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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quiet and Slow but Percolating Beneath the Surface


Yes, it is quiet now in Northport and environs. It’s the post-holiday season, the beginning of our long slog through winter. Another way is to think that every day now is longer than the one before and that we are racing forward to the arrival of spring, whether we see the progress outside our windows or not.

As Gerry Sell has noted, it’s been a strange winter so far. I spent the first day of my year-long adventure outdoors on one of the coldest days of the week. (Not absolutely the coldest day, because Sunday and Monday were impossibly cold, with fierce, brutal, punishing winds that even Sarah did not want to linger outside in. Tuesday morning was still cold but not impossible.) I lasted the full hour. “What happened?” David asked when I came back inside. “I want to hear all about it!” The truth is that nothing much happened at all, as you can read on my entry for the day. It probably makes boring reading, but the blog is only intended as a record, and I imagine there will be a lot of variety in my experiences over the full year. And I'm not looking for a lot to "happen." That's not the idea....

Omena’s scenery looked Arctic on Tuesday afternoon. I like the Arctic look myself. 


Wednesday found me back in the bookstore. That's the back of Bruce's head you see there (above) through the window. Bruce had opened (we are on winter hours now, Wednesday through Saturday, 11-3) and was on deck for the day, so I was able to duck in and out and get a few other things done. It was good to catch up with him on our first business day of the new year. We shared holiday tales, talked about the new issue of Book Source Magazine, and caught up on many small details of bookstore life. We looked impatiently (I speak for myself here) for the UPS truck, too, but I guess the new book order will arrive on Thursday. 

Another thing I did today was make copies to post around town of a couple magazine pages to which I attached the announcement of Benjamin Busch’s visit to Northport on March 23. The date seems far in the future, but I know from (many years of) experience how quickly time passes, and I want people to know about this event in plenty of time, especially before they schedule spring travel away from Leelanau County. Dog Ears Books will be the first Up North bookstore Busch visits on his book tour, which will begin in Ann Arbor and work its way up to us before he branches out to the rest of the country. “How did you get him to come to Northport?” one friend asked when I showed her Ben’s essay in Newsweek magazine. It’s because I was lucky enough to stumble upon an essay two years ago, writing about it on my blog, and Ben has not forgotten. Later that year he appeared at Dog Ears Books with Anne-Marie Oomen, another wonderful Michigan writer, and that's a day I have not forgotten. 

So yes, the holidays are over, and yes, this is the quiet time of year, but there's still a lot going on, and it's good to have some time to catch up on loose ends, look back at where we've been and launch preparations for spring and summer. Seed catalogs? Don't even let me get started on seed catalogs and garden plans!



7 comments:

Helen said...

Inspirational: the way you are able to find creative and interesting things to do all the time, no matter the season;

Inspirational: the way you are able to plan and prepare for future events -- the author event, the seed planting -- with such care and foresight.

And planting seeds takes patience and the ability to imagine a beautiful future...

May your future be beautiful.

Gerry said...

I went back and reread the post on (among other interesting things) Benjamin Busch's essay. I liked it all over again.

Then I went over to Home Ground, which I had unaccountably forgotten to put on my feed list, and read about the first day of the Adventure. I enjoyed that, too.

Sometimes it's not so bad forgetting everything. Sometimes I get to make happy discoveries twice.

P. J. Grath said...

Helen, I am inspired by being outdoors and by books.

Gerry, it's fun to tell me stories because I hardly ever remember one I've heard before, except in a vague, general way.

Can you tell I have been having a love affair with apples? Can't stop looking at them.

Dawn said...

Lovely apples, lovely post...have meant to go over to the new blog...have to go to work...will check out your adventures (an adventure can be defined in all sorts of ways) when I get home tonight. :)

P. J. Grath said...

Dawn got me thinking (not for the first time), and here's what turned up:

http://www.20kweb.com/etymology_dictionary_A/origin_of_the_word_adventure.htm

The word itself doesn't seem to say much. It's what our memories and imaginations and yearnings put into it that makes it sound exciting.

Kathy said...

It's been a strange winter up here, as well. I'm not minding the ups and downs, the highs and lows, but Barry is mourning because he wants ice to form on the bay so he can go ice fishing. We shall see...

P. J. Grath said...

Earlier this week, ice was beginning to form on North Lake Leelanau between Leland and the Narrows. Only ice on Grand Traverse Bay was at the edges. Now? Our skimpy snow cover is entirely gone, leaving brown mud in its place. Skiers are crying into their white wine.

As you say, we shall see.... Every day is another chance, perhaps a new surprise.