Dear Readers,


So once again, a blog becomes like a letter you haven’t written for far too long, until there’s too much to catch up on and you don’t write it at all.  Especially if you’ve been in something of a writing drought.

A few of  my favorite things that’ve happened lately, in no particular order:

I saw hundreds–thousands?  probably–of just hatched fish in the water of Muskallonge Lake one morning when I ambled down the neighbor’s dock with my morning coffee.  I stared down at them in delight and felt about ten years old.  (i.e., vastly and uncomplicatedly  happy.)

I figured that would be the best part of my day, already in before 9 a.m., but then on the way to work we saw two sandhill cranes bobbing along the side of the road on their long legs, close enough to reach out and touch their red heads, though of course I didn’t.

Then Becky and Ellie (and Cassandra and Renee and then Margaret) came in with the new addition to their family, son and brother Winston James, almost one month old that day.  Winston slept, mostly, and smacked his lips a little, and was handsome, as babies are.  I gazed at him in admiration while Ellie sat on my lap and told me interesting stories, so the day just kept getting nicer.

Sallie dog got very sick and recovered.  She is back to trotting around with her ears flopping joyfully.

I invented a chocolate chunk orange cookie with an orange glaze.  (And am addicted to it, though that part of it’s questionable as far as being a great thing.)

I got to read Evelyn’s story of her life, which made me just plain old flat out glad about things and reminded me how much I’ve always enjoyed the way the sun shines off the water in the morning, the way a seagull stands at the edge of the water on his orange legs, the sound a brooklet makes running on its small way to the big lake, the smell of damp sand.

That’s all for now.  I’ll try and write again soon.

Category: Life 14 comments »

14 Responses to “Dear Readers,”

  1. Stan B

    Please send me a cookie.

  2. ellenair

    okay. And some English toasting bread? (Coming soon again to a diner not so near you nowadays that you’re in Ely, eh?)

  3. Stan B

    That would be Wonderful! I’ll be popping over to Nby Friday night late (leaving Saturday noonish) to get the bike – if you could get a loaf to Karen or Ra I’d be ever so grateful! Wish I had time to stop in and say hi, but I’ll see you in October.

  4. Jean and Paul

    Longing to see that glimmer dancing on the surface of that tranquil water…save us a cookie … Be there soon.

  5. Ron Mork

    Hi Ellen,

    The cookie sounds scrumptious. Patti, Simon, Derrick, and I will be up in three weeks and I definitely will be stopping in the first day for your delicious bakery. Can’t wait to try it along with all the others.

    See you soon.

  6. Pamela Grath

    I can see you in all those scenes, and the images in my mind make me very happy.

  7. Karen Casebeer

    So glad you’re back writing your blog. It’s always wonderful.

  8. Jana Rector - Churubusco, IN

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Linda

    Well, since I won’t be able to make it to Michigan this summer, I will miss out on the cookies! Unless you have a mail order business that I’m unaware of!

    Thank you for your blog post. Your descriptions are wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time, since I am not going to be able to make it back this summer. :/

    Say hello to the wonderfulness for me!

    Linda–Thank you! I will say hello to the wonderfulness for you. (No mail order business at this point; sorry!)

  10. Pam Gardner

    I loved your book and hope you can see your way soon to write another. Please write more often on your blog!

    Pam, Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked the book so well. Hope you’ve read both SOS and P. EVERS! That’s it so far, but I’m working on another. I’d love to write more on my blog, but time keeps racing away from me into the distance…

  11. William Quill

    Its not like a normal job
    By Jimmy So

    A HAPPY life, according to the Scottish poet James Thomson, consists of “retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,” among other things. Alice Munro, perhaps the greatest short-story writer of our time, has elected to embrace this bliss, saying last week, “I’m probably not going to write anymore.” An incredulous editor from the National Post had to follow up on whether she really meant it—that last year’s sublimely devastating collection, Dear Life, was it for her. “Oh, yes,” the 81-year-old Canadian said, telling disappointed fans to “read the old ones over again. There’s lots of them.” Yet if you have ever imagined a typical day in the life of an author, your vision probably resembles Thomson’s. Writing seems like tender labor, and it’s not hard to picture all those quarterly Munro stories—the ones that appear in The New Yorker as regularly as fresh interns—being created from a diet of easy grace, fertilized frequently with tea, long walks, dinners on the porch, and Chekhov readings. Why would anyone have to retire from writing, as if it’s a job with regular hours?Except it is. John Updike used to rent a one-room office above a restaurant, where he would report to write six days a week. John Cheever famously put on his only suit and rode the elevator with the 9-to-5 crowd, only he would proceed down to the basement to write in a storage room. Robert Caro still puts on a jacket and tie every day and repairs to his 22nd-floor Manhattan office. Authors who corral their duties into daily routines help remind us of the industry of writing. A muse does not pour words into someone’s skull. The drudgery has conquered some of our best wordsmiths. “When you decide ‘to be a writer,’ you don’t have the faintest idea of what the work is like,” Philip Roth, another recent literary retiree, has said about the “stringent exigencies” of literature. “But working at it nearly every day for 50 years … turns out to be an extremely taxing job and hardly the pleasantest of human activities.” He even called it “just torture, awful.”Munro has long been able to pensively observe someone and effortlessly penetrate the character’s extraordinary private history. “Nobody bothers anymore to judge her goodness,” the critic James Wood has said. “Her reputation is like a good address.” It is as if she can look upon a person and always see the full span of a life. Now she has taken a measure of her years and judged that, at last, she can stop. Let us read the old ones over again. There’s lots of them.

  12. William Quill

    Just thought your many readers should know that despite one’s love of writing, such endeavors aren’t achieved without blood, sweat and tears. All the more to be proud of.

  13. ellenair

    Thank you for this, Bill, it’s awesome, as are you. Hugs to Butters and Gatsby.

  14. Leslie Bowman & Greg Subastian

    If Gladys and Arbutus were writing down a recipie for Cardamom rolls, what do you think it would contain?
    They sound good, but I think it needs to be one of those handed down for generations recipies, I don’t want to get one off of the internet…. Anyone have any ideas? =)

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