Mary Beth Writes


I haven’t eaten breakfast yet though I did have a cup of coffee in bed while I played Wordle which I nailed (?) in five tries today. Maybe I needed more coffee?

It’s been an oatmeal kind of week for me except for yesterday, when I met a friend for breakfast and had scrambled eggs and bacon. I’m not generally wild about bacon. Maybe I had to eat too much of it, still rubbery, as a child. My dad said if I’d eat it my hair would get curly and I would be able to run like a deer. This from the same loving man who also said Santa is real and women shouldn’t speak in church so you can see how I came by my skepticism.

What did you have for breakfast today?


Two people have commented about weird food combos their dads ate. Maria wrote “Yesterday I had "goatmeal". That's what my dad called oatmeal. After he had quadruple bypass surgery, he became an oatmeal fanatic. Every day, quaker quick oats, and a good dose of apple sauce. This looked a lot like glue. No one wanted to watch him eat this because it quickly became a slurry when he would pour in his coffee as well so he could just drink it.”

And David wrote to me, “This reminded me of the slop my dad had for lunch. He was always concerned about getting his gut working. For lunch, J served him homemade soup that contained potatoes, carrots, green beans and tomatoes. But, to that soup my dad would always add a crumbled-up bran muffin plus some prune juice, in order to really get the old GI tract working. … My dad would have said something like, ‘it’s all going to the same place, anyway.’” 

So I guess we need to add a new category to this January menu quest.

What did you have for breakfast?


What have you witnessed people eating? Especially Dads.

Our family was eating pancakes when, instead of syrup, Len topped his with black bean garlic paste. (This was not unusual; Len likes salty stuff more than sweet.) The next day one of our kids had a medical appointment with a new doctor in our new town of Racine. That guy, rather humorless, asked my kid what she’d had for dinner the evening before (I can’t remember why) and she said her daddy had pancakes with smushed black garlic and that moment has, as you can imagine, stayed with me.

Tomorrow is January 6th. I remember sitting here writing when Len called me from the living room. I could hear that the television was on which was unusual, we don’t turn it on till the end of the day. “Mary Beth, you should come down here. Something is happening.”

The vision on the TV screen confused me. Was someone making an action movie? Then I did understand and it made even less sense.

I have been, like many of you, angry ever since. Angry at those thousands of people, so many of them property owning white men, who gave themselves permission to wreak havoc upon the rest of us. I have read enough colonial era history to know they were a million miles from what happened at the inception of our nation in the 1770’s.

The shameful, ugly, self-serving, mayhem of that day has now lived in us for three years. I’ve read that the stress of it has affected the health of many of us. I resent that I cannot be bored by my government. I am furious that ordinary people, many of color, get slammed in and out of their days in court – but a powerful man can drag a nation through all this and still be out there being his ugly selfish self.

The anger and stress you feel is not just yours. This is a long story and we are still in it.


Also, right now and for the second time this morning, teachers and students from the middle school close to here are on some kind of walk. They are extremely noisy and colorful. The very macho and also ‘shorter-than-the-girls’ boys have their jackets unzipped. Clutches of girls with knit hats pulled low across their cold foreheads are chattering and shrieking. They are all, obviously, going somewhere to see something somewhat educational.

It cheers me to see the kids. This is a long story and we are still in it.



On Sunday evenings - my Dad would have a bowl of popcorn covered in milk. He ate like cereal.
Mary Beth's picture

That sounds just so .. disgusting! People who had been kids in the Depression had some crazy hungers...

Dads are the best! My dad put butter on his radishes, salt on his watermelon, and a slice of cheese on his apple pie :) I don't do any of these, but it makes me smile to remember that he did!

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Hot Weather Diary #3


Today was another hot one and right now, it’s still 93 degrees in my backyard.

Hot Weather Diary #2


“Time wasted at a lake is time well spent.”  (I tried to learn who wrote this; it seems to have arisen spontaneously on a Pinterest plaque for your cabin.)

There is an argument that civilization started on the banks of rivers, the oceans, and along the shores of the hundreds and thousands of lakes on our earth. Waterfront is where people and animals gather to drink, eat, cool off, and watch the youngsters while they play. Also, it’s where adults gather to chat, fish, breathe in beauty, and sometimes swim far out there where joints don’t ache and its quiet.

Hot Weather Diary #1


We all knew it was coming and here it is. A Hot Week! We are in the news! We are important! Humans around the nation, especially in the East and Midwest, will be living through a week with temps in the 80’s, 90’s and worse.

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. 

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