old country house blog


A few weeks ago,
My 14 year old daughter Phoebe was sick..very sick:  missed a whole week of HIGH school
and did not care –  Sick.
Which is pretty sick.
For the first few days, she mostly slept, but mid-week, as she began to emerge from her
comforter cocoon on the sofa, sip tea and ask for pudding..
she asked me what we had to watch……meaning DVD’s.

Digging through the movies she came upon my Season 2 Disc set
of the Mary Tyler Moore Show

“I know I have Season 1 somewhere!” I said…”and also somewhere in the house
are all 7 seasons on VCR tapes that I religiously collected during a
 “MARY-Thon” years back in Boston.”
My best friend Trish and I used shared a deep affection and identification with
Mary Richards…and we used to
to simultaneously drown and wash away all our single sorrows with MARE.
 “Put on a Happy Face” aka “The Hair Bump”…

Possibly our favorite episode of all time – (Season 3- episode 23)
made us laugh until we cried…still does.

 So, Phoebe and I kept looking for my MTM DVD”S and I finally
resolved that I must have loaned out Season 1.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, Phoebe was getting better fast…so I joined AMAZON PRIME and bought all 7 seasons and by 8am the next morning
we were ready for our very own MARY-THON
We have made it mid way through Season 5 –
the season….when Rhoda is mysteriously just gone...
…but then Mary heads to NYC for her wedding, (as if we know she is there)
bearing gifts from the whole gang…

Phoebe asked…”How could they just take Rhoda, her best friend, out of the show like that?”

and I reassured her and said…

“What you don’t know when you see this now, is that at the same time that
Mary Tyler Moore Show was in its 5th season
and Mary having dinner with Georgette instead of Rhoda…
….we (meaning me) the audience was comforted by the fact that Rhoda had her own show which debuted that year.
 In fact,  we could now watch what Rhoda was up to; her marriage,short-lived that it was, to Joe,
AND watch Mary..though, you are right,
Mary and Rhoda on the same screen…was the best.”
In fact, Season 4 was one of my favorites because Rhoda was in so much of it.
There is no character I did not LOVE on the Mary Tyler Moore show.
Mary, Lou, Rhoda, Murray, Phyllis and Bess and even Lars (who you never see)
 Sue Ann, Georgette…Chuckles the Clown.
And I bet somewhere whole College courses are devoted to dissecting WHOLE episodes
because in my humble opinion…

I always get choked up when I see a cast member mist up in an interview at the mention                                                  of Ted Knight, the GENIUS actor

who played “Ted Baxter” the anchorman…He is the only cast member who has passed away.

                            The Mary Tyler Moore show captured a piece of history…one that I lived…

I first watched Mary, laying on our shag carpeted family room floor,
 in my Landlubber bell bottoms and my zip up ribbed sweaters…
listening to my Dad belly laugh at Ted…and Lou and Sue Ann…and
I wanted  to be Bess and  have Mary live upstairs…
I am certain many of my fashion and decorating style has been influenced by Mary Tyler Moore…


She had her “M”…I have my “D”.

..and….I could spend at least  week’s worth of blog posts exploring Mary’s wardrobe…

My favorite 3 outfits were :
1.  the Coat from Episode one,
2. the Sailor Dress from the episode where she takes Bess for the day to tell her the facts of life,
3. and her Red Gingham Skirt suit, which she wore multiple times in Season 4 and 5 as well.
This may sound silly, but I used to think,
“If I have a daughter…I will put her in smocked dresses,
teach her manners and to sew,
….give her first “Harriet the Spy”, then “To Kill a Mockingbird”…
take her to NYC at least once a year…

and introduce her to

Mary Tyler Moore.

I count sharing this show with Phoebe among one of my most treasured Mother/Daughter experiences.

There are just so many things about me and my life, Phoebe will never know…

….she was born pretty far into it….but Mary gives her at least a fictionalized glimpse
into that world…


When I say “Your Pop Pop and I watched this show religiously every Saturday night…

and he and I cried together at the last episode…
she gets it now.
The beautiful thing is that Phoebe LOVES Mary…and the whole gang.
It will forever be OUR thing…no matter where she is…
We have Mary.
We’re gonna make it after all!


  1. Oh, I loved Mary and the gang so much! Thanks for sharing these photos. I know I will go through them again later today. My daughter and I watched some of another show I loved, That Girl. Same independent life of a young woman.

  2. OMG Lesli…you and I are kindred spirits! Ditto everything you said! I have all 7 seasons on dvd too…favorite show for sure. Still the best ensemble cast of all time in my opinion. I lived right down the street from CBS Radford, which back in the day was MTM Studios…always hoped to see Mary.

    There is a tv station called ME (Memorable Entertainment)…here in LA it’s channel 20 on Dish…they are showing MTM reruns every night at 9pm. So I’m back to watching my old friends every night 🙂

    slip4 – they also show That Girl every morning…watch that while I get ready in the mornings…love her too!

    1. Karen, we must have led parallel lives! I always think if someone “gets” Mary then you just know that you could be friends!!!
      Are you still in LA? I am coming there for the Design Bloggers Conference in a few weeks..yikes. excited and scared but mostly excited!!!

  3. Oh this is crazy but this wonderful post brought tears to my eyes! I too was raised on Mary and being from Minnesota, we were very proud to be able to say that we stood at the very spot that Mary threw up her hat and we’ve driven by the house on the lake! HA! What a treasure that show was to me-and my family way back when. I think that I too need to order the DVDs. Thanks for helping me remember the feeling of our shag carpet underneath me and a dear TV friend to me-Mary Tyler Moore. Hugs, Meghan

  4. Thank you for all of this information. I am new to wordpress as of today and will be learning all of the new rules. Should I just delete this post? Does it break too many rules? OR Can I go back in and make the changes you suggested? Again thank you and bear with me while I get acclimated. Thanks

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