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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Len’s Birthday


Last week I mentioned that Monday of this week would be Len’s birthday. A friend remarked to me ever so kindly later that day, “I thought his birthday was the 30th?”

It is. Len’s birthday is the 30th. This same friend has commented to me, over the years, about how much I remember.

Covid Diary #1350 Thanksgiving


Today is 1350 days since the that March Friday in 2020 when we all went into quarantine.

Today is 60 years since JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I remember that day, so does Len, so do many of you. Here’s a scary truth. We are as far today from that day – as that day was from the Wright brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk on Dec 17, 1903.

Quarantine Diary #1349 Sci-Fi & Prophecy


We both took Covid tests this morning and both of us still have pink lines. I asked the internet what this means and it says I might be pregnant.

I have a call into my doctor’s office to discuss. I feel so much better that if I didn’t know I have Covid, I wouldn’t know it. I’ve been sicker than this after too much pie.

Covid Diary #1347


A few of you might realize yesterday we were 1345 days since March 13, 2020, and today we’re at 1347. Yup, I used a different calculator. Just a fun reminder that precision depends as much on asking the right question as doing perfect math.

I’m in day #4 of having Covid. No more chills. I have a fever of 100.4 which is more impressive than the 100.2 that Len achieved on his Day #4.  I’m taking various OTC meds and I keep track of them in my phone’s notes because, wow, it’s so easy to have no memory of the last time one took something. I’m good. Enough.

Covid Diary #1345


I thought I was done with the Covid Diary but guess what? Len and I caught Covid this week! Actually, Covid caught us. We have continued to wear masks in stores, library, meetings, and our church so we will never know for sure where Len encountered Covid. And since I got it four days later, I guess we know where I got it…

My New Substack for Short Stories


Let’s call this “Old Dog Versus New Tricks.” Does it feel to you as if I’ve been extra quiet these past months? It does to me. One big reason is that I’ve been figuring out Substack.

Here’s the deal: In addition to this blog, I’ve been writing more creative fiction. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m finally taking it seriously. I’m not giving up this website, but substack is going to let me concentrate on short stories and other stand-alone pieces.

What’s Substack?

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