The Snake on the Bridge Was Moving Slowly Over the Creek

On a warm Sunday afternoon my daughter and I decided to walk to the Creek which is pretty near. 
The sky was bright above. I felt grand to be out in such weather because the day before it was raining,

We heard active water below the Bridge and we saw several elderly seniors speeding toward us. 
"Its a snake on the Bridge" called the elder man as he rushed by us. 

I looked ahead at the side where the Snake was moving directly over the Bridge. 
Seeing the Snake scared me. 

Another old man called out - "watch out for Snake on the Bridge." 
This Senior's tall son whispered as he passed near me. 
"This snake doesn't have poison - its a racer."

I waved to him as I took several deep breaths ----
then added several pictures.  

Somehow I knew I would come back soon to explore the Creek -
since I have ignored it for years.

Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)





Where do family stories come from - - 

My first storytelling passion came from genealogy.

I have often laughed that I began storytelling as a subversive activity.

I wanted a way to tell our family stories so that they would want to listen. And then - as so often happens - the glitter and sparkle of storytelling itself lured me away from genealogy.

I will be posting something about the family 

To start again I have reached back to several posts I wrote couple of years ago.

I love old letters, whether I know the people or not. 

The handwritings bring me close to the person who wrote the letters - - - - 

often there is a story hidden in an old letter

How about you? 



 Tuesday, October 19, 2021,

Bright cold sunlight fills the home rooms.                        That gives me good feelings,                                                     - - - and makes the cat intensely curious.                   

Who knows what's ahead?

I have a deadline.

A few ideas are wiggling in my brain - like small rubber balls that won't stop bouncing back and forth.... while my deadline presses.



Traveling Inside Myself

Traveling Inside Myself

Recently I watched the movie Night Train to Lisbon featuring actor Jeremy Irons.

I had seen it but as I watched it did not recall the story yet I felt that there was something 

in it I wanted to "catch' again. And - there was.

The story is a mix of mystery, romance, and discovery set in Lisbon in a non-specific modern 

time. The characters too are rather universal and yet non-discript. Their soft identities do 

not take away from the stor. The Irons character, a middle-aged professor, saved a girl from 

jumping off a bridge in Bern. She runs away and he impetuously hops on a train to follow her 

to Lisbon, to find her and to discover her story. You guess soon into the movie that who he 

eventually finds, along with an interesting story, will be himself.

The key to the search for the girl is a haunting memoir by a young doctor - the other driving 

character. For me the heart of the story rests in the book.

All of this was familiar as I re-visited the movie ...then in the ending and I found what I was 

looking for - a piece of verse:

I spent some time today recapturing it. I don't want to lose it again be cause the poem tells 

me why I am tied to memoirs and to capturing my past. It is the reason for my own personal 

searches and now at 85 years old I have a lot of ground to cover as I find bits of myself and 

quilt them together.

This is the passage of one of the characters in the film who writes into his journal which will 

come his book. 

We leave something of ourselves behind in a place we have been. 

We stay there even though we go away. 

There are things in ourselves we find again only by going back there. 

There are things in ourselves we find again only by going back there.

 ( Collage by Ellouise Schoettler )




Take a Trip with Me


Starting today I will add stories, essays and videos to my ellouisestory Blog.

Take a Trip with Me

Join Ellouise Schoettler, host of Stories In Time At Home on a long ago trip to Athens, Greece. 

She was transported to Greece as a member of a group trip with her husband, Jim. 

Watch as she tells about her fear of the water, and admits how she faces that anxiety with Jim’s help when she is forced to jump onto the ship. 

Learn about the momento she bought to mark the occasion ----- and learn what's happened to it 22 years later.

Check out this episode of Stories In Time At Home below, or on MMC’s YouTube channel and subscribe!





October 1, 2021

You probably know that people in Tenn don't enjoy wearing masks which makes them on a chancy edge which is not completely safe from Covid - - -  so I have been advised by my doctor in Maryland. "to stay home." No do not fly down to Tenn next week for a family gathering that I have been looking forward to attending. You can bet I will be holding back curses and tears.

To help me out with my disappointment I have had a wonderful two days at home - -  watching the National Storytelling Festival which uses zoom at home which protects us all.  Next year will be the 50th year of the Festival  so ........ lets all hope it will be open next year.

The stories which have wrapped me warmly have been great - funny and strong. And also - there is the pleasure of seeing many familiar storytellers and seeing new tellers. 


September 26, 2021

Its been quite a month - 
starting with deep memories of the horrors of September 11 and the losses of people where airlplanes were used to kill innocents. 

When the planes attacked the NYC buildings at the World Trade Center my husband Jim and I were in Italy. We had dreamed of a wonderful vacation but it turned into fear for people especially members of our family who were close-by. 

The day that the remembrances touched all - -  it especially opened  the story for  people who were too young to know what happened and why people care.
I cried as I heard names spoken, watched films and listened to personal stories.

On another one of these September weeks - we drove across a State line to take care of some business and to stop at a large impressive store where they gather orchard fruits daily. Delicious peaches and pears! Yes, the peaches are grand but its the pears that call  to me.

Soon my grandson's wedding will be in a State across a couple of state lines. I was happy and excited about  being there. But its all changed for me. When I talked with my doctor and she heard about my plans to go - my doctor said, "NO, you can't go. The people in that State are not required to protect themselves." Yikes. In my State I received the Vaccine in April. I have a collection of many masks, and keep safe distances from other people. Along with that I understand that older "grands" are safer if they protect themselves. Why are so many people ignoring the dangers and avoiding vaccines.

Something I really enjoy. My daughter and I have discovered a Roy Rogers place to pick up delicious fried chicken served with a paper cup filled with tasty "slaw". Its on the - Rockville Pike. Just thought to tell you.

Last Saturday my son and daughter went downtown with me to a beautiful small church on Capital Hill (DC)  - - to attend the funeral of a fine, generous doctor who met my husband as they arrived at the same time (1962) to serve at the hospital on Andrews Air Force Air Base. When Don and Jim completed their time in Air Force uniforms they remained in Washington and shared civilian medical offices for at least 30 years. 

This Saturday was a lovely sunny afternoon. The room was washed with color through the glass in a line of old windows. We had been here before for his wedding and - - in fact Jim had been Don's Best Man. This Saturday a gathering of his white haired friends wearing a collection of masks sang familiar hymns, colleagues talked of Don,  and his grandchildren were touching with their words of love.  We were there to represent Jim to his colleague and friend- and to say good-bye.
After the services the three of us talked to a few of  those who gathered. Then we drove from the center of DC to a small restaurant in a familiar neighborhood. It was a sweet place to sit out side to talk and share stories of Jim and Don - - and to laugh as they would.