Mary Beth Writes

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We are back from our big road trip to New Mexico. I took a lot of photos with my phone and put some on Instagram.  Len took even more photos with his Nikon. I want to post some of them, but I need to learn how to do that more easily. Currently it is as simple as washing a cat.

Road trips are awesome. And awful. It took us three days to drive 1500 miles to New Mexico, three days to drive home. While we were there we drove an extra 600 miles, here and there.

Here is why we love road trips. Because one doesn’t know what’s around the next corner or over the next hill. Gas stations are parachute drops into a culture that exists no place else. Two-minute conversations with people one will never see again; people who are kind and laughing or bitter and rude. Young males hauling 36-packs of Buds to their trucks. Old people with sensible shoes pulling themselves slowly out of sensible cars, groaning and stretching. Or the people climbing into gigantic motor homes; those homes catch wind and waver crazily in front of us as they sail wide mesas and skinny mountain passes. Professional truck drivers, in and out. 

We drove into New Mexico on US 40 from Oklahoma City. We’d been driving since 8AM and it was early evening. We'd already waited out a terrific rainstorm at a rest area. Now we were driving fast and intently, hoping to get to Santa Fe by dark. Turned north on 285 and came up over a low rise – and before us was all of creation, rimmed by purple mountains. Swaths of evening light falling across the land. What was in front of us was as quiet and wild as earth can be. We both uttered a “Wow.”

And that is why we drive. Because, yes, one pays a lot of highway - and in return gets back surprises and beauty and wows. It humbles you. It tells you, by the weary seat of your pants and low ache in your back, just how enormously big this country is. It tests your relationship to the other person or people in the car. A road trip is a way to be oneself in a different venue. Sometimes the new place you explore is your own self.

Driving into Santa Fe at dusk

The blue mesas. In the 1980's Len and I often ate at a restaurant called The Blue Mesa (on Halsted) and it wasn't until this trip that I understood why they named it that. 

The sun setting in the west lights the mountains for a few moments. 





Lovely pictures! Nice experience for you two. Thanks for sharing.


So glad you posted this. We leave for a family road trip (to CO) on June 1 and will be gone for the month. Stopping at Airbnb's along the way, spending a week in Boulder with friends, and 2 weeks farther west in a little town called Rico (with Mark's parents, who go there every year). We'll be packing our little subaru hatchback with 2 adults (front seats), 2 kids (back seat), and 2 pups (hatchback). Plus, we're adding a little trailer hitch cargo box & cargo up top. Should be interesting and EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE, I'm sure. Ha ha. We last went two years ago and kids got along great w/o any technology. Now we have a teenager who has his own phone. We'll see how that shifts the dynamic along the way! Most looking forward to views, open space, freedom, seeing my pups run in wide open fields, and not feeling like I have to log on to something every day.
Mary Beth's picture

It will be an awesome trip, I am sure. We brought our bike helmets with because I'd heard that 90% of tornado injuries happen when something falls on people's heads - so put bike helmets on in terrible weather! So, why not take on a trip? Then, if you find a place to rent bikes, you are ready! Some of our adventures with our kids didn't pan out swell, but I regret none of them. Have a wonderful time!

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A few Ideas for Gifts & Presents


One of my favorite lines this year: “Our family does Christmas cards at 20 paces.” (I apologize that I don’t remember the author.)

Three Things 12022021


I’ve had so many interesting thoughts in the past ten days. These thoughts have whirled into my mind, swirled in circles like a canoer too dazzled by the beauty of the terrain to think about what that roaring sound is – and then whoosh over the waterfalls of my brain to disappear. Such is adult life.

Waukesha's Holiday Parade & Us

This photo is of Milwaukee's 'Dancing Grannies'. Some of them were killed and hurt yesterday. 


Coming & Going


And just like that, my website is back.

Behind every website are a zillion lines of code. If you want to see what that looks like behind a page you are perusing – do this: On a computer (not on a phone) right click on any segment of a website. A box will open, click on Inspect and that will show you the code being used in that part of that website. You can’t mess with it, but you can see it.

...and we’re home …


Many of you sent emails and notes and we read every single one. Thank you! We loved the photos of where you live and what you are seeing in your world … and Neal, that fish that you caught is BIG!

A very small update on the very big upheaval In Len’s and my life


We are doing pretty well. Len has 46 staples in his head – the rehab admitting person counted them. Not sure if I wanted to know, but now I do.

His mind, brain, coordination, balance, and motor movements all seem to be exactly the way they always were. Twice he has politely helped the professional therapists who are helping him – unscramble some confusing things on their computers.  

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