Mary Beth Writes

“It's a good idea to begin at the bottom in everything except in learning to swim.” Unknown author

I was well into my 40’s when I realized that one doesn’t have to wait for perfect weather if one wants to go into the water. 

We had only lived in Racine a year or two and I was taking the kids to North Beach to swim in Lake Michigan. The day was windy, bright, and warm enough to spend an afternoon at the beach. The lake itself was turning over as it does, so the water temps were probably in the upper 50’s. The kids ran screaming into the lake as kids are wont to do. I put my toe in – Holy Cow! –  too dang cold!

I went back to our blanket and sat down. I’m not a beach reader, it’s too bright and besides, I had the kids with me; kids in water need watching.

They were yelling, splashing, running back out, digging along the shoreline, careening back into the shoreline waves.  All I was doing was getting hot and then hotter.

It occurred to me swimming is like everything else. You can wait for it to be perfect because occasionally it WILL be perfect.  But you can also just get up now and go into the chilly water.

I got up and ambled into that cold, cold lake. I screamed a bit and then plunged in. I swam a little, splashed a lot, and played with my kids. Eventually I hauled back out to lie on the beach, one more proper matron in a modest suit, watching her kids, as contended as ever a grown-up can be.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water”.     Loran Eisely

“Yes, I can swim! Just not always on top of the water.” One of our kids, a very long time ago. 

Comments

Cute story. Right now —- life is like swimming. We aren’t always on top of the water and it isn’t always perfect.
Mary Beth's picture

Yeah, that's what I was sort of thinking.

We are so lucky to live on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the world's great reserves of clean, fresh water.
Mary Beth's picture

It's a beautiful lake.

I can't swim in the water but I've been swimming through most of my life avoiding rip-tides and the like... For several years now I've been struggling in my personal life and gasping to stay afloat... This epidemic had me struggling like everyone else for some sort of a life/normality, until *Mr. B* came swimming up to me, put his arm around my chest and pulled me to the shore...

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A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

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