at Home?

I’m talking with my adult kids more than I used to. It’s not every day, it’s never long gabby conversations. But things come up and we communicate a bit, and this means everything to me. Almost every conversation eventually touches on these three topics.

  • What we are cooking.
  • We are going to stay separate from each other except if one of us needs help, then we are all going to towards the fire.
  • What we are eating.

(Honest to Pete, two of the kids are, right now, baking bread together while 100 miles apart.) 

If you have adult kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids, adults you knew when they were children – isn’t it powerful to watch them now? Did you read the comments from yesterday? Chris’s son is an EMT without enough PPE (personal protective equipment). Franc’s sister (he was a teenager when she was born) is going back to work in a hospital this week after her vacation.  These adults we know and sometimes raised are holding the world together. They are trying to protect us. What we did, raising this generation, was good.

I don’t want to hear any of us judging others on the basis of what decade they were born in. That’s lazy, stupid and divisive talk. Being a Boomer or Millennial or Gen X’s might explain the music we like or the TV shows we remember. It says nothing about the content of our character.  

We bought a whole chicken to cook. I asked Len how he was going to cook it. He said he was going to simmer it and then …  I stopped him. “You’re going to just start out boiling it in water?”

So that conversation got real right away.  If the wife wanted roast chicken, she was welcome to do it.

This is a picture of me rubbing poultry seasoning onto and into the cold, dead bird. It was impossibly intimate and the next time we get a whole chicken (we don’t often) I will eat it boiled with cornflakes if that’s what I have to do to avoid ever again sticking my hand where the chicken’s toilet paper should go.

Laughing is good, isn’t it?

Here are “the best women’s tweets of last week.” RIGHT HERE. They are very, very good.

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Comments

Thank you. Loved the tweets!!

Ick. I hate touching dead, cold, wet chicken. But, then again your house will smell awesome and it’s gonna taste delicious! The women’s tweets were the best. I flip thru Facebook way to much - just to laugh at all the gifs. Yes, laughing is excellent!

Today Angela sent me a photo of the medical supplies catalog from which she was ordering her own supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment ) I told her she's like a teacher buying their own school supplies so their students can actually learn in class... I fear for this woman that has been the most important member of my family...She's been my kid ( Long Story ) since I was a nappy headed 12yr old Gay boy looking in her crib & shouting "SHE'S MINE" after she came home from the hospital... And even more so when our father died when she was 8 so I'm invested in this smart woman... I don't want anything happening to her because her employer can't supply the safety equipment she and her colleagues so desperately need...

I laughed so much I had tears...and signed up to receive myself! Franc: thinking of your sister: her safety, her honor, her life I just returned from a long walk...so quiet, so many birds. I can breath clean air; no exhaust to clog my bronchial tube. Mixed blessings.

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Remembering Stuff

“I’m getting so old. I just can’t remember anything anymore.”

Okay, I understand and accept that forgetfulness is weird and awkward. We talk to someone about this movie and that house repair and that small restaurant from which we ordered amazing food a few weeks ago and it feels as if we are talking with 95% of the words we used to know. What was that guy’s name? Where did I read that really powerful thing about political strategy now?

Ayad Akhtar's "Homeland Elegies" & Do We Understand Colonialism?

I heard part of an NPR / Fresh Air interview with writer Ayad Akhtar so I borrowed the book from the library and read it.

In the 1960’s his parents earned medical degrees in Pakistan and then emigrated to the US where Ayad was born and has lived all his life. (His parents are now deceased.) His dad was a highly respected cardiologist. In the 1990’s, when Donald Trump was having heart issues, Dr. Akhtar was flown to NYC to examine Trump.

Susan's Birthday Questions 10/19/2020

(One decorates for October birthdays with orange trees.) 

Last week was my birthday. My niece Susan sometimes sends me birthday greetings where she asks excellent questions. She doesn’t know I still have the card she sent six years ago; I meant to answer her questions in the blog I had then, but I never got around to it.

Stereotypes Day

Today is October 12th - Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Not Columbus Day, okay?

I was in the process of giving birth to one of our kids and it was getting on towards midnight. The midwife wondered whether our baby would be born on the day we were in or whether it would be a few more minutes and then the child would have the next day as their birthday.

10/11/2020 This Crazy Advent We're In Now

This painting is by Andrea Kowch  http://andreakowch.com/

...

Regarding Time: It’s been about a million months since the quarantine started. It will be an at least one epoch if not two, until a vaccine is available to quell it. Election Day is here now (I’ve already voted, have you?) yet it feels as if it will never be done and gone. Even when Nov 3 arrives we could be in for more epochs of anxious and angry waiting as ballots are tallied, argued over, recounted, all while lawyers and politicians fight and scrap.

Quarantine Diary #204 10/4/2020 3 Short Takes

Three things to say today and none are about our goatish, swag-bellied, canket-blossomed president. How to create a Shakespearean insult. 

1. I just read this WONDERFUL and REMARKABLE book! The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

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