Please Write Soon

December 28th, 2011

It’s been a month since I posted a blog, and I’ve reached a point where I feel like I should send myself a letter saying, “Please write soon.”    I have no excuses.   I can say that the power of habit seems almost incalculable, both as a way to get things done and to not get things done.  Let  me just once lose the habit of doing something and it’s gone like it never existed.   Walking a couple of miles almost every day?  Did that for years–twenty years.  Trying to get back to it, and it’s not a couple of miles, either, so don’t ask.  Drinking 8 glasses of water a day?  Ditto.  Every day like clockwork, for years and years.  Now…  Oh.  Now I’m going to go get a glass of water.  Be back in a sec.  So bear with me as I limp into the blog again, winded and out of shape.

I ask my brain for an idea to write about and my mind stares at me blankly.  It says, “Can I have a mocha?”

I get it a mocha, but now it’s off sipping that, thinking only of the loveliness of chocolate, coffee, and whipped cream all in once place together, and I can’t get its attention at all.   I’m on my own.

I wrap my hands around the mug to keep them warm, and think.  It takes a long time.  What I come up with finally is this:

I meant to write about the snowy owl we saw on the way to work one morning just after Thanksgiving.

This traveler from the Arctic made my mind wander to far places–not just up into Alaska and across all of Canada and over Lake Superior, but also to quiet places within myself.  His foreignness made me think about new things,things I can’t even pin down and write about now, but which enlivened my day.

I think that’s what traveling and variation from our usual daily experience does for us, or can do.  I’m a homebody and a creature of habit, but at the same time I crave adventure and new experience.  Sometimes it flies in unannounced and unexpected, and I’m delighted.

Category: Life | Tags: , , 20 comments »

20 Responses to “Please Write Soon”

  1. Mike Justice

    Hi Ellen,
    It’s Jennifer Collins Brunk’s friend Mike. I have had the great fortune to visit with you with them every other year or so:) I love your cooking and your writing! That pizza we had this past Summer was scrumptiously delicious!!

    I love owls. The hoot hooting and the ha ha-ing. The ha ha-ing being me. My late grandparents lived way out in the country of Mebane NC. One of my fondest memories when we visited was listening to the owls at night.

    I too crave adventure, but am a creature of habit and a homebody as well. I love to travel! But oftentimes, most times, can’t afford it:( I lost my job a few years ago. I know that’s a long time. There are many reasons for having not entered back into the rat race out there. Not too many jobs here in Jackson MI for one. I’ve been living off my savings, and trying to reinvent myself; reinvent life:)

    I spent the first few months after losing my job in a deep dark depression-like state. Slept a lot. Drank wine and whined a lot. Felt sorry for myself … a lot. I can’t say I haven’t had a few relapses in between then and now. But I can say I did get to do a few things I’ve always wanted to do…

    I won’t bore you much longer. But, one of things was taking a cross country trip on my Harley. My hawg. Blue thunder, and many other names since presenting it to myself on my 40th birthday:) A friend in Taos had invited to me to come and stay a while out there on numerous occasions. I tried to find some other biker friends to take the trip with me, but to no avail. They all had jobs. And a LIFE! I was a bit apprehensive about going alone. Finally, after several invites, and a few friends persuasions, my mind spelled it out for me. A-D-V-E-N-T-U-R-E! Adventure? I hadn’t been on one of those since I was a kid. Did it still exist?

    YES! And off I went… And well, I could probably write a book about it if I could write as well as you! Lots of little adventures along the way, during my stay, and the return home. One of the best decisions of my LIFE!

    I’ve also reconnected with old friends, including Gray and Jennifer. Because of them I met a wonderful cook and author. You! Have traveled across the UP and swam in the Great Lake Superior! Delightful! Pursued a forgotten love of mine. Photography. And, much, much more!

    All the best for 2012, and please write soon:)

  2. Lela Buchanan

    For staring blankly and not thinking, you did a stellar job–loved your little vignette! Sometimes life is more about “being” than it is about “doing”–enjoy your mocha from your easy chair and let your creative mind take you to faraway places–it works for me!

  3. Laura

    Ellen, my mother and I were talking about you this morning and remembering the warm fireplace in the Diner and the view out the side windows into the trees.

    Every day now, they make her a breakfast sandwich just like Rick did. Every time I ask her what she had for breakfast, she smiles and says “my sandwich”. It is nice for her, she remembers you both and she can eat it by herself without help.

  4. ellenair

    Laura, How great to hear from you, and of your mom. I think of her every day. Love, Ellen

  5. ellenair

    Thank you, Lela! Happy New Year!

  6. ellenair

    Hey Mike! How great to hear from you, and also to hear a little of your ADVENTURES. I’m intrigued about the reinventing. And if you want to, you can write about it, all of it. Just takes lots of doing it. It was really fun to see all of you this summer. Too brief and hectic, as ever, but great. All Best,

  7. Mary Airgood Vecellio

    Love the picture of the owl!!! Reminds me of one my dad took at our grandmothers senior citizen apartments on Kearsley St in good old Flint Michigan. It was on the house behind the parking lot one winter day. My dad didn’t believe her and came over just to calm her down and lo and behold, there was an arctic owl on the chimney cap !

  8. ellenair

    Mary, what a great story about our grandmother and your dad. How cool. Do you have the picture he took?

  9. Anne

    What an amazing photo – how lucky you were to catch a picture of that beautiful owl. I’ve never seen a snowy owl, but here in Florida we had a family of wee screech owls living nearby and my husband got some amazing pictures of one of the parents who would sit on our mailbox at night watching for prey. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and productive 2012, Ellen!
    With plenty of time to observe nature.

  10. ellenair

    Anne, Thanks! It was a beautiful owl and we felt lucky to see it. Happy 2012 to you as well!

  11. Matt Airgood

    Hi Ellen,
    Glad to see your writing, and loved the picture of the
    Snow Owl. Peg and I have seen one here in the Ovid-Elsie area out by the High School it was so beautiful!

    Love you,

  12. ellenair

    Thanks, Matt and Peg!

  13. Mariann Airgood

    Hi Ellen, Somehow I am a little behind in reading your blog. Last time I looked there were no new ones and today I looked and found one that has been there 4 days already! Loved the picture of the owl. Can’t believe you were that close to it and thought of taking a picture and could access your camera. ( I know you don’t carry around a cell phone that takes pictures.) Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year!

  14. Pamela Grath

    Just ducking in to wish a happy new year to you and Rick and to tell you that Leelanau Township, Leelanau County, now has a pair of snowy owls in temporary residence. Must be a tougher year finding food in the Arctic than we realized, eh? Love you!

  15. Sue Abendroth


    Just finished reading SOUTH OF SUPERIOR. I really enjoyed every word! Great job for a first time. Am looking forward to your next work.


  16. ellenair

    Sue, Thank you!

  17. ellenair

    Pamela, Love you too!

  18. ellenair

    Hey Mariann, Yep, no cell phone, but no camera either, not at first. Drove back home and got it. The poor owl was probably so tired and hungry, he hadn’t moved. We tried not to stress him out too much, and only slowed down briefly to take his (or her) picture.

  19. Nancy Baker

    just finished your novel at 2am; couldn’t put it down. I live part of the year in an Evanston Victorian 6 blocks from Northwestern and part of the year in a tiny Michigan town called Elk Rapids (not as far north as the UP, but still filled with lots of character and interesting people), so I felt as if I were walking around as an “extra” in some of your chapters. No owl sightings in Elk Rapids this week, but an eagle and some swans at the bay’s edge. Thanks for the respite of a good read on a wintery day. I’m glad the blustery winds blew me into a warm little book store in Petosky on Monday, where your book was waiting for me on display. Northern Michigan, a blizzard and a good book: classic combination for a great winter afternoon. Thanks. Please keep writing.

  20. ellenair

    Nancy, I’m so glad you liked the book! Thank you for writing to let me know. Ellen

Leave a Reply

Back to top