It has been ten days since I’ve posted anything here.
That’s about the longest stretch I’ve gone.
I’ve been thinking about writing; I’ve been wanting to write.
I have, in fact, been doing a lot of writing for other purposes.
But not here.
Have I even been taking photos? I wasn’t sure. In looking through that folder, searching for a current image, I realized I take many more photographs in October than any other time of the year. And certainly more in June than in January. That holds especially true for this January, when the snowfall has been unimpressive and the cold winds have kept me inside. I did manage to find a few pictures labelled january2015, and chose this one of snow-covered flower stalks.
Now what to write.
As I said, I’ve been thinking of writing.
In my head, I wrote a whole blog entitled “Warm” about my broken thermostat and the bitter cold, my cement floors and several 45 degree mornings in my house. It ended on a happy note, with a brand new working thermostat that keeps the heater working properly and a lovely snowfall that helps to keep my floors warm when the winter winds are blowing.
I’ve started several essays about my new business/writing endeavor, but I’m, frankly, still too frightened of abject failure to divulge too much. Soon!
Several other ideas seemed too much like self-centered drivel to waste anyone’s time with.
So here I am, ten days gone and determined to get something published today…even if it doesn’t rise much above the “self-centered drivel” that I eschewed last week.
At the hardware store, we are settling in to our winter routines. We are down to a bare-bones crew, ordering is at a minimum and – though we’ve been happy to see a steady flow of customers with winter projects – business is slow. The boys are re-tiling the floor, one aisle at a time. I’ve been cleaning shelves and re-organizing. Most recently, I am working on one side of the first aisle, tidying up the screen and storm area, re-setting the door knob department, and reorganizing the padlocks. I hope to finish that up today.
For my job as Phragmites Administrator, I’ve been preparing for a seminar in Lansing. I’ll be one member of a panel, talking about our challenges and successes in battling this invasive plant. I’ve been going through the data that we’ve compiled here on Beaver Island over the last several years so that I’m prepared to talk and answer questions about our process. I sent out a letter in support of a grant request that will help with funding if it goes through. I’m going to be spending this evening stuffing envelopes, getting our annual “request for donation” letters ready to mail. I am behind in writing an update for my Phragmites blog site, too. Beyond that, it’s mainly just Emails and phone calls this time of year.
When I was fighting with heating issues I finally, with a big sigh, hung a heavy quilt at the base of the stairs, closing off my studio. Now that the temperatures have moderated and my heating system is working, I can think about opening that up again for art-making.
I’ve been watching – in bits and snatches – a DVD of a Public Broadcasting program on art in the 21st century. I am reading Paris at the End of the World by John Baxter, Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose and The Science of Good Cooking by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.
I’m also re-reading a book of essays by Jim Fitzgerald, who was an editor for the Lapeer County Press before going on to work for a Detroit newspaper and national syndication. His essays, along with those of E.B. White, Barbara Kingsolver and Mark Twain, are what inspire me to write, and what depths of thoughtful observance I aspire to in my writing.
My house is warm these days; the view has improved with a nice snow blanket. The winds have died down, making it bearable – even pleasant – to be outside. The dogs, bored to distraction in this cold season, will get a lively walk this afternoon.
That’s how life is for me, on this eleventh day of January, 2015, on Beaver Island, Michigan.