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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.

Patience and love
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

She has the patience of Job as she sits on her nest — each year. In late March the babies broke through their shells and are huddling beneath the parents who feed them in a nest high above Decorah, Iowa. I watch this eagle family via live cam every year. You can watch her also by going to the Internet

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 2:19 PM
Juggling too many balls
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

We live in an information age. It is coming at us from every direction. We have around-the-clock news on the Internet, TV, radio, Satellite radio, cellphones, texting and more. Facebook, Google-plus and a dozen or more other social networks are constantly bombarding us with videos, pictures, insights, stupid posts. Online forums can put anyone in touch with any kind of group — from grief to computers, fishing to chemistry. There are still newspapers around, but reading them online is becoming increasingly popular. I can hardly imagine a world without printed newspapers stuck in my door every morning.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 2:34 PM
Grief: our teacher
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

March 27 is a day forever etched in my heart and mind. On this day two years ago, the most important person in my life crossed death’s threshold, leaving me in a shock that to this day takes my breath away. Many days were spent in a fog. It seems a century since I looked into my husband’s blue eyes, held his strong hand or heard his warm voice telling me how much he loves me. In this time I have wept buckets of tears; been ambushed daily by ‘unexpecteds’ that rip open the delicate membrane that protects my soul a bit. I have read dozens of grief-related books and hundreds of articles; met many new friends, most of whom have been drawn into a club we never wanted to join — the club of loss and grief. I could write volumes about death and loss and grief.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 3:38 PM
It is a noisy, noisy world
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

I think I have seen everything and then ... I realize I will never have seen it all. Today I got an ad in my email, something I hate seeing in my inbox, by the way. This ad caught my attention. I had just finished a conversation with someone about how our country can barely tolerate silence and solitude, came home and found an ad for a toothbrush that apparently has a computer chip in it so it plays a song sung by the current tweenie and teen idol. It lasts 120 seconds which, I guess, is how long dentists recommend kids brush their teeth. So now our kids need entertainment (and noise) in order to get their teeth brushed.
I know I sound old or at best out of it, but our kids are exposed to noise all day long. They wake up and leap to their laptops or iPods introducing music into what was a lovely quiet house. Of course the TV is already on in the kitchen where mom (or dad) is perhaps making coffee or, better yet, breakfast. Then into the bathroom they go and pick up their musical toothbrush as the music in the bedroom continues to play. In the meantime, siblings in other spaces do the same.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 3:31 PM
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

He teaches me patience daily as he waits quietly for me to take him outside to do his duty, go for a walk or take a ride in the car. His eyes show no judgment or anger. He teaches me enthusiasm as I invite him to go in the car to run some errands that are boring to me but exciting to him. One would think I had just given him a steak for his excitement about going to the bank.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:21 PM
Two more students die
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

I woke up a bit later than usual, fed the dog, made coffee and for some reason turned on the TV while I checked email. I usually do not turn on the television in the daytime as I do not like the noise it creates. I prefer public radio. Today, when I turned it on, I learned that five students in small-town Ohio were shot as they sat in the school cafeteria.
I knew we would eventually hear the condition of these students and more about the shooter. I knew it would be all over the news for a few days. What we will never hear is how this event changed the lives of every student and staff person in that school, every parent in that town and many others.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012 11:08 AM
Our great state
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

In 2006, my husband, Bill, and I started a small publication called Voice of the River Valley ( It was just an idea that popped into my head one night and we ran with it. We printed 800 copies of the first 12-page issue of what is a free publication driven by local ads. Bill handled the marketing and financials while I did layout and writing. It was fun.

By 2007, Bill could no longer use a computer or do the marketing, as early stage Alzheimer’s robbed him of those abilities and ultimately his life. I continued to publish Voice, as it is called. Now 3,200 copies of 20- to 24-page issues are distributed to 100 sites each month, thanks to the help of many friends. People love it. It features local artists and small-business owners, interesting places, a calendar of events, and more. The

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 11:30 AM
Real happiness
By Mary Friedel-Hunt

On the drive north from Janesville to Madison last week, I passed a gambling casino. The entire parking lot was packed with cars. Last month I visited a friend in Prairie du Chien. She suggested we have lunch at the restaurant attached to the nearby gambling casino on the Mississippi River. When we arrived, I was shocked to see a full parking lot on a weekday at 2 p.m.
When we lived in Ouray, Colo., Bill and I decided one day to drive over to Las Vegas to see what it was all about. The 600-mile drive seemed doable in a day, so off we went. Admittedly we were naive tourists who were

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:43 AM
A love feast

By Mary Friedel-Hunt

It is Valentine’s Day — a love feast. Couples know how to celebrate well on this day as they gift each other with chocolate, flowers and dinner out somewhere. Just try to get a reservation at the last minute. But look beyond Valentine’s Day as a “couples only” day. Look to it, if you will, as a love day — mother and child, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend and even country to country. Look to it as a day to celebrate the reason we are on this planet — to love.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:09 PM
Where is winter?

By Mary Friedel-Hunt

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. --Camus

I just looked at the predictions for snow in our area through Feb. 12. The days will be in the 30s and even into the 40s and mostly sunny. This prediction mirrors what has been going on in our area during January as well. This winter has been quite unusual. I do not know our total snow accumulation in this valley since Thanksgiving, but it is minimal at best. The temperatures have been quite mild.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 9:50 AM

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