Mary Beth Writes

I wrote this to my friend Karen who said I ought to share it here. She’s right. 

Well, at Woodman's yesterday a man threatened to put a 9mm in a clerk’s face because store rules say he could only buy one pkg of ground turkey, not two. When cops went to his house to discuss this a little more, they discovered he doesn’t own a 9mm.  I’m hard pressed what spin to put on this tale, other than that clerk doesn’t get paid enough

I read somewhere yesterday comments from a woman who is a manager in a customer service dept of a big chain store. Target or Walmart or something. She says the level of rudeness is astonishing. That she’s done this job for a long time and has never encountered such mean people who will say such awful things to her store’s clerks. And clerks are not allowed to respond to that crap, so clerks feel harassed and stressed. She says if one is in a line and a person is being rude, feel free to defend the clerk a bit, since she (it’s so often a she) can’t.

I’m wondering if since lovely humans like you and me are going out of our way to stay out of stores, this leaves an unusually big percentage of shoppers who don’t believe in the quarantine, and my take on them is that many are sort of angry to begin with.

A guy on Twitter was arguing w Len and me (I’m sure he never connected that we are married) about testing. Long story, in diff ways we were saying that with testing people to see if they are positive for the virus, or if they have antibodies indicating they have had the disease recently and overcame it - with testing some (many?) people could go back to work right away. The govt could pay people to get the test.. so that freedom of choice exists yadda yadda. The twitter guy was was adamant that quarantine is stupid and unnecessary. Then he mentions he lost his job. To which Len says he’s sorry and is very good at filling out forms (AARP tax guide) and would be glad to help. The guy says no but thank you.

To stop a futile, heated argument that way. “I’m sorry. Can I help?”

I am totally welcoming here of your stories of things you have witnessed, experienced, done, or said where you responded to craziness with politeness or kindness.

All I’ve got is that when I was dropping a package into the post office lobby hopper (that sounds like a bunny in a mailman uniform) the other day, I saw a postal employee walking in to work. I thanked her for being the Post Office and she laughed all the way in. 

This morning I went on vacation.  Yes I did.

We woke up to day #97 of gray, chilly, gloomy, foggy, almost raining dreariness. All three weather places I look (you can’t be too careful when one is still in bed) said it would be like this all day, although it wouldn’t actually rain.  Just 40ish and as gray as elephant underpants.

Well, hell. We aren’t Midwesterners for no reason. One gets up and does what needs to be done.

So we drove eight miles outside of town along the Drumlin* Trail. Len took his bike, I walked.  In short, all I did was walk 2-plus miles one way and then those 2-plus miles back. Hardly climbing a Highland mountain. 

But along the way I saw the osprey nest that Len has been watching. Later I saw a little footpath that leaves the macadam trail, so I walked up it and found myself alone in a quiet forest. It was still chilly and damp, but inside those woods that translated into a very good moment.  I was in a place that didn’t need me but didn’t mind me being there either. Places like that are magical for people who tend to overthink stuff. It was just quiet. I admired a burl on a tree that was fine being nothing but a bump.  I heard birds and the hum of air moving and the muffled sound of my footsteps on wet leaves. 

And then, when I was done there, I walked back out to the path and then back to the car. But now I saw the pearlescent early colors of spring. And tiny flowers. And hobbit moss. 

I was away.

*Drumlins. A drumlin, from the Irish word droimnín ("littlest ridge") is an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half-buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated ground. Clusters of drumlins create a landscape which is often described as having a 'basket of eggs topography'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drumlin

I noted this last year, I don’t know who said it or why.

“The inability to see failure as a solution.”

I like this a lot. One lives long enough and fails fabulously enough; one begins to see that failure is often the logical response to what was going on. Such as divorces that are good solution to poor marriages. Disappointingly calibrated cake recipes. Sending that kid to college. Not sending that other kid to college. The “new” car that breaks down every other week until you give up, call a lemon a lemon, and ditch it the best you can. The belief in and search for a comfortable high-heeled shoe.

Trying to put unfettered capitalism and justice in the same place at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 



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Yes - one of the best lessons of my recent years has been that sometimes the sensible thing to do is to cut your losses and move on. Some may see it as quitting or giving up and so what if they do? Cut your losses and move on -- some things are just not meant to be.

Another "Loved it"

A surprise vacation day is the very best. I am going to remember your lesson — I think, sometimes we get so busy, we forget to be nice.

I have two unsuccessful life partnerships under my belt that became good friendships... And I failed to go to college and yet have had a richer life then many who have a degree... Failure is in the eye of the beholder...

Love your vacation!

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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

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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.

Quarantine Diary #62, 5/16/2020 - Invisible Crisis, Spring

Little Women Again: Louisa May Alcott volunteered as a nurse during the Civil War. She intended to serve three months but after several weeks she became deathly ill with typhoid pneumonia and went home. Typhoid was treated at that time with a medication made with mercury. She survived typhoid but would deal the rest of her life with an autoimmune disease possibly triggered by the mercury.  

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