Summer in the South


I swim like a girl,try to keep up.

Erin posted an article on Facebook last week about parents who worry about their little girls being hooked on Disney princesses.  It was really well done and for all those people who frown and stand in judgement of parents who get the princess dresses and princess books and princess videos for their little girls, it was spot on.  Essentially, it said girls need to know you can be very feminine and still be a scientist, astronaut, explorer, sports enthusiast and allowing (encouraging?) the princess passion will send that message.

I’m sure the controversy about princesses and fairy tales will always be part of the how to raise a smart, strong girl but I know from watching Lana grow up that it certainly worked for her.  When this little girl went to Disney a few years ago, you didn’t need to go on any rides.  You DID need to stand in line for hours to meet the princesses, watch the parade every day to wave to the princesses and watch the show in front of the castle over and over again to see the princesses dance.

And now her plan is to be a marine biologist or inventor or olympic swimmer.  And trust me, if she wants to do something she will.  I am totally dazzled by this kid …and her sister who is so very different but just as strong and smart.  As for Declan, that child is magical…who knows where all of them will be in twenty years but oh my, they are off to a wonderful start.  Gotta hand it to you, Erin and Brent…you’re doing a terrific job.

It’s summer here…hot, hazy and humid with rain almost every afternoon for a short time (but not so much that it interferes with my pool time!)  Jerry has made a full recovery from his leg surgeries and is mighty happy with the results.  He’s playing golf (the earlier the tee time, the better he plays, I think. It is still a little cooler early in the morning)  I’m walking the beach before 8:00 yoga…afterwards it’s just too hot.  The mama turtles are back..We have over fifty nests on our small zone that’s less than a mile long.  I went to see Far From the Madding Crowd this week with friends…good movie and I had no clue how it was going to end because I’d never read the book.  And I read Lisa Genova’s new book, , Inside the O’Briens.  Whew…what a good book.  She packs so much information there embedded in a story of a family you really come to care about.  I read Astonish Me too…another good one about ballet.  Liked that one a lot too.

So I’m grateful…for my health, for our lives here in Florida, for family and friends and magical grandchildren.  I am well aware that so many of the people I love are not having an easy time these days.  Mary Anne is doing great but still has to go in often for shots to boost her white blood count and for chemo every three weeks.  We’re getting together with a couple others for a drink tomorrow afternoon and she can’t drink.  It’s a chemo day and her doctor doesn’t want her drinking the day of and day after chemo.  I told her she was lucky she didn’t have my doctor who said no drinking for the entire duration and three weeks after.  I remember one of my questions when I was leaving Anderson was “When can I have a glass of wine?”

Charlie Moran is hanging in there enjoying the spring in Amherst.  He continues to teach all of us.

And so many others are bearing burdens at the moment.  A dear friends lost her dad this week and another lost her partner.  A friend has had surgery.  Another has lost her job.  Some are dealing with Texas rains, others with California draught.  I guess we all just need to look at each day as a gift and be thankful…no matter what comes, it’s a gift.  And let’s face it, some people always got better presents than others!

Have a good week, my friends.  And Florida teacher friends, happy vacation.  And Massachusetts teacher friends…it won’t be long now!








7 thoughts on “Summer in the South

  1. Linda Underwood

    Mary, I love your blog and the book recommendations and the pictures of the grandchildren. I appreciate being included! I too saw Far From the Madding Crowd but I made the mistake of reading the book before seeing the movie. Hardy is not an easy writer to read but his descriptions are almost unwordly. I wish I hadn’t read the book as I kept thinking while I watched the movie that they left so much out. And I think the movie would have been good if I didn’t know too much.

    Thanks for the reviews. I always like getting recommendations. Heading north next week. Delayed our departure as it was just too cold at the Cape.

  2. Karen Rafferty

    Your little girls are strong and wonderful – and your little Declan is lucky to have such marvelous big sisters. I love that you love the way your grandchildren are being raised. I am too. I feel so proud that the girls are good moms. Hoping they learned a little from their childhood 🙂

    So glad you are feeling well…..xoxo

  3. Irene Callahan

    So beautifully written…… Thanks for the inspiration!

    Sent from my iPad


  4. I appreciate your insights on girls and Disney princesses. I know we can analyze Snow White and Cinderella to the point of distraction, but many other Disney female characters encourage loyalty amongst sisters such as Elsa and Anna in Frozen, independence and courage as with Mulan and our granddaughter’s favorite, Sophia. There are so many others that are feisty and funny. What I love the most is watching our granddaughter sing and dance while enjoying her favorite Disney princess movies. But her compassion as she sighs at the sad parts or shivers at the scary parts shows an awareness that surprises me for a 2 year old. How could any of that be bad?

    Today is a stunningly beautiful day on Cape Cod. I plan to spend most of it in our garden catching up on weeding, planting and more. Thank you again for our time together in Venice. With the return of your health and the power of your involvement in the community, it is like a fairytale come true, and you are a role-model “princess” (well that analogy might seem silly) living happily ever after.

    Actually, our closing on the Villa is today! What a crazy, wild ride! We are at peace with our purchase and look forward to hanging out with you guys next winter.

  5. I too saw Far From the Madding Crowd and had never read the book. I was hoping for more from the movie. She seemed like such a strong woman and her relationship with the officer seemed so out of character for her that I found it to be unbelieveable. Oh well – the scenery was beautiful.

    Next on my book list is the new Lisa Genova book. She never disappoints.

    Finishing up The End of the Road by Mary Lawson. Thank you for original recommendation of Crow Lake. I love all of her books.

  6. Pixie Holbrook

    Great reflections, Mary. So happy that you have the time, good health and mental space to be able to continue to do that. I am just now feeling the benefits of retirement and a healthy husband, spending hours in my veggie and flower gardens, tutoring some, and enjoying Amanda’s softball games and Andrew splashing me in the river down the road. The sweet peepers will likely lull me to sleep tonight. Ah…

  7. When I grow up I want to be a grandmother just like you! Would all kids were so lucky!

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