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

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.

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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A Long Ago (sort of) American Camelot on the Mississippi

 I finally finished reading “Empire by Collaboration” by Robert Michael Morrisey. It is a history of the Mississippi River from what is now the general St. Louis area down to its confluence with the Ohio River. This is the area Len and I traveled to see the solar eclipse in August 2017. While we were there, we visited Fort De Chartres and Kaskaskia, we saw old houses in tiny river towns, and we saw one of the oldest cemeteries I’ve seen in the US; it filled with 18th century gravestones inscribed with beautiful French names.

Where are the Movies that don't Blither and Lie?

Last night we watched last year’s “Happytime Murders” with Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and a bunch of puppets who look like Muppets. Yes, the director is Brian Henson.

The plot? A former kids’ puppet show is making a comeback, and someone is machine-gunning down alumni puppets in order to get a bigger cut of potential franchise income. Phil Philips, puppet detective, partners with Melissa McCarthy to find the culprit. Along the way we see various episodes of puppet porn.

I laughed a lot and then the movie was over.

Went to bed. Woke up this morning irritated.

Sandhill Cranes of Kearny at Dawn

We were on vacation and now we are home:

First thing to report: we only had one fight.

Why is it so hard to keep a poor Black man who has committed NO crime out of jail?

(Our Brother’s back story is here:  https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/what-happens-personal-finances-when-one-grows-poor-and-black-america )

.....

Our Brother is not in jail. This has been a challenge for him, for the people he loves, and for those of us who try to help and support him. Keeping O.B. out of jail is a modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress.

“Oh,” you ask. “Did he commit a crime?”

Love, two days later.

As some of you know it was an unromantically large number of years ago when Len gave me flowers. (The story is here.) 

The next morning, he drove me home on his way to work (read the first article if you have forgotten how why I spent the night at his house and in his bed…)

He ignored me for a day while I rested and recuperated in my apartment.

#UTLAStrong!

My niece Susan is a speech therapist educator in the Los Angeles public schools. She is on strike and I am proud to be in her family. Teachers are the foundation of everything else we all do. For most of the skills most of us depend on to live our lives - If no one teaches you, you don’t know.   

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