Maybe it's the lack of snow, or my eyes, but is sure seems darker than usual. Still, it's nice that Margaret is at the radio station at six to keep us company. Pearl and I stayed in bed and listened to the news while Chip leaped up and did his stretches and worked out above the garage. It was so comfortable that I re-read another Christmas book, A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas.
Forgive me for singing the Sound of Music's "Climb every mountain..." but that's where I am at after walking up Mt. Riley the other day with Chip. (His first time since the accident.) We hadn't planned on it, but I did bring a pack with chocolate, water, hand warmers and some extra layers, just in case it was colder up on top. This is when it is good to be a little over prepared. We also wore ice gripping boots (he had on his cleated goat hunting boots and I my micro-spikes) and took the poles, because you never know.
...I give to you three little Christmas pictures from Juneau.
This morning I was up early making two more Christmas coffee cakes and listening to the radio about bad doings in the world and Joe Cocker's passing, and I wondered why Margaret wasn't at work yet. Did she slide into a ditch on the way? Sleep in? Yesterday she was funny when she signed on with a "Good morning," and a big sigh. I was right there with her. I had an anxiety dream about Christmas and how I'd done nothing. The sigh made me laugh-- and then get to it.
There are some people, like George Bailey, whose favorite sounds are train whistles and anchor chains. Not we two Lende grandmothers. Grandma Joanne and me. Home is our favorite place and we are both thankfully, gratefully, there. She in Ocala, me back in Haines. Yesterday on the plane from Seattle to Juneau I read that exercise can change your DNA.
It's been a worrisome 48 hours here. Grandma Joanne, Chip's dear mother, and my London traveling companion (that's her in the airport getting fortified for the last flight we took together), has had a heart attack and is in the hospital in Florida. She's in great spirits and as okay as an 83 year-old with some serious heart issues can be. Bypass surgery is scheduled for Monday, so we are on the way south. I may or not be able to keep you posted. (Grandma Joanne doesn't do the Internet thing.) Please keep her in your prayers.
The best thing, or one of the best things about December, is that I can walk with friends and dogs at dawn after a swim and breakfast. This morning we were full of chatter. Okay, I was, mostly. I had been nudged, by one of my walking friends who is a quiet, gentle fisherman, to spend a little time learning about a mine.The Palmer Project is in the fairly advanced stages of exploration by Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. on a tributary of the Chilkat River upstream from here.
I know I shouldn't boast, but I live in great town. Honestly-- watch this video of Haines and my husband (and several other good people doing good things for us with the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation) and you will see I'm right. And while I'm at it, will you forgive me for showing you another picture of baby James?
I also have some highlights of the December community schedule for you:
"Never doubt every bit of kindness, every tender touch we lay upon another life can heal what might otherwise have died, certainly in them, perhaps even in ourselves." - Joan Chittister in The Rule of Benedict
Yesterday around noon, all five grandchildren were tumbling around the living room, or being held, as was the the case for baby James (Eliza was nursing him) and Silvia Rose, who had collapsed in sleep onto JJ's chest while she rocked her. The skating parents had just returned from a hockey game, another was just leaving for a freezing game of golf ( 20 degrees, north gales, but no snow). The dogs were close to the fire. The radio was on, and someone was heating up leftovers in the kitchen.