That Old Wintry Feeling
The first snow showed up in flurries yesterday. But it's here more for real this morning, dusting the deck chairs and beach, the last pansies in the pot, and the windshield when I came out of Morning Muscles. I hope the driving from Haines to Homer-- all 1000-plus miles or so across Alaska and the Yukon-- is safe for my friend heading home. Cousin Jack probably won't be flying out today either. But my son is in the air on his way from Seattle to Bali. Last night we texted back and forth, he in the airport, me in the window seat with a glass of wine following a story-telling workshop at the school. He gave me the address of his storage unit and told me where the keys to his truck are, " In case something happens." You'd think that would worry me, but it made me happy. He must be my son. He thinks like I do. (If I had my snow scraper in the car, and my snow tires on, it wouldn't have snowed this morning. That's my rule.)
I was also texting my daughter, who had been at the school last night too, down the hall from our workshop at the school board meeting where they voted to reverse last year's invitation by the former superintendent to help find a home for the pre-school in the community school. It was awful, by all accounts. Angry and tear filled.
For me, the hardest part is that I want our adult children and grandchildren to remain in Haines. Jobs are always a challenge. They’ve managed that. Mostly, what keeps us here as we have more options, and them as well, to a large extent, is the social and community life. The life in Haines that I love.
If young families feel unwanted, and like it or not, rightly or wrongly, through misunderstandings perhaps, as the pre-school parents now do, and they are more mobile than we ever dreamed of being-- ( My Haines fisherman son is surfing in Bali...) they really could leave.
I know that these blow-ups usually, slowly, have created positive changes in Haines in the last 30 years, and I'm pretty sure that what is good and sensible really is winning the war here. (I hate to use these metaphors, but they sometimes fit.)
I hope this beautiful snow sticks, and the ice hardens on the fairgrounds rink by Thanksgiving at least, and that this winter is the kind my children lived for. The kind they grew up in, skating under the light bulbs hanging from rafters at Payson's Pavillion in three on three games with players of all ages-- daughters and dads, sons and neighbors and friends-- many without children of their own, back before anyone had to remind us that "it takes a village", when we played together because it was fun and we wanted to. I hope this will still be true this winter and next-- and I bet it will, don't you?