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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Happy Birthday to Len

11/30/2022 

Today is Len’s birthday. I told him this morning I might write about him but I would let him read whatever I said first. He said not to run it past him, he’d like the surprise of reading it when you all do. Let’s see what I come up with.

1. This is cute. Len was born in Chicago’s Passavant Memorial Hospital which was the grandparent hospital to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital - where two of our grandkids were born.

Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 

11/21/2022

Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?

11/17/2022

Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?

11/9/2022

It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day

11/8/2022 

So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

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