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.



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 quiet, so many birds. I can breath clean air; no exhaust to clog my bronchial tube. Mixed blessings.

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Quarantine Diary #67 5/27/2020 White People

When I’m not here at my desk, I’m outside in the dirt. I have spent much of the past week in my backyard doing cute projects, clearing weeds, planting seeds, moving plants. I even moved a tree! (Granted, it was a small tree.)

In about an hour I will be out there again until all my little vegetable and basil plants are planted. It’s supposed to rain this afternoon.

So that’s part of my quarantine, I’m dickering around in my own yard. Suits my introverted mood.

Quarantine Diary #66, 5/24/2020 Zoom Birthday

This week we Zoom-celebrated (zoom-abrated?) the first birthday of our grandson. This was a very different kind of party in our family which ALWAYS celebrates kid’s birthdays. We always have over a few too many friends and relatives. We always have a mound of presents the kids doesn’t actually need. We always have appetizers and pizza, an activity for kids, and a cake. We always sing Happy Birthday too slowly while the kid stares at the candles.

Quarantine Diary #65 – 5/22/2020 Shontay & Irresistible Iridescence

Science Daily website reports this scientific discovery. Bats have an unusual mammal response to viruses they encounter; they don’t get sick to fight the virus like the rest of us mammals do. Instead they act as a kind of long-term host for viruses. A bat is a repository of the viruses it has encountered in its batty life.

Quarantine Diary #64, 5/20/2020 Twenties & Assets

First of all, tonight at 8:20 the time will be 20:20 on 20/2020. If you have kids, or if you are your own odd duck, I think that would be a good time to celebrate. When our kids were young we celebrated New Year’s Eve by piling, on a table on a tablecloth, a crazy stack of metal cookie sheets, muffin tins, bread pans, and bowls. When midnight struck they would try to pull the tablecloth out from under the stack, everything would teeter and then tumble with a terrific crash and the cats would run and it was satisfying.

New Photo & Old Column About Spring

The photo is from this morning and is for you, Michol! This dam on the Fox River is alive with rushing water.

Quarantine Diary #63 - 5/18/2020 Flooding, It's changing now

We had three inches of rain here yesterday. This is what the Fox River by Riverwalk condominiums looks like today.

While I was walking along here, an older woman (says me, ahem…) was standing on her sidewalk with her nervous beagle, looking at the over-its-banks river.

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