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Mary Friedel-Hunt


Mary Friedel-Hunt, MA LCSW, is a freelance writer and psychotherapist
in the Madison area.She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or P.O. Box 1036, Spring Green, WI 53588.

Hope for butterflies
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

In August, I was at my ophthalmologist’s office in the Chicago suburbs waiting for a checkup following the previous week’s surgery. I went out to the lobby, a three-story glass-enclosed space, and saw a lovely monarch butterfly flitting around, obviously trying to get outside. People looked, some smiled, and all moved on. I could hardly tolerate the thought of this beautiful creature dying a slow death inside a building.

I watched and waited hoping it would light within reach.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:06 PM
Attitude counts
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

As I drove home from Chicago’s far south suburbs for the fifth time this summer following eye surgeries or follow-up appointments, I noticed the sumac turning red and adding beauty to the countryside, but also reminding all of us that the summer is over.

My summer has been spent focused, no pun intended,

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 3:20 PM
Autumn beauty
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

We say goodbye to August and to the summer months — again. I have said goodbye to many summers in my 73 years. Each goodbye is different and each one a reminder of how precious our time on this planet truly is. This summer, my focus was on eye surgery. Hopefully the fall will see an end to that focus and I will enjoy fall colors with clear eyes.

Autumn in Wisconsin is truly a treasure. It starts right in my front yard as my gigantic maple tree explodes in color, causing drivers to pull over and take pictures. Friends ask for leaves to use for their art or to make crowns. Me — I just look at it adoringly. I also love to take drives in the fall.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:12 PM
Living a mindful life
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

I got a glimpse of what only a percentage of us get to see. After my first cataract surgery, I looked at my watercolors, my newly painted walls, nature and more to see the difference between vision through a cataract and vision without cataracts. It was just a matter of closing first one eye and then the other.

The new paint on my walls was a lighter shade with less yellow than I thought.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 5:35 PM
Time flies
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

A friend emailed me today and talked about how the kids in her area are starting back to school. I read the note twice because it seemed impossible to me that the summer was that close to its end. As I walked Bentley today, I noticed one of the trees I pass daily on our walks was shedding leaves. And as our watercolor group gathered at the state park to do plein-air painting, we all commented on the smell of autumn that is already in the air.

Another summer of my life comes to an end. I laughed today as I drove into the state park to meet my watercolor group. My sticker had expired so I stopped at the gate to buy a new one and asked for the senior rate. The woman said I had to be 65 to get that rate. I smiled and

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 5:47 PM
A quiet place
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

I have two new trees in my back yard, trees that are attempting to replace the two I lost to lightning and wind last year. These trees are small compared to those that were lost and I know it will take time for them to grow and bring shade and birds to my yard. Luckily my yard is surrounded by lush arbor vitae and full lilac bushes, both of which are very tall and provide cover for dozens of birds that awaken me with their song. I know that these new trees will take a while to mature and that I will enjoy watching them grow over the years ahead.

One of them is a white pine. At our last home,

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 6:36 PM
Nothing is forever
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

I wait for them each year. I wait for the fern and hosta and clematis, the lilies, hibiscus and more to peek through the soil in the spring, to grow tall and finally to blossom forth in beauty that takes away my breath.

Each one blooms in turn, none of the blossoms lasting a long time. The purple clematis flowers are deep and rich in color and abundant as they climb the trellis and fill my yard with their beauty. The hibiscus are incredible. Large red plates of blossom — I love to see them come, and dread the day when they have finished their brief gift to me and passersby. The fern uncurls in the shade in front of my house and is prolific sending out shoots which in turn send up other plants.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 4:15 PM
An excellent therapist
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

On a recent visit to our local nursing home, my golden retriever, Bentley, was able to bring some smiles to the faces of the residents and staff. I am not certain who benefits most from therapy dog visits, the residents or the staff. The residents tell stories about the dogs that were once in their lives as they pet Bentley.

I can tell who wants to see him close up because the smiles creep across the faces of those who love dogs and want to pet him. That includes almost every resident. The staff — overworked and underpaid — are also comforted by therapy dogs. I went out of my way to see that they had a chance

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:10 PM
Being an advocate
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

A surgeon is going to cut into my eye on July 24, remove my natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens, and because I have several eye conditions, there are risks that normal cataract surgery does not involve. In August, I get to do it again as she works on the other eye.

Many of us have gone through surgeries. My brother has been subjected to many, having dealt with cancer three times. My sister has also undergone multiple surgeries. Somehow, I have escaped. So at age 73, I will undergo surgery for the very first time in my life. Now there

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 5:10 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, July 16, 2013 5:11 PM )
Valuing leisure time
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

Well, according to folks around me, summer is going too quickly. It used to end on Labor Day, but with college students leaving for school mid- to late August and teachers being called in for workshops as early as Aug. 9 in some cities, summers are shorter than they used to be. In just four to five weeks, we will be wrapping summer up in memories and moving into autumn mode.

For those of you who love summer, it might be wise to ask yourselves what your plans were, and if you have not accomplished them, best to get busy right away. Were you going on a great vacation? Were you going to paint the exterior of your home? What about

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 3:07 PM

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