I left the comfort of grandbabies and a big family breakfast Sunday to fly to Juneau to attend a friend's memorial service ( you may recall elementary teacher Rene Walker's obituary? It was for her.) I boarded the plane on the lovely, clear, warm and calm morning, and the pilot said we'd be flying over the ice field. I kind of wondered what that meant, but figured it was just the little jag near the Mendenhall Glacier the flights from Haines sometimes take near the end of the (about) 90 mile flight to Juneau. Well, he flew us straight up and over the mountains across Lynn Canal from Mt.
Summer is here right on time for the beer festival, the salmon derby, planting the garden, and getting on the bike to prepare for the race on June 15- The weather is supposed to be warm ( the 7-0 word is in the forecast) but a little cloudy for the weekend- that's okay, better than snow, and as my friend Sitka author John Straley said, after the horror in Oklahoma we Alaskans should never complain about the weather again. Last night we had yoga class on the end of the cruise ship dock. That was worth at least six months of winter.
Our lumberyard did not burn down this morning, although the fast roaring fire next door was pretty scary, and thanks to the great Haines Volunteer Fire Department it was contained to one substantial shed at Leo and George Ann Smith's place. Leo lost his boat, and tools, and they had full freezers in there, and one window in the house broke from the heat, but that's it.
High pressure is in the forecast for the entire week, and it's supposed to be 67 on Friday, just in time for the beerfest. This is technically not news in Alaska in May, or at least according to my friend Tom. He says news by definition is when things don't go as planned. Snow in May is news, not sunshine. Well, this spring normal is worth noting. Still, it is supposed to be very cold the next few nights ( 25 at the border, areas of frost around the valley) and yesterday we were hailed on while cycling. Little centimeter sized ice pellets. Another reason to wear helmets.
"Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond...get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work." -- Anna Quindlen
From the Haines Police Blotter, May 14th:
"At approximately 12:45 p.m. a local lodging reported that a queen sized bed had been stolen from a room. Police initiated a case on the incident."
Yes, it is Manic May-- one day feels like summer and the next day we are back in March. The first cruise ship of the season surprised us all yesterday. It wasn't meant for Haines, as it was supposed to dock in Skagway but it was too windy so they pulled in here instead. As Bruce said on the radio when he announced the ship's arrival "the population of Haines is about to double for the next few hours." Oh, and the garden is begging for attention and all the seedlings really must get out of the house.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,'I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."- Fred Rogers (Yes, that Mr. Rogers.)
It's ride your bicycle to school day, which meant we had a lot more company than normal as we pedaled in from the highway toward the Haines School this morning, usually we might see two other riders and very few vehicles, but today there were policemen, teachers, parents, children all in a kind of parade. The sun was out, the wind was at our backs and everyone was smiling. I hope more children (and parents, and heck policemen too) make cycling a habit.