Mary Beth Writes

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?

Remember the kids who were smart as whips but couldn’t read, so it was important for teachers and other adults to hold them in over recess and make sure everyone knew they were failure no matter how funny and rude their comments?

Remember some teachers homing in with laser focus on kids who got straight A’s on tests and essays, but whom, when adults tried to force them to answer out loud, there was panic in their faces?

Names for the functional and dysfunctional ways our brains work are new. I never heard of ADHD until I was already a parent. I heard of autism 20 years ago. Remember how surprised you were to hear about a thing called dyslexia? I now know I have had several friends who lived with serious depression, but I just thought they were interestingly melancholic.

The violence at the Capitol was so many kinds of awful and more is threatened. We are adults now; we are responsible to seek help when we are miserable. I do not forgive adults who don’t look for help. I hugely admire people who do work to understand themselves and to live well.

But let’s guess how many of those racist men and women came from scarred stories. Who found solace and power belonging to groups of other angry people. Who felt as if they were finally overcoming their failures and unhappiness. Carry something powerful. Bash things. Yell and trash and threaten. Catharsis feels good. For a while.

People talk about “these coddled kids with all their fancy names for plain old bad behavior.”

Nope.  We must name what’s going on and give each other valid paths forward. 

Maybe we shouldn’t call the Special Ed teachers.  Maybe we should call them Guardians of the Emerging Nation.

Holy Cow, I’ve been busy all morning and had not looked at Twitter in several hours. Remember when one got the news when Walter Cronkite was ready to tell it to us? Or the newspaper arrived?

I can still see my oldest kid just home from high school. She would make a snack, pour a cup of coffee, sit down at the kitchen table, open up that day’s paper and read it front to back. I see her sitting there, light from the window illuminating her so that she looked a bit like a preoccupied medieval nun hunched over a manuscript.

Now our kids, and ourselves, sprawl hither and yon to scroll our phones.

Do you have newspaper memories? (I know some of you still get it delivered.) Do you remember watching others read it? It was such a part of our lives - morning, the paper, a cup of coffee. Who knew we could lose that quiet ritual?

People in DC have taped hundreds of thank you signs to pipes in the underground walkways between the Capitol and other buildings? “I see you. I saw what you did. You helped me. Thank you.” Itr's so powerful to notice each other and respond with whimsy, gratitude, and respect.

When I was pulling spent plants late in September, I discovered a tiny avocado plant. Kitchen scrap composting is an adventure, obviously an avocado pit had not seen its future as doomed. I brought it in with some other summer plants, hoping to keep them alive until next summer. The avocado plant soon died.

I thought.

Just saw my emerging plant. (Pix above)

I checked to see if there are quotes about avocados.

“Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Eat me now. Too late.”




All throughout college my dad would save up the Sunday comics and send them to me in the mail every month or so.
Mary Beth's picture

I can imagine how fine that would be. I bet other kids were jealous...

M.B. when your avocado plant gets bigger and leaf's out you can pop off a leaf( well Len can ) and use it in cooking as one would use a bay leaf... I use them when I make beans or soup... Just one of those strange facts that I carry around in my brain...
Mary Beth's picture

I did NOT know this! MY life is transformed!! Thank you..

Add new comment


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

Quarantine Diary #350 A Petition to Sign & a Pink Frog

I have now had both Covid vaccinations with no miserable side effects after either of them. Color me grateful.

I read recently that some people with long-haul symptoms are finding surprising relief after receiving the first vaccination. Have you heard this? I hope it’s true.

Living through this Covid pandemic; waiting for scientists and politicians to find a vaccine and then get it to us - this has been walking on water WHILE looking for a miracle. What we needed yesterday is what we are trying to figure out today.

Two Books & One Movie / Reviews by Me 2/24/2021

Go ahead, ask me what I’ve been doing lately…

The movie we watched is Nomadland directed by Chloe Zhao.

In 2018 I wrote this review of Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. (Read here) The book is nonfiction and was so powerful that two years later, it still affects how I think about being old in our nation.

Disaster Prep - Find Your Pack

The disaster unfolding in Texas right now is on my mind. How about yours?

On Twitter I saw several lists of where to donate to organizations. When I finish this post, I will donate to Austen Urban League -

Stress & Violence

 I have been reading about the people who attacked our nation’s capital on January 6th.

These two articles are good.  From The Atlantic (Read here )  and from The Lowdown, a blog by Jonathon Low  (Read here) 

Quarantine Diary #337 Moira the Dog & Movies Review

The picture is from a wonderful picture book, A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert. 


Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW Acadia Accountable Advent apples Arrows Augustine baby balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Berry birthday bistro BookReport boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cahokia calendars Canada cats cello Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering Detroit disasterprep Dreams Duty eBay Eclipse EmilyDickinson exit polls 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 gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark groceries Guatemala guns happiness HaveYouEver? Healthinsurance HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope 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 macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Mayan MayaWorks MindfulChickens Mistakes moon 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 Remember Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rime 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 stele Stereotypes StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Tyrone UnrelatedObservations urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving wedding WhyAttendChurch WillaCather
Ad Promotion