When I dropped off my salads for the Hospice of Haines volunteer training Wednesday evening, (the board makes meals for the trainees) organizers Beth and Liz were counting chairs and looking around for more. Beth said they'd need 18. It was a record turnout. ( The Hospice board makes meals for the trainees during the nights and weekends of the class.) That means there will be more volunteers to help folks remain in their homes as "bridge" clients, or transition from here to there, in true Hospice fashion.
Heather Lende's blog
Help me get the word out about an Alaskan bar owner (and the de facto poet laureate of Haines) who has written some great country songs inspired by Dr. Phil. Our own Christy Tengs Fowler needs a break, and someone who could get her tunes to Dr. Phil himself. Read her story, and listen to a song, and I'm sure you'll agree there's something really wonderful about this CD.
On Sunday afternoon coach Liam Cassidy and I took the Haines High cross-country team to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and even these Alaskan kids were wowed by its rough beauty and force. The weather helped, (we were in summer clothes) so did a pretty girl in shorts riding a mountain-tired unicycle out on the gravel bars in front of the lake and glacier. We listened to the thrum of the big waterfall for a long time, and it was so pleasantly mild that the cool mist from it was welcome.
That's the decal Lexie gave to Kendra Knight at the baby shower last night. It's for the wall over her soon to be Baby Boy Knight's crib. How sweet is that? Kendra's mother, Frankie, told the women assembled that when the baby comes, we will be the ones supporting Kendra, her husband Alex, and their little family, she said, "How blessed we are that you are our friends... and each and every one of you are part of their support system." Which made us all blurry eyed. Then Christy said, " We don't have to do anything, do we?" And everyone laughed.
Today is my oldest daughter Eliza's birthday, she is 27 and teaching fourth grade in Juneau. It is hard to believe it is already 60 degrees and sunny at 10 am. On a few September sixteens we have had a thin layer of ice on the puddles in the morning .(And just about all have had lots of puddles.) Eliza was about the same age as baby Caroline is when we came to Haines. I loved walking around town with her in the backpack. Yesterday, I took Caroline out in her baby backpack, and we made the same rounds.
My first column For Woman's Day will run in November, and it is a bit of an introduction to Haines. Yesterday a magazine fact checker inquired about my population number, "About 2200, but I don't think everyone has ever been home at the same time." She had found other estimates. In response, I did some web-searching, too.
"I never need water," Terry Tempest Williams said, apologizing, coughing, and reaching for the water bottle handed to her by an event organizer. The white haired author of one of my favorite books, Refuge, among many others, was getting ill just talking to the standing room crowd at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau about what she'd witnessed of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The cover up, the devastation, the sick people and animals.
I swear, I get homesick now at about Eldred Rock. I am so happy to be home that I'm having trouble sitting at my desk. But I did want to touch base, since I have been computer-less since Friday. What a great trip-- the weather was so perfect that I had to remind myself that I was on an Alaska ferry and not some Baltic cruise yesterday. I wore a t-shirt on the deck and wasn't cold at all. The flight over and back from Juneau to Yakutat was spectacular, and in Yakutat itself we had views of Mt. St. Elias, Logan and Fairweather--and more sunny skies.
The Haines Glacier Bears cross-country running team will be in Yakutat tomorrow for a meet. (We leave on the ferry for Juneau in a few minutes.) Each meet, I write inspirational messages, type them and print them and hand them out before a race. Here is the one for 9-11-10. (Don't let the kids know, they won't see it until tomorrow.)---
Just yesterday I met a bicycling British botanist studying butter and egg plants. (Beach wildflowers that look like yellow snapdragons.)How's that for a mouthful of bs? It gets better, not only does the stunt double for Chubacka (I'm not sure if I spelled that right..)-- the big hairy guy in Star Wars-- live here, but yesterday I learned the former Mr. Bubbles from Sesame Street does. Kelly Hostetler has been running for the better part of two weeks as a fundraiser for Hospice of Haines and has covered over 300 miles.