Heather Lende's blog

Vote Today, and Remind Three Friends to.

 Last night we had 13 robo-calls. Chip and I ate dinner and listened as the answering machine recorded them. The President of the United States called, and so did Joe Miller, Scott McAdams and even crazy Michelle Bachman. Mike Huckabee called from Arkansas and asked us to vote for his friend Joe Miller. (Guess he didn't know that Miller's body guards handcuffed a reporter friend of mine.) A nice girl from Anchorage phoned in, asking for us to vote for Lisa Murkowski, and reminded us to fill in the oval and write her name in. Don Young called and said we should  vote for him.

Yellow Ribbon Tree

 I have a friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, who has been decorating a spruce tree on the side of road at 7-mile for about ten years.   She hangs eggs on it at Easter, and hearts on Valentine's Day, and pumpkins and goblins at Halloween. There were stuffed animals one month, peace signs another. Depending on the weather, she could get really creative. She says she decorated it for the last time the other day. The swamp it is growing in is too mucky for her to continue, and she is a grandmother so her back is not what it once was.

A Sunday Thought.

 From the church bulletin today:
 
"Grace and goodness come from God...We are not the sole authors of our own story. What does come from us, though, are the decisions we make in the face of the graces we receive. We can either respond to each life grace and become what we might be in every situation, what ever the effort, or we can reject the impulses that the magnet in us  called goodness brings in favor of being less than we ought to be. It is in those decisions that we must bend our lives to the better."  -- Joan Chittester, The Rule of Benedict

Full and Well

 Last night I gave my husband a choice- the People for Peace Potluck at the Senior Center, or burgers at the Elks. He opted for the Elks. We went to the Klondike. It's not that long a story. What happened is that I called my friend Nancy and invited her,  and her husband, too. The last time I saw Nancy was Thursday at yoga, when we were on the floor in the Chilkat Center with eye pillows leaning back over wool blankets to stretch our spines, so we couldn't talk much. Actually, we aren't allowed to talk at all in yoga.

Happy Birthday (a day late) Trooper Josh

 It is a scene you think you've witnessed. A state Trooper SUV pulls over on the side of a winding road, waving a truck following him to pull in behind. The Trooper steps out of his rig, and the guy in the pick-up rolls down his window and  says, " I thought my lights weren't working."
 
The Trooper says, "I wasn't paying attention, I was looking for speeders, so I almost missed you. Why were flashing me? What's the trouble?"
 
"I just wanted to wish you happy birthday."
 
"You know, my wife must have put it on the radio, everybody in town knows."

Taking Good Care

My neighbor Lyle is home after being in the hospital for about three weeks with a sudden and alarming internal organ problem.  The good news he is well now, and was out doing chores yesterday, and this morning was back on the Safety Report with Al. Fireman Al said it was good to have his cohort back. Lyle said that before they began their local radio talk about not smoking bed, or letting children play with matches, or leaving a pile of kindling next to the woodstove to dry out, anyway, before all that, he had something important to say.

The Anniversary of the Sinking of the Princess Sophia

On October 26, 1918 the Princess Sophia sank on Vanderbilt Reef, between Haines and Juneau, killing 353 people, many leading citizens of the Yukon and Alaska.  It is a tragedy that is hard to wrap your head around. Ken Coates and Bill Morrison have written about it in  The Sinking of the Princess Sophia: Taking the North Down With Her. What puzzles the authors most, is how little the wreck is known outside of a small circle of northern historians. Even here in Haines it is not well known, and the names of the dead are not even on our maritime memorial.

Bear Spotted in the Area

They put up bear warning signs on trailheads, so why not on telephone poles in town? There is more bear sign on townsite streets than area trails, and now there is a wounded, big brown bear in the bushes across the street from the school, who kept the children in at recess yesterday. The police shot it as it rifled through the school dumpster, it was hit, they say,  but not killed, instead it  limped off across the road to the woody swamp between the Firehall and the Fairgrounds (and next to the Deishu Drive neighborhood.) It was not the first time the bear was in town dumpsters.

A Chilkoot Trail

 I can't cut up meat and wrap it while I'm still on my first cup of coffee, but Chip can. He has been up for a few hours, and the kitchen looks like a butcher shop and smells like clean blood. The dogs are watching him nervously from the hall. They always seem to be equally curious and skittish when it comes to hunting smells. While I was in Juneau, Chip went goat hunting, even though I said it wasn't a good idea to go alone. Mountain goats live in treacherous terrain.

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