Mary Beth Writes

Happy Solstice Quotes!

"This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath." Margaret Atwood.

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968

“A person reading should be a person intensely alive. The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.” Ezra Pound

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

“People often believed they were safer in the light, thinking monsters only came out at night.” C.J. Roberts, Captive in the Dark

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.” Jay Kristoff, Nevernight

..

We are inundated by Covid news which is not a bad thing because this is a bad disease and we should be awake and aware. But in the middle of the ongoing reporting about the wildly infectious Omicron variant, I am picking up a subtheme that is also important.

On the news last night, a NYC hospital person said that a year ago they had 600 incredibly ill people crammed into the hospital. Today they have 30 incredibly ill patients in their ICU, almost all (maybe all, I can’t remember) unvaccinated people.

What is it like to get Covid when one IS vaccinated and boosted, when one has a home and access to medicines, soup, and time to rest?

Fall 2020 my daughter had Covid. I asked her this morning what it was like. Caveat: she is in her 30’s, exercises daily, and is a healthy eater!

She replied she felt pretty sick, although mostly just really tired. She didn’t have much of a sore throat or other symptoms. She felt a little nauseated the first few days, but she never threw-up. She was very fatigued for 4-5 weeks.

Did any of you have “lite” Covid? What are we looking at here? I do not want to get it. I have grandkids too young to be vaccinated; I don’t want to pass it to them. I don’t want to spread it to anyone. I wear a mask in public. At the same time, I want to have a realistic idea of what this sickness might be like for people who have taken all the precautions. 

I wrote to the Third Graders this morning:

Dear Kids,

I will write a short letter this morning because this is a short school week for you.

When I was a teenager, I often went for walks with my dog Sheba. I lived in the country, so our walks were through woods and fields. One of the places I liked best was a hill that overlooked a small river. It was peaceful on that hill; Sheba and I would sit and watch the river. 

One day we hiked there. Sat down. It was late fall and the world was beautiful and quiet.

Then there was a soft rustling noise.

I turned to look, and I am not lying! Out of the woods waddled a fat raccoon. That raccoon saw us and slowly walked TOWARDS us! It came to about three feet away from me, sat down, and watched the river with Sheba and me. Sheba growled deep in her throat but she didn’t bark or jump. 

All three of us sat there. Me, my dog, and a raccoon.

After a few minutes the raccoon got back up and waddled back into the woods.

I hope your winter break is wonderful with a few unexpected surprises in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

My church runs a thrift shop with the primary goal of making available to the community gently used items at very affordable prices. While volunteering there last Saturday, two women came in. Somehow one of them had connected with the manager of the thrift shop. It turns out the older of the two has custody of two of her elementary school aged grandchildren. The week before we met her, her husband had beat her badly. That night, with only the clothes on their backs, she fled with the two grandchildren. In other words, they had nothing. No clothes, no furniture, no household goods and no Christmas presents or decorations. We welcomed them and loaded the grandmother up with anything she chose to take, including toys...some new...wrapping paper, Christmas stockings, clothing and anything she wanted for their new apartment. In fact, they made two trips because they couldn't fit everything into the friend's vehicle on the first one. We all had tears. This was my Merry Christmas.
Mary Beth's picture

Wow! This is an awful story turned into a pretty good story because people took care of people. I'm glad you and your church were there to help and support a woman who was already helping and supporting.

A year ago, my mom (83) tested positive for COVID. She got it from her roommate. She developed a cough, and was light headed for about 10 days. That is it. Mom is a fit 83 year old, walks 3 times a week at a fairly fast pace, eats well, as a positive attitude. She is now fully vaccinated including booster, and got her shot as soon as she could get it in March, despite her mild case. We know people that have not been so lucky, we know people that have been lost. We are gathering on Friday with deep gratitude that we can. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

This is helpful to hear. We hear so much about the terrible cases, not enough abut what to expect if it does not knock one out of the park. Thanks.

My Dad, in his 70's, not the best of health is vaccinated and contracted Covid. He was fatigued, no appetite, felt like he had a cold and generally looked ill. He has completely recovered with no side effects. My Mom, living in the same home and going to the same places as he did ( grocery store, pharmacy,etc) is also vaccinated and did not get Covid. The vaccine does it's job, it works.
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks. I just read this morning that here in Wisconsin, 61% of people have at least one vaccine. I can hardly believe that it is this low. We already know a person needs to have both vaccines plus the booster to have truly effective protection from the worst of omicron - and so, it seems to me, about half of Wisconsin is vulnerable to wildfire Covid. Hang on, pals, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Good writing, as usual! Love the picture and you know exactly what it makes me think about.

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A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

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