Mary Beth Writes

As some of you know it was an unromantically large number of years ago when Len gave me flowers. (The story is here.) 

The next morning, he drove me home on his way to work (read the first article if you have forgotten how why I spent the night at his house and in his bed…)

He ignored me for a day while I rested and recuperated in my apartment.

The day after that I was better. He came around that evening and we did something. Can’t remember what. Maybe out to dinner where we talked. Like that hasn’t been a theme in our life.

It occurred to me this morning, Feb 16th, as we are packing to go to Chicago to watch our beloved little grandkid while our daughter and her husband go out to dinner – that, sure, Valentine’s Day is fun. 

(Thursday, while Len was out doing other peoples’ taxes for AARP, I baked banana-blueberry-strawberry bread for us. And because I love Leonard with all my heart, I taste-tested it by slicing side pieces from the loaf, thus leaving the heel for him. Am I not a full-blown romantic?)

After the Romantic Volubility of Valentine’s day - the more amazing day for lovers is the day your person comes back to you. When the one who sees you at your middling-best to absolute-worst; when they go off to live their life but later, they come around and talk and make jokes and help you make dinner and tell you about their days and ask you about yours. 

My son and daughter-in-law have two adorable and Very Energetic 2-year old dogs.  Bean and Berry are just nuts - and as much as you sometimes have to defend yourself from flying kisses when you walk into their house - they are the best.  Recently Bean learned to play fetch. You can throw his tennis ball from one end of their little house to the other and he never fails to run to get it, always crashing into the back door in the process. Then he trots the ball back to you. My son says he can play this for 45 minutes before he gets tired of it. 

Bean “gets it”.

Love is, as long as there is life, coming back.  

 ...

Like this.   Trigger warning. If you have lost someone you love deeply lately, this is Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” 

 

Comments

Love. I'm surrounded by it and it makes me feel whole either when I receive it or especially so when hand it out, my valentines day had both. I woke up that day to valentines greetings from George & Michael. I went down to feed Ms. Seema her breakfast. Feeling generous she got her regular nuts and kibble and to top it off banana,apple and orange slice's, She gave me a thank you grunt... Woke up Ms. Maya who's been having a ruff week because her hind legs don't want to work, I stood her up and she looked up at me and wagged her tail at me.(Makes my heart melt) Then Maya and I made a quick stop at Michael's on our way to take George to his Doctor appointment. We sat around with George after we got back from the Doctors. We stopped back at Michael's apartment on the way home he made us dinner and we watched a movie. He left to play piano at the Hob Nob and we dropped the movies off on our way home...We were barely home when Angela called to say she was stopping by for a bit. The perfect ending to what was not all that eventful a day except for the fact that all the key players in my life were there to share it with me. PRICELESS!!

Thank you for your loving words and beautiful video.

Heart. Heart.

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Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

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