I have been in Homer a long weekend, hosted and feted by the Friends of the Library there. I was a special star because the Haines library, which I am on the board of, inspired the Homer community to build their new library, so they made me feel very welcome. This is also National Library Week, and today at our library at 4:15 the Haines Friends of the Library hold their annual meeting and appreciation tea and cookies-- so please stop by- and join the Friends or renew your membership.
April showers will bring April leaves-- the next time the sun comes out, which may be Friday. In the meantime it's been a little wet and windy and kind of chilly-- 45 and rain is colder than you'd think. The beach is not so much fun when you are walking into rainy gales, and when you've been writing all day-- as I was yesterday-- by three I needed a stretch and so did Pearl and her friend Lucy, and my friend who spends her days doing good but wishes to remain anonymous ( I will call her St. Beth) did too-- A walk in the woods with dogs and a friend can save a whole day, sometimes.
I fought with my forgotten Skype IDs and passwords for two days so I could talk with an interviewer in South Korea for ten minutes, entertained guests-- twice--, had a eulogy to write for John Schnabel (still working on it.. it's "due" by his memorial service at 4:00 pm tomorrow at Harriett Hall. The service will be short and sweet--and there will be food and the Fishpickers band will play for the party afterwards. The family hopes you will come), and a column is due for the Alaska Dispatch today by five.
I know it is Maundy Thursday-- the night of the Last Supper, and tomorrow is Good Friday, and Easter isn't until Sunday, but it is a moveable feast, and it sure feels like a happy morning today after so much sorrow and stress and grief the last two weeks-- John Schnabel's obituary is done, and will be in today's Chilkat Valley News, the service isn't until next Saturday, April 2nd at 4pm at Harriett Hall at the Fairgrounds.
Writer J. California Copper wrote that it's not so hard to face death-- as we all have to, and so really have no choice--the challenge she said was living. So you may ask, "Where have been, what's the matter?" and to that I respond with her words-- "The matter is life!" (And to be fair, in my case, death.) I no sooner came off Aaron's tragedy than Haines most famous resident, John Schnabel, ( Grandpa John of Gold Rush TV) died and so I have been working on his obituary, and as I type am waiting for a few more phone calls to edit and tweak it some more.
It has been a hard ten days, we cut short our cycling trip after our dear friend's son died following a deep depression. Writing the obituary while hosting the family in our home, which was a tornado of grief and love, friends, family, babies, wet dogs, burning bacon, and endless coffee and lasagna-- which is as one family member noted- apparently the officially funeral food of Haines—was the hardest thing I have ever done.
I will miss the ballet recital tomorrow, but you can still go if you are in town, it's at 10:30 in the Chilkat Center, and you don't need to have a relative in it to love, love, love it-- the sweetness factor is huge. I will be in Juneau, and then on to bike camp for grown-ups with Chip for a week in California. Crazy, but true. I'm not bringing a laptop, so I won't be back here until next Tuesday. Don't worry, we will be careful. And when I return I am going to learn how to write poetry. I think my heart is ready for that.
I flew from Kodiak to Anchorage first thing Sunday morning, and the plan was to fly Alaska Airlines from there to Juneau shortly after arriving, which meant I'd be able to spend the day and night in Juneau with my daughters and grandson before riding the Haines ferry home on Monday. I had been unable to leave Kodiak Saturday as planned due to a storm, it felt like a hurricane-- so I knew better than to count on anything, still, the weather was okay Sunday in Kodiak and good in Anchorage, and it appeared I'd be on schedule.