Mary Beth Writes

5/16/2022

Yes, Len and I are back (a week ago) from a wonderful vacation in South Dakota. We stayed four nights in an Airbnb in Wasta, SD, which we picked it because it’s close to the west entrance of Badlands National Park. After we chose it, we discovered it was hugely inexpensive, so if you want to know more about the place, I assure you there is only one Airbnb in Wasta, SD (population 65). The house was tiny, clean, had adequate hot water, and a completely functional kitchen. When the TV wouldn’t work the evening after cable guys had been burying cables that morning, we called the owner who lives 18 miles north and she drove over immediately. Of course, by the time she arrived the cable had kicked back in because that’s how things work in the real world, right? Pam was super pleasant and helpful.

When Len and I dated we talked about how much we loved wide open plains. Here at this end of our long marriage, this trip felt a bit like time travelling backwards. We kidded about who we thought we were going to become and how that worked out. We recalled funny things from bringing our kids here when they were little.

Beng able to remember good times together is a luxury.

Castle Trail crosses the center of the northern unit of the park. We walked most of it; one day from the east end while wearing our parkas, two days later day from the west end wearing shorts while dripping sweat. The second hike we brought peanut butter and banana sandwiches and sat on the side of a formation and ate while gazing at the amazing lunar scenery all around us. Later we ate Fig Newtons at Saddle Pass, elevation 300’ - there were Dall sheep grazing while we did that.

Being in the Badlands is chilly mornings and then the hot sun. It's the wind blowing past one’s ears. It's hearing the mumbling of fellow hikers a half mile away. It's quartz rocks just lying there where nature dropped them a hundred floods ago. It fills your spirit. The wind drowns the chatter in your head. You get to walk around and be there and that is practice for how to live anywhere.

We saw those curved horn Dall sheep, bazillions of perky prairie dogs, bison with their babies, and one coyote trotting through a prairie too fast for Len to get a photo. Which is how you know it was a Wiley coyote.

We’ve been home a week and on-going life is packed. Trying to write some other projects. One kid just moved. A grand-boy is having a birthday party next week. A new grandchild had surgery and is fine. I can’t keep up but I am trying hard to hear the wind whooshing past my ears as I live my lucky life.

I have 200 pretty good photos and here we go with hardly any of them.

 

 

 

Comments

Leonard's picture

They were always so far away. Oh, and this just in, we just got a post card from the coyote that Mary Beth talked about, "Hey, saw you guys. Sorry I couldn't stay for pics. Had some business to attend to. By the way, if someone tells you that one of the prairie dogs is missing, I don't know anything about it. Also, you should get a better password on your phone because a lot of guys out here know how to hijack your Chewy account, but not me, for sure."

Loved hearing about your vacation. Len’s comment/postcard made me laugh!

Enjoyed reading about the trip, we texted as we all drove back from our trips (Lincoln Nebraska was not quiet the same)... The photos of the amazing landscape, and Len's comments made my day... Thanks

Glad you had a wonderful vacation! "Being able to remember good times together is a luxury," it is indeed, my friend. Thank you for sharing them with us. Be well! Patricia

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WHITE CAKE!

The picture is our wedding cake, made by my friend Karen, who drove it from Indiana to Chicago on the hottest day of that year. It was in the back seat so their two little boys had to ride in front (remember when kids could ride in front?). They got lost in the city but I didn't know that for years because Karen and her husband start early and had time to get lost and then figure it out. Sometimes wedded bliss is a lot of work. 

The following story and recipe is not about the wedding cake, but it is the photo I have...

...

6/30/2022

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The Jan 6 Hearings, huh? This is an amazing moment in US history and I’m trying to understand our incredibly intense response. Four of 10 voters have watched at least some of the hearings, which is 20,000,000 people. It’s not just me that can’t look away.

Our Terrible Canoe Adventure

The eagle photo was taken by Len - but not on this trip! 

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We are fine but I have a tale to tell.

American Successes / American Failures

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Most people work hard at learning truth-telling when they are 4 and 5-years old.

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6/8/2022     

I didn’t know a Panoply of Dental Moments was coming my way this week, but such is life with teeth. One can brush, floss, slosh, and swish - but if one’s teeth want to crumble, they do. Yesterday I had my six-month cleaning. The hygienist said several times that I brush and floss beautifully. I was proud and thinking maybe I would give myself a “well-done” sticker when I got home. Then the dentist came in to do the check-up and said two fillings had cracks around them and needed to be replaced.

Rough Stories, Tough Week

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Last Friday evening on PBS Tonight David Brooks said something like this. “I am afraid for all of us. The news just pummels us.”

There are as many tough stories as there are fingers on a closed fist. The shooting in Uvalde. The shooting in Buffalo. The corrupt power of the NRA and other obscene wealth-mongers that are destroying our society from the inside of elected reps’ pockets outwards. Ukraine. Global climate mayhem. Oh, and covid is everywhere. Less traumatic for most; long covid for some. So that’s six fingers on that pugilistic fist.

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