Mary Beth Writes

This is almost a quote from Kurt Vonnegut. “Unexpected travel is a dancing lesson from God.” (Vonnegut said “Peculiar travel suggestions are…” or some such; I need to reread Cat’s Cradle.)

Our daughter called on Tuesday afternoon -- and the answer was: “Sure, we can take care of the sick baby while you guys go to work.” She was sick with Hand, Foot, Mouth disease which runs rampant in daycare sites. Most of her little friends had it, too. . https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/index.html  It was going to be at least three days at home; our daughter and son-in-law had a bunch of excellent reasons why this was going to be very hard for them to do.

So we drove to Chicago Tuesday night and spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with our 1-year old grandkid.

Here is a surprise in case you were thinking about visiting Chicago. The Hotel Versy is a renovated 100-year old hotel right at Clark and Diversy; the heart of Chicago’s trendy, upscale Lakeview neighborhood. http://www.hotelversey.com/#gref 

Hotel Versey is attractive, super-clean and functional, with Chicago themed décor. Right now the price is $65-70/night! This cost will skyrocket as the weather gets nicer and Cubs games happen (its walking or a short bus ride distance from Wrigley). A price like this rearranges one’s thinking about visiting a city in January!

Our kids put us up there because their condo is too small for overnight guests. We would get to their apartment at 7AM (which is why you can see the moon in this photo). Our son-in-law was already gone to work and our daughter would be leaving within the hour.

Chicago at 6:5AM

Taking care of one almost-toddler (she will be walking within the month)? Yikes! Awesome, exhausting, hard on the muscles (I don’t generally get down on the floor and then back up 27 times a day). We love her so much. She is funny for a person that small and new. If she didn’t have our attention, she knew she could get it by putting a toy on her head. I don’t know where she gets her humor….

She was pretty sick Wednesday and Thursday. She drank and ate enough, but she was punky and uncomfortable. By Friday she was much better. She had blisters around her mouth and a few in other inconvenient places, but they were drying up.

Isn’t it interesting how you can see, feel, and intuit healing in people you know and love – even when they can’t talk?  Her face was more relaxed, there were more toys on her head and fat toddler book dumped into our laps as she edged close to be picked up and read to.

Of course, because life is just this complicated, by Thursday evening our daughter realized she had a fever and was sick! We watched the baby Friday as she went to a doctor. Luckily, as is common for most healthy adults, her HFM disease was not as blistery and awful as the baby’s. By Friday afternoon she felt human again, too, so we came home.

Len and I don’t know if we have antibodies. Time will tell, so we are staying Far from the Madding Crowd until mid-week.  

Dancing Lessons from God.

What a week.

Comments

Poor kid! Germs are the worst! Glad you're able to help out in that way. Yes, it's exhausting, but rewarding as well. I hope to see you soon! C
Mary Beth's picture

Maybe you will spot us Wednesday night - if we are not spotted.

HFM?? Those of us who are childless (and of course grandchildless) miss out on many things -- this is one I am happy to miss.!

Grandparents are a blessing from God! I bet Lilly and Pete think so, too.
Leonard's picture

I love Chicago. So far this year, we have spent about as much time there as in Wisconsin. It was also good to know that we can still find a parking spot on the street (at least one day!). But having a granddaughter to visit was the best ever.

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Quarantine Diary #15 3/28/2020

The Long-Awaited Groceries (The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is in my brain right now) came last night at 9PM – when it was raining. A woman named Sarah, late 30’s, brown ponytail, not-posh sweatpants and hoodie – carried ALL our groceries across the street from her car to our porch. This included 8-packs of Gatorade plus boxes of seltzer water, plus lots of other heavy stuff. Did I mention it was raining?

Quarantine #14 3/27/2020

Last night we did another wild and crazy thing. We got in our car and went for a drive! The first thing we remarked to each other was that we had not been in the car together in weeks.  It felt a little odd to be in there, next to each other, about to GO SOMEPLACE! Maybe this is the way it feels to be the family dog when they let you sit in the front seat and EVERYTHING IS SO AMAZING!

We drove west into the rosy sunset, filled with excitement to, um, see the sky.  Quarantines are easiest on people who have a low bar for excitement.

Quarantine Diary #13 3/26/2020

What do you miss?  What, in our new pandemical world do you miss most from our pre-pandemical world?You know, the one we lived in till two weeks ago?

I don’t mean the heartbreaking realities such as safe medical care providers and enough places to go should one become ill and the loved ones that we are losing.

I just mean, what are we getting used to? Or trying to get used to. What might we never go back to?

Quarantine Diary #12 3/25/2020

Right now it is 11:00AM.  Got up this morning at the regular time. Did regular things. Came to the office to write. Worked (hardly at all) on a project, wrapped an item for eBay. Announced to Len at 10:30 that I was sleepy and going to take a nap.

You know what he said?  He said, “Me, too.”

The following half hour he took the sofa and I took our bed and both of us slept like toddlers on cots.

Quarantine Diary #11 3/24/2020

Most mornings we wake up, get coffee, then sit in bed to read news websites and Twitter on our phones. This isn’t the most spiritually centering way to begin a day but IMHO any morning one can actually rouse oneself at all is good enough.

Except this. Remember when Len and I went to Kearny, Nebraska last spring to see the migrating Sandhill Cranes? (Right here.) 

When I have freaked out enough about the news, I go to this crane cam. 

Quarantine Diary #10 3/23/2020

This was a really good part of today. When my daughter was putting the baby down for his nap, Len and I read storybooks to our 3-year old granddaughter before her nap. Literally, she was sitting on her little bed in Chicagoland while holding mommy’s phone.  I read; Len moved the phone around carefully to show the illustrations. 

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