Algonquin Books, my wonderful publisher (I mean that, they are great) has just jumped into the ebook world. I have mixed feelings about this, as I am a real book person. I love holding them, looking at them, moving the piles of them all around my house. At Christmas I decorate with holiday books, placing them on the coffee table, or sideboard, on the sills in the windowseats, on end tables and in bedrooms and bathrooms.
Heather Lende's blog
Mary Oliver wrote, "Real prayers are not the words, but the attention that comes first." I think the same is true of gratitude. It is not in the saying of "thank you," of course that is always nice, and a proper response to most anything-- but real gratitude is physical and it takes over your whole body before a word is spoken. It 's how a happy dog moves when she's with you, and the way a child greets snow flurries on a blustery March day.
As you can imagine, it has been a little busy around here. What with the baby being born, Chip's trip to see Grandma Joanne in Florida, Eliza is here now too taking the wilderness medicine class while I babysit her much higher energy Golden Retriever than my mellow little Pearl, an overdue column, an obituary, the book I'm supposed to be writing-- not to mention all the new snow. We have officially stomped the old record, and before last night's snow had a little over 28 feet for the season. And yes, it is still snowing. The roads and walkways are awful.
Well, this sure is good news for heliskiers-- and for the keepers of the record books--
It is hard to believe that it has only been a week since I left for Sitka with a hunch that the baby was coming-- and now we are home safe with her. The ferry arrived at 4:30 this morning. (Chip is back too, he flew in from visiting great-grandma Joanne in Florida in time to catch the ferry when we docked in Juneau. He ate fried alligator down there, and said it was good. What a world.) Anyway, it was a nice ride from Sitka on the ferry with all the teams, cheer squads, pep bands, families, and fans from the Region V high school basketball tourney.
It was snowing some in Sitka by the sea on your first afternoon, and the lights were off up on the second floor hospital maternity ward, or as the sign says in Tlingit, the Place Where Babies are Born. We were groggy and awe filled from your 2:40 a.m. arrival and the long night before, which may be why I later wondered if I was dreaming when your Great Auntie Tanya floated into the room, all smiles and light and boundless praise. To me, she declared I must be your sister, I was too young and beautiful to be a grandmother (honestly, I was not looking my best.
All 6lbs. 11 oz. and 19.5 inches of you, with that dark wavy hair and your mother's nose and father's eyes, at 2:40 am on March 1 in Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, with Grandma Mimi assisting in the most helpful of ways. After speaking with Stoli Monday, I had a feeling she was in early labor, she insisted that was not so (Lani was not due until March 16) but I took a ferry to Juneau, and then the night jet from Juneau to Sitka, arriving about midnight on the 28th. The 29th was sunny and mild and we took a walk in Totem Park and pretty soon it was obvious that the baby was on the way.
When I decided not to go to Florida with Chip this week to see Grandma Joanne and have a colonoscopy I figured Stoli's baby would arrive early, but then I volunteered to host the the church Lenten Supper Wednesday at our house, and that apparently did the trick. Things have started happening with Stoli, who has been in Sitka with her husband for a week-- a little labor last night and other changes-- so I'm on my way.
That my column in Woman's Day is called Life Lessons is a great irony of my life, since most of the time I am in need of receiving a few instructions on how to live well, rather than confident that I can dole them out. Which is not to say I don't admire people who can give solid advice without doubts. Songwriters are better at this than most people, since they have such little time to get their message across that they can't beat around the bush. Still, many performers choose to just play a song and hope the audience gets it.