Mary Beth Writes

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

...

My computer was becoming slower than a cold sloth. I would turn it on before my morning shower and a half hour later when I sat down to work - it would argue with me over Microsoft Word. And Photoshop. And my email. And anything on the internet. Not everything was slow all the time; just here and there it would stop and spin. Len knew it was a background program that was using the computer at the same time as me. Some people disable that program, but we were anxious about disabling something that came pre-installed. 

It was on our minds that we should buy a new computer for me but I was reluctant. So much money and work!

My son was getting rid of old computer.

“Would Mom like it?”

Mom would.

There was still an awful lot of finagling, but Len does not go crazy doing this. This morning I am working on this new-to-me computer and it is amazing. I can flip from program to program. Things pop right up.

The right tool for a job is my kind of luxury.

PS: Inserting photos into my posts will require a different process. Curious to see if you can tell.

Mary sent a pix of her dog Moira. 

Moira swam in the Root River often last summer. Now they have to keep her away from the ice and water!

Nothing is more wonderful than a happy grandkid holding a puppy.

Len and I watched two movies this week that are worth talking about.

Both movies circle around these life questions. How does one build and maintain a meaningful life? What do we need? What do we deserve? What will make us happy?

(Also, will winter ever end and how do I get through another week of this weather?)

The first movie was Some Kind of Heaven (Review here)  It’s a documentary about the huge Florida retirement community named The Villages. The movie follows four Villages residents: a married couple, a single man, a single woman. The Villages is home to 150,000 citizens so discussing the place via four individuals is obviously a slanted way to look at the entire place. The movie is both fascinating and sad. It was easy to see what selfish and incomplete souls the two men were. Just as sad and weird is watching the women trying to navigate a world as complicated and arbitrary as high school felt for many of us.

By the time it was over, Len and I felt as if we were doing a good-enough job with our time and resources here in retirement. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since we watched it, both of us have volunteered to do some new things that sound interesting to us.  

The next evening we watched (recommended by John Harvie) Kenny. (Review here)  It’s an Australian movie about (da-dum) Kenny, a guy who is the crew chief of a porta-potty business in Melbourne. He talks fast and his patter is often hilarious. What a guy! I will forever cherish, “Some families are close and then some families are Christmas cards at twenty paces.”

It’s a mockumentary; the director is manipulating a story to show us this guy who is a Hero for Our Time. Many people disrespect him because of his job but he never stoops to their cruel or dismissive level. He’s clear-eyed about the strengths and foibles of his coworkers. He’s divorced; “One could skip the drama of divorce by finding a person they hate and then giving them a house.” His ex-wife complicates his life considerably but he never talks poorly about her to others or in front of their kid. It’s clear his love for his boy is everything.

By the last scene, honest to Pete, Len and I were cheering for Kenny.

So anyway, if you are feeling sluggish and underachieving with what you are doing in your working and not-working hours – watch both movies and the path will become clearer.

Err on the side of love.

 

Comments

I’ve put the movies on my list! Love the pictures.

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Ricky

8/7/2022

My step-grandmother Ricky ate an apple every night. She’d sit on her bed, lean against the headboard, then chomp the apple after which she would remove her false teeth and lay down to sleep.

I haven’t really thought about Ricky in years but this week for no identifiable reason (because we were talking about unsung aspects of our lives?) I dreamed about her. I awoke one morning seeing her face as she stood in her dining room chatting with my mom and me. Ergo, I started thinking about her.

What's Ordinary in Your World?

This train photo is not cribbed from anywhere. It's a Genuine Leonardo. 

8/1/2022

Hello and how are you? I am writing less and less as Len and I meander around to doctors, specialists, dentists, and that way-too-early appointment at the endodontist. (So far, we are fine.) The irony being that most of what we are attending to are the side effects of medications prescribed for stuff that didn’t hurt and we didn’t even know we had.

A Quiet Week

The cat in the picture is my daughter's cat, Nancy. Sometimes we all just need a quiet place to slow down and think.

7/23/2022

What's going right in your world?

7/11/2022

My teeth again. Argh. This past week I’ve had a jaw ache/toothache that got worse instead of better. Today my dentist said I need a crown but also that’s not the thing that is causing the swelling and infection and ache. I now have an Rx for an antibiotic and an appointment for that crown and an appointment with an endodontist to get an Xray worthy of NASA.

Memory & Consequences

7/7/2022

To remember hard stories truthfully requires bravery.

WHITE CAKE!

The picture is our wedding cake, made by my friend Karen, who drove it from Indiana to Chicago on the hottest day of that year. It was in the back seat so their two little boys had to ride in front (remember when kids could ride in front?). They got lost in the city but I didn't know that for years because Karen and her husband start early and had time to get lost and then figure it out. Sometimes wedded bliss is a lot of work. 

The following story and recipe is not about the wedding cake, but it is the photo I have...

...

6/30/2022

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