Driving by Braille

Saturday, November 14, 2009
“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” -- E.L. Doctorow

This weekend must be making up for deer season’s glorious beginning last weekend. It’s been rainy for the last 48 hours and the temperature stuck in the mid-30’s. I wouldn’t want to be sitting in a deer stand, but then again, I’m not. After tromping about briefly in the woods with Andy this afternoon, looking like hunter orange marshmallow, I’m now curled up in the cabin with a wood fire, polarfleece pants on and thinking about hot cocoa.

Yesterday when I drove up in the rain to meet Andy at the cabin, I spent most of the 30-mile drive in fog bank. It felt a bit though I was driving by Braille. The light from my bright beams reflected straight back at me in the fog so I spent most of the trip traveling by low beam. Driving at night always messes with my perceptions of speed and distance and driving on low beams really confused my orientation. Instead of admitting that I wouldn’t really know where I was until I got to where I was going, I started to think I recognized individual birch trees along the drive. Suffice it to say, I was very happy to see the bright halogen porch light Andy installed last weekend shining when I pulled in.

Doctorow’s quote about driving at night in the fog rang especially true last night. It seems writers do a lot of driving in the fog, not knowing quite what to do, forging our way down a lonely road, and believing in the miracle of suddenly arriving exactly where we want to be. As a writer just starting out, I occasionally ponder the logic of driving anywhere in such inclement weather. But as my writing gigs have grown this year, I guess I’ll keep driving on, albeit on low beams.

Yesterday, I acquired an article assignment about Scandinavian holiday baking that’s due on Wednesday. Considering that I grew up in northern Minnesota, I should be able to write the article in my sleep, but unfortunately I must come from the one family in the county with absolutely no Scandinavian ancestry. I can talk scones and pasties, but krumkake? Lefse? Lutefisk?! The phone calls have begun and will continue into next week until I’ve gleaned all the necessary information for the article from the local Lutheran ladies.

By all accounts, it’s been a busy few days in the woods. Andy turns 25 tomorrow and I spent a good portion of yesterday at my parents’ house in town, wrapping presents and fashioning a chocolate stout cake which is now frosted and sitting in the fridge looking dreadfully and wonderfully rich. I’ll start in on making baked rigatoni pretty soon. We’ll do the birthday dinner tonight since we both work tomorrow. He’s somewhat opposed to any birthday fuss, but I think any excuse for pasta and chocolate cake is a good one.

Our trivia team came in second on Thursday night and yesterday, the Lodge’s cleaning crew had green tea with our Chinese coworker’s house to say good-bye to another coworker who headed home today. It’s been busy and I’m not writing or knitting as much as I should. But all’s well, even if the rainy day may quickly turn into a snowy evening.

1 comment:

  1. What about Rosettes, Sandbakkels and Tunnbrod? (if you need recipes let me know!) Sounds like a fun project!


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