It's nice to go away and nice to be home.

 It is hard to believe that just a few days ago I was wading in the warm Pacific and today I walked Pearl in full winter gear in a snowy gale. Still, this is good unpacking weather. And yes, we had a wonderful time playing with the baby and 3 year-old Caroline, swimming, jogging, napping and reading--Richard Ford's Canada, Jennifer Lowe-Anker's Forget-me-not, and Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping. I also read the latest James Lee Burke. If you haven't discovered him yet, lucky you, since there are enough great ones to keep you occupied for two dozen vacations. Also, we all have sore mouths from eating too much pineapple. We couldn't help ourselves. I arrived home last night just in time to host friends for dinner. Becky noted that I had missed two issues of the Chilkat Valley News, and that one had a letter in it from her granddaughter Emma. She thought Editor Tom should have printed her age with the note. (I'm not so sure, as that would mean all of our ages would be published.) Emma is nine and she and her family live in Becky's big house on the corner of Union Street where there are two stop signs. She walks to and from school everyday. Becky said young Emma wrote this thoughtful letter un-prompted:

I have seen quite a few people running stop signs, drinking beer, smoking, and texting and being careless while driving. I get really scared when I see people do stuff like that. I feel like someone or something is going to get hurt. Please tell people to drive safely.

Today I once again join the Haines School's third grade, where hopefully I'll inspire other young writers. I am the author in residence in Ms. White's classroom. The students are writing biographies and I have helped them by explaining how I write obituaries. Today I'll get to read and hear how they are doing.

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