Coffee and Empathy

So, Don Nash came over for coffee this morning, at 5 am. He knew Chip would be up, and of course Chip had to make sure I got up, and we all drank coffee, ate toast and watched a Tour de France mountain stage on TV (Chip recorded it) and listened to the rain and checked the sky. Don flew up from Sitka for Richard's memorial yesterday, and like several other fisherman, planned to fly out first thing and return to work, but the clouds are still low and Juneau is even more socked in. So Chip explained the race to Don, and then we all talked about how nice Richard's gathering on the Parade Grounds was-- the fair weather (a miracle), local bands playing, the Men of Note singing the Navy Hymn, and the good words people said. Pizza Joe, the  assistant harbor master, made everyone in the fishing fleet crowd laugh when he said Richard was the only fisherman at the harbor he liked-- and the food, the best fishing families and friends had to offer--all those salads,  500 sockeye salmon, fresh oysters on ice, Haines Brewery beer-- and that big sugar jar by the coffee-- Richard always said two teaspoons was a good start. Everyone cried at the end, when Annie Boyce read a story about a fisherman who died at sea after living a good life, that she said she used to read to Richard's daughters when they were children. Thinking about all that, we three in the living room  got quiet, Don after all is a fisherman, and will be heading back out, like all of them. So we silently watched those amazing athletes pedaling faster up French hills which were steeper and miles longer than Cemetery Hill, than Chip and I sometimes do on the flats, and Don said, "It seems kind of wrong to be sitting here drinking coffee while they are working so hard." I looked at my husband, and my friend who was sharing the couch with my dog, and thought, no, it actually feels so right.

Also, don't forget to go to the Chilkat Center Foundation kick off tonight at 6:30, there will be food, and wine and beer, and tours of the building, as well as entertainment from the sublime (opera) to the ridiculous (Speed Bump Dave's skit.) Our women's choir has been practicing and will sing our summer tunes, too----   Tickets are 25 dollars at the door or 20 dollars in advance at the Babbling Book store.

 

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