Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I do miss you, even though I never write.  It’s busy.  Is that an excuse or a reason?  So I’m writing now just to prove I can.  I have one inch of double latte left in my cup; that’s how much time I have.

August is a hard month.  I’m very grateful to have slept well last night.  So far it’s the best thing about my day.  That and Sallie Dog, as always.  And the espresso–I’m a nicer, happier person with a double shot in me.  So, I have no news, not really.  And a million things have happened, as always.

My yesterday:

5:30 a.m.:  Wake up.  Lay in bed stubbornly, as five hours is not enough sleep.

7:10 a.m.:  Get up.

7:30 a.m.:  Make double latte.  (It takes twenty minutes to warm up the espresso machine, which, by the way, was out of operation for nearly a week, and you can imagine how depressing that was for all of us who work here except for Rick, who remains indifferent to the charms of espresso.  Richard Anderson is our hero for finding the burnt wire and replacing it.  Thank you, Richard.  Thank you, thank you.)

7:35 a.m.:  Start paperwork.

9:10 a.m.:  Eat eggs and toast with Rick and George the produce man.  (Thank you for making us eggs, Rick.  Thanks for limping around the kitchen on your ruined knee two hours before you have to.)

9:15 a.m.:  Back to paperwork.

9:30 a.m.:  Bank.

9:45 a.m.:  Paperwork.

10:30 a.m.:  Start oven.  Need to make muffins, cookies, cinnamon rolls.  The starter’s going on the oven.  Every morning for the last three years it’s sluggish turning on; every morning I wait as the big fan inside turns slow, slow, too slow.  Will this be the time it finally goes and I have to figure out a way to get someone up here to work on a big old beloved Garland?  But, nope, not today.  Finally with a big whir it’s up to speed.   I love you, oven.

11:00 a.m.:  Open.  Run.  Trot all day long trying to keep up.  Tables, tables, tables, pizzas, pizzas, ice cream, tables, put away the food delivery, where are the fries?  No fries.  GRRR.  I ordered fries.  Call Emily for emergency back-up fries to be brought over tomorrow on her way from Marquette.  Where are the chips I was sure were in the shed?  Not there.  Oops.   Call Em again.  Leave message.  Might’ve missed her; oh well.  Back to putting truck up.  Where are 12 inch pizza boxes?  Not there.  GRR.  Ordered them.  Call Em.  Leave message.  Hope for best.  Back to tables.  Tables, tables, pizza, pizza, ice cream, tables, dishes, pizza.  Etc.

3:55 p.m.:  Eat half a philly left from dinner last night.  Hungry.  Woozy, a little.  It’s good.  Sit in sun to do this.  Sun feels incredible.  Miss the sun.

4:05 p.m.:  Remember what I was on my way to do when stopped for philly.  (Get more ice cream out of freezer to put in the case.)  Do it.

4:10 p.m.:  Pizza order.  Pizza, pizza, dishes, clear tables, etc.

9:55 p.m.:  Eat a cheeseburger Rick made and sent back to the bakery for me even though I just ate that philly a minute ago.  Or, oh–six hours ago already?  Hmm.

9:57 p.m.:  Contemplate list of things to do.  Give up on finishing July paperwork, making waffle cones, making more muffins, paying the book and coffee bills (sorry, sorry, will try three times as hard tomorrow, guys.  Thank you for the good coffee!)  Also decide to do lemon glaze and more cookie dough tomorrow.  (Now today.  Uh oh.)

10:00 p.m.:  Close.  Fill big sliver bowl w/:  two big cabbages, an onion, a green pepper, four stalks of celery, three carrots.  Make Cole slaw for tomorrow.  Rachael stops by to say hi while I chop.  Nice.  Laura and Patience work down the clean up list:  do dishes, clean dish room, sweep, collect all garbage, clean bathrooms, bail coolers (they can’t evaporate their condensation fast enough in the summer, and overflow their drip pans on the floors if the pans aren’t bailed every night), make lemonade, wrap bread, fill ketchups and mayos.  Laura ponders the fridge for a moment around 10:40 and says, I’m not filling the mustards.  I say, Okay.  She says, firmly, They’ll be fine.  I can tell she’s thinking of filling the mustards.  I say, I support you one hundred percent in this decision. She closes the fridge and goes on to her next task.

10:50:  Done, or close enough to done for this day.  We all stand around snacking on sweets for a few minutes, gazing at one another tiredly but fondly.   (I really should eat real food.  Do you want a slice of cheese, some bread?  Maybe, I don’t know.  No, I’ll just have pie.)

11:00:  Shower.

11:10:  Drive out to the Blind Sucker Floodings to a campfire with some friends up from Chicago.  This is crazy.  Crazy!!  How does Rick talk me into these things?  But the moon is huge and golden driving out.  The air is cool.  Air.  Fresh air.  It’s amazing.   I’m outside on a picnic table eating a giant roasted marshmallow Kasia offered me.  It’s good.  I haven’t been to a campfire in a couple of years.  There are nine people camping, plus the two of us, Molly the Collie, and Sallie Dog.  There are potatoes baking (burning, oops) on one fire, sweet corn and brats and marshmallows on another. It’s friendly, noisy, relaxed.   After a while I switch to a lawn chair and am soon dozing.  Talk and laughter wash over me.

2:00 a.m.:  Go to bed.

5:30 a.m.:  Wake up.  Lay in bed stubbornly as 3.5 hours is not enough sleep.  GET BACK TO SLEEP!  (This never happens.)

7:30 a.m.:  Get up.  Turn on espresso machine.  Putter around until it’s up to pressure.  Make double latte.  Etc.

I will try and write again soon.  I hope you’re well.



Category: Today's Special 10 comments »

10 Responses to “Dear Blog”

  1. Therese

    Sounds like you are too busy! We really enjoyed our visit with you(too short). I hope we can get up there again soon.

  2. Mary Vecelliio

    At least you can’t say your life isn’t full to the brim, much like your expresso.

  3. Kelly Karczmar

    I really enjoyed your wonderful book. You did a fantastic job of conveying all that’s extraordinary about the U.P.: the Lake, the people, the snow and all the rest. I grew up in Marquette, and I’m perpetually homesick for Lake Superior.

    I hope that – despite the demands of your diner – you continue to write about life in the U.P.

  4. Barb Hendricks

    Your day exhausts me. Thank you so much for writing. Get some sleep. haha like that’ll happen before winter.

  5. Rich Anderson

    Glad to hear the espresso machine is still working. It wasn’t all that hard to fix once I understand the problem. I have to “listen” to a machine to understand what it is telling me, to understand how it is supposed to work. (That explains all the time I was staring into the top of the espresso machine). And then I put the evidence together to propose what is causing the problem, and I concluded it was either a undersize wire or bad connection. Replacing the wire solved either problem. Now it will probably get around town that I talk to machines, that’s not true, I only listen to them!

    You said it in your book, people in a small town help each other out if they can, so I’m willing to help .

  6. Karen Casebeer

    Wonderful, as always. Hoping things slow down just enough that you can get more rest. I know it’s coming…soon.

  7. Rachael

    Boy was I hoping to have memorized that cole slaw recipe…. I think I’m only missing 1 ingredient. I finished the book last night and loved it! I’m looking forward to a date with you this fall sometime :)

    Me, too, Rachael!! Will share secret recipe with you once again when next we meet. I’m glad you liked the book. Lots of love, Ellen

  8. Ruth

    Hi Ellen,
    Just finished South of Superior and I enjoyed it immensely!

    I was one of a group of 10 who arrived at your diner driving our vintage MG convertibles on Sunday, August 26. I had purchased your book at a stop at an antique shop in Blaney Park and you autographed my book. What a great read after our road trip through Grand Marais and on to Big Bay! I especially loved your descriptions of the Lake and McAllaster and your character development.

    It was fun to see the old photos on your web site that inspired some your characters.

    Perhaps I will find myself in Grand Marais again and will stop in for a bite at the diner.

  9. Paula Engle

    And … will she ever blog again????

    Where are u???????????????????

  10. ellenair

    Dunno… Busy… Hope so! Thanks!

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