Mary Beth Writes

I was in the middle of writing when Christine J sent this to me: This photo was taken in the town of Douglas, Massachusetts close to the tri-state marker of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island along the Southern New England Trunk Trail. We experienced torrential rain from the pre-Christmas super storm followed immediately by a cold snap. It appears to me that the leaves were lifted by the large amount of rain and wind we had and quickly froze when the cold air mass descended. I've never seen this before in our area so I wanted to share this beautiful and unusual phenomenon. 

I’m not actively soliciting photos but if you see something beautiful and amazing and are willing to share – by all means, send it to me at: MB at This photo is so cool! Thank you, Christine. 


Sunday evening 60 Minutes did a segment on Radio Free Europe; it’s still a powerful source for reliable news and is listened to by millions of people who don’t trust local sources.

I was especially struck by this statement from a Ukrainian reporter who covers human rights in Ukraine. What she said was, “The only thing I’m afraid of is untold stories.”

When our kids were little a teacher mentioned this to us once and it stuck with me. Getting sick usually changes a kid in small but noticeable ways. Maybe it’s just one of those things where you see what you expect to see – but after that comment I watched and it felt true. The kid got sick, lived three days on Tylenol, 7-Up, and pretzels, wore their jammies all day, watched a lot of TV, slept a lot. Then they got better and went back to school … and they were different. They shared more, or maybe less. They were more interested in having stories read to them, or they were done with chapter books read by parents, now they wanted to read those books by themselves. Their favorite friends might change. They wanted to hike to the lake with dad, or quit hockey, or they dug out the yarn grandma gave them two years ago and now they wanted to learn to crochet. Little stuff, but the outward signs of interior growth and change.

We are living through a lot these days. We’ve just come through an endless year where the media talked about elections every ding-dang day. I got the dishes done promptly more this year than any time in my life; I could not stand one more segment on upcoming elections and polls and what it might mean. Len would watch for the both of us while I’d leave the room to load the dishwasher and feed the cats.

Many of us have come through strong personal experiences and events this past year. Being sick. Getting better after too long and too intense bouts of being sick. Losing friends and relatives. Exercising more than we expected. Breaking delicate bones (I have TWO friends who broke a foot this year! You guys, be careful on those bottom steps!) Financial hits from surprising directions. Storms that were way too strong.

Here’s the thing. In enduring what happened and then changing to accommodate what’s new – we have stories to tell ourselves and others. What it’s like that the last kid started high school and you suddenly realize that although you will never be done raising kids, in a lot of important ways, you are done raising kids. What it was like to be in that car crash. The vacation that was way more work than you expected and the unutterable words you now have for Southwest Airlines. What it’s like to live without the loved one who was so much work to take care of.

Just your friendly neighborhood bloggerina here to remind you to take into account what happened to you last year. Think about what you came through. Write it down or say it aloud, even if only to the cats while you are cleaning the kitchen.

When you no longer always want to do the activity that you used to always want to do, maybe it’s not that you are cranky. Maybe you changed. Maybe you are weary of donuts and you crave spring rolls. Maybe your best friend’s jokes aren’t as funny as she thinks.

Maybe it’s time to catch up with yourself.

Happy New Year.



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What the Dickens?

The photo is from Barnados, a childrens charity in London in the 19th century. 


Argh! I have a new phone because the old one stopped staying charged plus a few more foibles. My phone cost $400 five years ago so it makes sense that it stopped working reliably, right? If an appliance worked like this we would burn that manufacturer to the ground.

Swan Story


I’ve been reading a lot of other people’s writing lately and I have decided there is too much to read. Much of it is very good but there is JUST TOO MUCH!

So my goal going forward is to write shorter posts, more often, that might remind you of the glory, power, and goofiness of your life as well as mine.

So, let me say again what’s always very true. Thank you for reading what I write.


About My Memorial Day Story


Today my story ‘Memorial Day’ is posted at Substack. Read it here. 

Courage, Big & Little



I’m writing fiction this week. I started a story in December that, along the way, turned into a Memorial Day story. It will be my Substack story this Saturday.

This morning I looked for an old newspaper column to rerun and found this one about a time when one of our kids needed to have four teeth pulled.

Cholesterol Numbers & Squirrels


Years ago I was out to dinner with friends. We were all just entering our 40’s and thus were all beginning to get the fun medical tests about this and that and cholesterol. I said, to a friend next to me, that I’d started eating oatmeal everyday for breakfast and my cholesterol had dropped …..

The room went silent.

Everyone heard “cholesterol dropped” and stopped speaking. Everyone wanted to hear how much it had dropped – which was about 8 points. In our twenties the conversation stopper was gossip about sex. Now the secret sauce was HDL and LDL

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