Mary Beth Writes

Do you see their faces?

The beautiful woman who took her own life a few days ago. She was an ER doctor as well as director of the Emergency Department in a NYC hospital.

The little 5-year old girl Skyler, whose mom and dad are EMT’s in Detroit. They must have brought the virus home to her. 

Old couples, each of them them holding photos of each other, separated by this terrible disease.

John Prine, Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis, Terrence McNally

I could go on and on but you have pictures and names in your mind, too. Every day we see and hear more stories of these losses.  (In Vietnam over a period of roughly ten years we lost 58,000 people. As of today, we have lost more than 57,000 Americans to Coronavirus.)

I don’t know what it does to us to see faces who are gone, hear the grief in their loved ones’ voices, read and hear part of the stories of the famous and the ordinary people who have died and are dying.

But if this is a diary of what we are encountering in this time of quarantine from Coronavirus contagion, then we have to think about what it means to us personally and collectively to lose so many people so quickly. When it didn’t need to be this devastating. When the loss is real, the anger is real, and then back to devastating grief.

Sometimes I feel as if the news pelts us, like hail. We are changing, I am sure.  

This morning the weather was mild and sometimes there was even a sheen of light and sunshine, so I spent three hours outside, mostly in my yard.  I dumped out onto a tarp the garbage bin of the semi-composted stuff Len and I had discarded since last September. Lots and lots of coffee grounds and eggshells, veggie and fruit trimmings.  Next year we will not put citrus rinds in the bin. Live and learn.

The next bin was stuffed with leaves. Then there was the bucket of ashes from burning sticks all weekend.

I spent much of my morning dumping, mixing, and carrying buckets of this slurry to the places where I want to plant vegetables later in the spring. I decided gardening isn’t about "making things happe". It’s more like being a church or theater usher.  One ushers the dirt and seeds into helpful places and then ushers the weeds back out to where they can congregate in a dump.

I guess I'm a dirt facilitator and earth usher.

I have five miles on my pedometer this evening. I’m out energy, words, and thoughts. 

What did you facilitate today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I made French bread. First time in more than 40 years. I may make bread more often now.
Mary Beth's picture

Wow! Where were you 40 years ago and why did you make it then and for whom? Making bread isn't nearly as hard as convincing one's self to do it. IMHO.

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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

The photo is from this morning and is for you, Michol! This dam on the Fox River is alive with rushing water.

Quarantine Diary #63 - 5/18/2020 Flooding, It's changing now

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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