Not singing, just writing in the rain

Hattie’s Coffee Shop

It’s a rainy day in Hudson, but for January I’m not complaining.  Usually at this time of year we have a few feet of snow.  Crazy weather these days!  I decided to take my work out on a date.  I love to work at coffee shops and I’m happy to say Hudson has quite a  few.  Hattie’s is located right in the center of town on Main Street.  You can see our lovely  clocktower out the window.  It’s a Hudson landmark.  The clocktower sits at the edge of the village green.  Another time I’ll take you for a walk around the green, but on a dry day.  In good weather I like to get a coffee and plop myself on a park bench there watching the world go by.  We have a farmer’s market  here in Summer and Autumn and   there are also weekly concerts on the green in Summer as well as an old fashioned ice cream social every June.  I love small town life, especially if the town is old and charming,  and Hudson is that!  Living here helps me imagine I’m still back in Boston for Hudson has that New England charm or maybe I should say New England has our Hudson charm.

I told you how my life is filled with coincidences.  Well, one of the places I lived in Boston was an area called Cleveland Circle (and in case you didn’t know, Hudson is near the city of Cleveland, Ohio)  and the next town over from Hudson, a town I go through frequently, is called Boston Heights.  That’s not all.  I lived in another Boston town called Waltham and do you know some of Hudson’s clocktower parts were made in Waltham.  There’s more!  The little town of Waterloo, New York where my husband was raised had a clock factory, and you guessed it — more of the clocktower  was made there. Did you ever feel you were exactly where you were supposed to be?  Well, with all these coincidences I’m pretty sure I’m where I’m supposed to be.

But let me tell you about the work I’m doing here at Hattie’s.  I’ve written a book on the beautiful art of letter writing and I’m putting a few finishing touches on it.   This book is a series of handwritten letters to the reader in which I share my experiences  and  enthusiasm for  this lovely art form.  Today people seem to think the art of letter writing is DEAD!  Can you imagine anything so ridiculous?

 In the past 20 years I’ve written more than 8000 letters and I continue to write at least one more letter every day.  Obviously I’m not writing to myself.  All the  letters I write are in answer to other letters sent to me  by enthusiastic pen friends who share my passion for writing .  So you see the art of  letter writing is not dead.   Modern people do exist who realize old and new forms of communication can and should co-exist. I hope you’re one of them.  Unfortunately  many people need to be awakened to the pleasure letter writing offers, the pleasure they’re missing, and that’s the purpose of my book.

It is because I love to share joy that I’ve taken it upon myself to be an advocate for the beautiful art of letter writing.  Hopefully my book will help with this mission.  One of these days  you might be able to buy my book right here on my website, that’s if I stop writing here and get back to work putting a few finishing touches on the manuscript.  So back to work for me.  Catch you next time and maybe at that time I’ll show you some of the art for my book of letters.


Day at the coffee shop

ImageHere I am in my favorite coffee shop, a Caribou in downtown Hudson, Ohio, on a very snowy, blustery day.  I could be home , snug as a bug in my home library, with my pink fuzzy slippers on and a fire blazing in the fireplace, but some things  pulled  me here as they often do —   One of those things is really a person – my wonderful son Patrick, home from UCLA on Winter break.  The other thing is an idea, the idea of solitude and society experienced simultaneously.  Lord Byron, one of my “dead friends”,  first mentioned solitude and society to me.  He said only in letter writing do we have solitude and society simultaneously,  but  he was only half right.   Though it does exist every time I write a letter, I guess Byron never popped into his neighborhood coffee shop to work on his poetry.  If  he had he would know  solitude and society exist in a coffee shop too.  Patrick and I share a table, but we are lost in our own work.  And there’s more.  There’s the possibility  of running into friends, and strangers too, chance meetings  which can make our day.

A  little while ago I experienced one of those meetings.  I noticed a fellow at the next table who looked familiar.  He was actually sitting with  two women, one was a lady I knew, a mother of two of my former piano students.  Could this fellow really be one of the handsome male singers in the group Straight No Chaser?  No.  What are the chances?  But I did hear him mention singing,  and a little later I heard him mention Indiana and I knew the singer who he looked so much like was truly from Indiana.  Well, I couldn’t stand the mystery so I  approached  him and sure enough, he was who I thought he was.  So fun!  And because I carry a camera with me at all times, ( you never know when a picture wants to be taken)  well, here we are:

ImageRyan Ahhlwardt, his wife who happened to be my former piano student, my son, and little ole me.  What a very nice fellow he was  and what a nice conversation we had.  Running into these people really made my day.  If I stayed home in my fuzzy slippers I’d have had the solitude, but not the society, and society is fun!  Here at the coffee shop I have it all – society, solitude, letter writing and of course, coffee.

Have you enjoyed any or all of these pleasures today?  Well, it’s not too late.  Seize the day and enjoy!