Mary Beth Writes

We drove right past Montreal and Quebec.  We really “should” have turned off the Trans-Canada and gone into these cities to see historical sites I have been reading about for years.  Except, well, neither of us wanted to ‘do a city’ yet.  We love city life, but cities don’t kindle imagination the same way as the surprise of smaller towns and the beauteous unrolling of fields and woods, river and sky outside out car windows.  I bet people who live in rural areas like to take their breaks in a city when they get the chance…

Anyway, we were on an adventure to see who we are when we are away from Regular and Responsible; we were interested in doing what we wanted to do instead of doing the logical thing. And what we wanted to see was what was around the next corner.

"Welcome, in the Lion's name. Come further up and further in."  (CS Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

This evolved into our itinerary. “Let’s drive too much and get to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and see those places we have been talking about for so long. It will be a lot of work to drive that far, but after we do that, we will feel calmer and we can swing back through the cities on the way home.” 

Two days later we were at Rivière du Loup (established in 1673!), a beautiful town in Quebec, right on the St. Lawrence. The next step from there would be to turn to the east and cut across New Brunswick to Nova Scotia and beyond.

By then, we were impressed at three specific things, never before contemplated by us, about the St. Lawrence River.

1. It’s HUGE!  It’s very wide - and the further we drove the wider it was getting. The river flows from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then into the Atlantic.  And the Gulf of St. Lawrence?  It’s 1/3 the size of the Gulf of Mexico but much deeper in most of it. 

2. As we drove northeast from Quebec and the river was getting wider, the hills and mountains - which are called the Laurentians - on the north side of the river were distant and blue.  I had never heard of the Laurentians in my life, they were beyond gorgeous.

3. The clouds! Cool air and the deep cold river mix with Atlantic air and water currents to somehow create constant rolling, billowing clouds. There were cloudless days, too, but most of our trip seemed to be spent under gigantic and velvety-looking puffs of spectacular clouds.

Comments

Your pictures are very lovely.
Mary Beth's picture

That one with the milky sun and the blue Laurentians and the dark foreground? We pulled off the highway, walked to the river's edge, started taking photos of that beautiful place - and realized we were in mosquito soup! Didn't taken many pix...

Years ago my husband took me around Lake Michigan for our honeymoon! I had never seen northern Wisconsin, Michigan, or Canada before. We took the train from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst and back. It was all very amazing. Your photos are beautiful.
Mary Beth's picture

Thank you. I love these northern places; they are so fresh and beautiful.

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"Brotherhood" by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr - A Book Review

10/13/2021

“Brotherhood” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the most compelling novel I’ve read this year. I read the first half as if I was reading a book for the first time; it felt as if the writer was expressing a story so powerful he called it fiction just to get it out, to me, to us. 

I skimmed the second half because I was exhausted by the impossible trauma and decisions the characters would need to endure and try to survive.

Let me say right here than many will survive. Not all.

Thanks & Now Let's Do Pups!

10/13/2021

 Thank You!

I sent our collated list of “Ways to Help My Community” to the Third Graders this morning.  Laura has already shared it with them; I just received this from one kid. This was really cool and helpful thank you for coming back to me so quickly well you always respond quickly like all the time and also I like hiring (hearing) from you always make me smile from writing to pictures I love them all.”

3rd graders on Community Building

10/12/2021

... 

I’m just back from volunteering in the third grade.  I’ve done this for five years; Laura Zahn who is this class’s teacher, plus her friend and fellow teacher Mara, have become among my favorite people in Waukesha. 

My Relationship with a Door 10/5/2021

Dear Friends,

I seem to be out of Deep Thoughts lately. Not sure if this is apparent to you but it is to me. This is not exactly a problem but keeps me guessing what in the world I should be writing. Or - since “should” is a sometimes toxic and generally unhelpful word – these days I am not sure what you want to read and I want to write.

So maybe I’ll just write you a quick Dear Friends. Sometimes relationships are just about checking in.

Up North 9/30/2021

Here’s why I’ve not posted anything in nearly two weeks.

Last week Len and I took a trip to Duluth, MN and Ashland, WI. We hiked seven hikes, met new friends, ate too much. (We didn’t eat IN restaurants. We ate take-out dinners while sitting in our car overlooking Chequamegon Bay.) We marinated in the breezy Up North rhythms of woods, streams, rivers, and Lake Superior. 

Then we came home to all that stuff one does up returning; laundry, groceries, and bringing in the Big Dozers to deal with cat litter boxes. 

Cabeza de Vaca & Company: A 500-Year Old Story for Our Time.

I’ve been thinking about Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca for years and I’ve also been thinking about him for a week.

It’s crazy out there in the world right now and people are, I think, kinda sick of each other. Racism, sexism, and classism are the muck we walk through to get to our cars while our climate is turning into flying monkeys. And the rich keep getting richer.

So let me tell you about a guy I admire.

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