Mary Beth Writes

Today is day #21. It’s been THREE weeks already, guys. 

Thank you, John Denver for saying it so well. 

 “Let’s go to the bakery and watch the buns rise…”

I’m going to try to be something besides pissed-off today.  The writer of my fav non-consumer/frugality website posted something new yesterday. She eloquently describes how ANGRY she is right now. She’s an RN. She has a college kid living at home instead of at his college. She’s worried about loved ones in their 70’s.

As I read it my stomach flipped and my thoughts exploded.  She is a good writer and what she says is cogent and clear.  But I’m already living in the stew of my own anger; adding someone else’s is way too hard. 

As much as possible for the next few days, I will try to give you observations that don’t come straight from my anger. We need to find more than one path through this stupid, deadly crises that is breaking the world.

This is the website. Non-Consumer Advocate. 

Sometimes some of my neighbors don’t ‘social distance’.  I heard kids playing basketball yesterday.  I can see adults and teenagers as they stop to chat with each other when they are coming out of their shared apartment building.

These neighbors live in the low-income housing that runs most of the block behind our house. These are money-poor people and I don’t know many of them. The news tells us that poor people fare less well than the financially-secure when coronavirus hits.  In Milwaukee a big percentage of the fatalities are of African American men past age 50.  The stress of poverty and racism is real and lethal. Always has been; is true now more than ever.

So even though I think my across-the-fence neighbors should be more careful, I also see that when one doesn’t have financial security, then one needs community. My neighbors are casually but powerfully minding their most important investment – each other. Quite possibly sickness will eventually strike many of them, but their community will endure.

My purse always hangs on the coat rack by the front door. Even in normal times I don’t use it often. It’s more like a church/shopping kit with pens, paper, hand cream, some cash (what’s cash?), a brush and a small tape measure (handy when one is a Goodwill shopper). Today I looked at it and realized I haven’t used it in three weeks and am not likely to use it until this crisis is over.  I moved it to my clothes closet for the duration.  Weird.

Useful phrases for this time we are living in now.

If you awake in the middle of the night when it’s long past midnight but not yet dawn – do you know what time that is? I don’t know where I read this, but you really need to know. It is “Before sparrow fart.”

If you pull something off very badly – like the sourdough bread Len and I are still hoping might turn into something - this is called “An Arctic landing.” No runway, but you survived.

Nancy Drew naps on.













Leonard's picture

Although I like leave a little time out of each day to be angry. We can multitask.

I am angry, also. I read Katy’s blog this morning and felt it all. My three year old granddaughter should not have to say” I don’t want to die from this Coronavirus. I want to stay with this family. We wash our hands”. I should not have to worry about my daughters in nursing or my laid-off son and DIL and how they will pay the bills in a few months. THAT man and his cronies were alerted to this pandemic on Dec 31, 2019. Nero just fiddled. A thousand years ago I took a course about women and stress. We were told “ It is not really a problem if it just takes money to fix it”. All the money in the world cannot fix this. So, yeah, I am pissed.
Mary Beth's picture

There is no comfort zone on this. Maybe I am fine, but we all love people who are not fine now, will not be fine soon, will suffer loss of love, people, and stability. And it didn't have to be this way.

I read Katy's blog too. I "met" you through reading her blog. I am also angry, but I need to keep anger in a little compartment that I let out at certain times during the day, like the news, and anxiety. The rest of the time, I MUST focus on something else: the yard, learning a new skill, encouraging others, and fanning hope. Hope that he will be voted out NOv. 3. Please. Oh, please. Patricia/Fl

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Quarantine Diary #150 8/11/2020 Taking a Break

I’m depressed. How about you?  I’m not the kind of depressed where I should call a doctor. I’m more “Michelle Obama depressed.”  Things feel stuck, wrong, and getting worse. There’s the pandemic and the feeble, chaotic response to it. There’s racial strife. When, if ever, will the police police themselves? Teachers and kids are being thrown back into schools like spaghetti thrown against a wall - to see who will stick? There’s the angry self-entitled idiocy of too many people.

Quarantine Diary #142 Swimming Lessons

“It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim.” Unknown author

I was well into my 40’s when I realized that one doesn’t have to wait for perfect weather if one wants to go into the water. 

Quarantine Diary #141 8/5/2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain.  It is a remarkable book that asks more questions than it answers.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s and grew up grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mother would simmer stones for dinner so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not realize how poor they were.  (A whole different take on the children’s tale “Stone Soup.") The violent and terrifying Cultural Revolution that Chinese citizens lived through is over but memories of it are in everyone’s minds.

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.

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