Merry Christmas!

Here’s to getting here and finding the light and appreciating it where we find it.

Northern Exposure End Scene: More Light from Markus Avrelius on Vimeo.

Survived a night with roaring winds and rain so I might be a little droopy later but there is good everywhere. Soak it in, revel in it! Strength friends, for what’s ahead!

Merry Christmas!

Sandy Hook

Today is the eighth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I had gone the previous night to a midnight showing of the Hobbit in Nyack NY where there is a “real” IMAX movie theater. A group of us went and had a good time hanging out and enjoying the film.

I stopped at the Nassau Diner on my way home, thinking it was funny to be doing my day sort of in reverse, drinking coffee on the way home rather than the way to work. A news alert popped up while I was there about another shooting. Tired but caffeinated I drove home.

When I got home the news was overwhelming and unbelievable. And we live with a string of shootings now that are overwhelming and unbelievable that have happened since then. That day was Columbine all over again and now there are almost too many to recite.

There have been attempts to deny that any of this happened. How incredible is that, all by itself? But no one can deny the realty that these children died, along with others shot down by unnecessary assault-style weapons. As have many others – too many – since then.

Sandy Hook

December 2020

I’ve been home for a little over nine months now. You would think something would have come of that time and stuff has, just maybe not the stuff you might imagine. I’ve painted. I’ve taken photos. I’ve written. I’ve read. I’ve learned to interact to others via a plethora of online platforms.

I had gone to a lecture at the Clark and felt like I had a headache. Didn’t much enjoy the presentation, drove home and went to bed. Was sick with mildly flu-like symptoms and was more than glad to stay in bed napping for quite a number of days, long enough that for the first time in my working history I had to go to a doctor for a note in order to return to work. By then it was clear that something was going on. I had no way of knowing if I’d had the flu (yes, I’d gotten the shot), bronchitis, or whatever this new virus was. But I went to the doctor and he had nothing to offer because now, two weeks later, I was well. I seized the moment to get a test for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases which came back negative.

I got the note and sent it in and then my workplace was shut down.

So began my time at home. I stayed home a little longer, just to be sure about whatever it was I had early in March. Then work evolved and food shopping turned to delivery and pick up and life went on. I officially started doing real work-from-home stuff in early June. In September I signed up officially to do that for six months. And then another round of scheduling fuzziness ended my research into different retirement scenarios and my last working day was October 28. After that I was on “vacation” for a little over a month and now I am officially retired.

Last night I erased the computer I’d been sent to work on and packaged it up. I cleared out a little drawer that held a stack of post it notes – tallies of each day’s work. Yes our work was trackable online – so many interactions over the course of the day and all, but for me, it was a pleasure to tick each chat and perhaps note what the question was. I think the largest number of ticks was 46 or 48. Some days, due to outages or events were much lower. Thirty plus was the norm. I laughed as I quickly flipped through the stack looking at all the slashes. Each a person, for a few minutes or longer.

Now, as I have since March, I can take a few minutes to look around each morning as I go out to offer my coffee grounds to the garden or get the mail. The things to see are many. I fill the bird feeders. I look at the sky. I don’t have a long daily commute to think about things or listen to audio books, although I’ve finished several long audio books since being home. My Prius was showing 112.2 “mpg” the other day because many of my travels are within the electric range of the car. I don’t stop in a store just to look around. I took a pass on the normal Thanksgiving because it seemed like the best thing to do.

Today is 42 days away from Inauguration Day and that is good, even though the fight goes on to turn our country towards what it was before 2016 and maybe towards what we would like it to be. The fight continues to keep people healthy. The stay at home thing continues. So I look around and see what the world has to offer each morning and go from there.

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
— Joseph Chilton Pearce

December 2020

The Gettysburg Address

Perhaps we could all take a moment to read this aloud, and to think of what the words meant then, and mean today.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The Gettysburg Address

Tonight’s Light Show

I was lucky to find myself out and about in just the right place and time. Click this photo for the flickr album!

12 Nov 2020 Sunset//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Tonight’s Light Show

7 November 2020

There was this and then moments later there were all kinds of wonderful headlines! Thanks everyone for keeping the faith and working and being strong. Now the real work begins.

mbfrezon_counting

7 November 2020

November 6, 2020 – Letter to my elected reps

November 6, 2020

Dear Elected Representative,

We are in the last moments of this election and still holding our collective breath. While we are hopeful of the outcome, the thought still is there: how can “these people” feel so strongly in ways that are against what our nation stands for?

I had a moment while looking at the county breakdown of voting in this election. Most of my “blue state” was red. The signs and banners and trucks certainly indicated this to me previously but the voting didn’t lie. The only thing that kept the state blue was the concentrated votes in the populated areas. My moment wasn’t one of “thank goodness” but – how do we find common ground again? Rural areas (where I live) are the mirror of inner cities – little work opportunity, often poor education at all levels, poor pay, poor health care, food scarcity and insecurity, few cultural offerings. If we want to join together with our neighbors again we can’t dig in and WIN. We must find ways to offer ways to live better and to make room for caring for everyone so that anger subsides and being open to each other can begin.

This isn’t a new state of affairs, but a sure decline of urban and rural areas for many generations. And it is true for many of the “blue” states.

I live in an old house in a rural area. The center of the economy to those driving through here is all about cars. Old cars, a race track for racing cars, a NAPA store or two in every village. We have had minimal internet service, at times not reliable phone or electrical service. Where I live there’s no cable TV offerings at all because it’s not economically interesting to the cable companies. There are no grocery stores nearby, just convenience stores where you can pick up milk, bread and eggs with your gas fill up. In season we have farm stands.

I saw all the red signs. I heard a lot of the muttering and talk. I saw all the people who wouldn’t wear masks from the start and do so now minimally only because our local shops won’t let them in without one thanks to our governor’s strong guidance.

I see the local school whose newsletter touts the sports teams but doesn’t mention the academic results because they’re pretty bad.

There are people from downstate buying up property that was once farmland because they have the money to buy it and pay taxes on it. They rarely do much for the economy in terms of offering new industry or employment.

Why am I painting this view for you? Because to get back on track and start to push our country forward we can’t be US vs THEM. We have to make sure that opportunity is there for anyone who wants to try for it. That education is good and free at local schools and affordable to those who want to go on, and that this education prepares people for good-paying jobs that allow them to live well. That an unexpected illness or accident won’t destroy a family because of medical costs. That medical care and services are available everywhere to anyone who needs them.

I think of my childhood – all the little moments of a child’s oblivious growing up – and realize how we were not worried. We weren’t worried about losing our house or car or job, losing family members because we couldn’t get them health care. That’s privilege that comes from economics more than anything else. I grew up thinking if I worked, and it might be hard work, I could keep going and live an all right kind of life. I could take care of myself and my family.

I could be relaxed about the future, not worried and angry with worry and fear. I could save for retirement and someday not have to work.

How can we extend a better life with a sense of that to everyone? Health care, education, job training and opportunities, everyone pulling their weight to make things move for everyone?

This is what I ask of you, my elected representatives going forward. Stop catering to the billionaires and the mega-corporations and start – and finish – with the people you represent in the cities, the suburbs and the rural communities. We need your support to make the American dream of possibility and hope a reality for everyone so we can be one nation and one community again.

Mary Beth Frezon

November 6, 2020 – Letter to my elected reps

New Stuff

why parsnips, you may ask? New iPhone day! Yes indeed. Photos TBD.

The person who will not stand for something will fall for anything.
— Zig Ziglar

New Stuff

Hail and Farewell

Oh I’ll still be here blogging – maybe more than ever!

Hail and Farewell

From the Quote Box of 2015

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. — (Rumi, 1207-1273)

From the Quote Box of 2015