Mary Beth Writes


The last three suggested S words are Summer, Snow, Smoke. Sounds like the seasons we now have in Wisconsin.

How’s your summer going? I bet it's zipping past and you are as weirded out as I am that we are about two minutes from August. Where did the summer go? I have felt this wistful way every summer since I was old enough to know how much First Grade was going to cramp my style.

I walk around with two seasons in my head. Do you?

One is the project, agenda, and to-do list of the day I’m in. I need to make that phone call I’ve been putting off. We can have the rest of the tuna salad for lunch. We’re taking a grandkid to Cave in The Mounds tomorrow; will it be cool enough today to open the windows so I can make banana muffins for him and do I even want to? Oh Lordy, there’s a load of laundry in the dryer. Of course, there is. Nice day for a walk if my sunburn from yesterday doesn’t slow me down. Possibilities and obligations churn through my head like a water wheel running an old-time mill.

Summer is all the images we automatically see because those images have been hawked at us all our lives. Lakes, beaches, picnics, watermelon, bike rides on country lanes. You know.

But then our lives are real and summer is also the eye-popping electric bill, and weather sirens blaring at 10PM (last night) because hail and gale force winds are near. (No damage here.) Summer is driving kids to a beach and then sitting there with a friend having 79% fun and joy while 21% of your soul wants to be at home reading an adventure novel on the sofa.

We love the idea of seasons. We love thinking about awesome times with family and friends at that Up North cottage because the memory isn’t tinged with vacuuming sand and laundering towels and rolling up the kids’ sleeping bags and finding someone else’s overcooked underwear in a corner.

We love snow in our hearts because it’s snowmen, hikes in a silent forest, cardinals at the birdfeeder, big happy (irony intended) family dinners. Not, well, all that other stuff snow is. I promise, I won’t list it. You know.

We don’t even mind smoke because it's what we get with evening campfires and s’mores. Or that lovely pungent sweatshirt we wore when raking leaves weeks ago. Smoke is ribs and smoked gouda on crackers and the Platters singing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Not the smoke from from climate disaster forest fires. 

So how’s your summer? Are you having summer or are you reveling in memories of other summers? Sometimes we don’t even know where we live. In our skin? In our memories? In those novels on the sofa?

Out my window right now a huge Black Sailor (you call them turkey buzzards) is high in the sky, elegantly soaring on leftover winds from last night’s storms. I wonder what it’s like to learn from experiences, as wild creatures do, but to never really live anywhere but in the season one is in.

If you make a summer memory today, let us know in the comments so we can share it for a moment.

I took these cloud photos last night a couple hours before the storms arrived.

And the one that looks like a dog.




It’s a good thing it isn’t snowing! Can you imagine shoveling the sidewalk in this heat? Also, I can’t get the image of “overcooked underwear” out of my head.

MB, Your pics sure capture your theme. Beautiful photos and memories—. Sure hope your sunburn heals quickly!
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks. Thankfully, my skin doesn't hurt, it just looks like I am evolving a lobster neck. Fabulous memories from yesterday. A quieter day today.

Love the pictures! You captured all the right thoughts of summer. My Monarchs are a big part of my summer memories!

Thank you. LIVING WITH summers OF PAST...
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks! Yeps! There were so many good adventures back there that it would be a waste to not revel in those memories now.

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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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