Important Puzzle Pieces

 We thanked the library volunteers last night at an appreciation dinner in the library. The staff baked sacks of potatoes and the board brought toppings from broccoli and salmon, to vegetarian chili and sour cream, and salads. Volunteer coordinator Barb Blood likes themes, and she picked puzzles this year, as in all of us are important pieces of the library. (There are 100 volunteers who do everything from keeping the library open at night to shoveling snow.) There were puzzle pieces on the tables, and puzzle piece shaped cookies for dessert. (As well as a surprise carrot cake for Barb.) What Barb didn't expect was that she would be honored for her 20 years at the library. The children's librarian, Holly Davis, played the ukulele and sang a tribute to her, to the tune of "You are my Sunshine." My favorite verse was "she's just a regular hard working librarian except she's more efficient than most brain surgeons." Which Holly managed to sing to the rhythm of the music. She got us all to sing along in a joyous verse of "You are my sunshine" at the end, too. I was sitting with old friends, and we got to talking politics. The cuts in Alaska education, and health care,  (and the national woes) and especially the growing gap between the haves and have nots, and the deep divisions between right and left, and were sort of discouraged. It seems all of us now just watch or read news we agree with, and only associate with like minded people, so we never meet in the middle. My father called from New York this morning, and as usual he said he misses the founding fathers. I miss Walter Cronkite more. One guy reporting the news that we all watched. I was encouraged though, by the gathering, because library volunteers and supporters come from all political, religious (or not) and social persuasions, and yet we all enjoyed the meal and (for lack of a better word) fellowship. There's a bridge tournament going on this weekend that brings people together in the same way, and soon the hospice rummage sale will have volunteers with very different views of the world working side by side all weekend. It's funny, but twenty years ago I used to bemoan the way Haines was so divided, 50-50, on everything. As the country grows more that way, we actually seem to be getting along better. 

Don't forget to get your car washed today at the gas station across from the post office from noon to four, it is a fundraiser for the very diverse History Day contest winners to travel to Washington D.C., and tomorrow the blessing of the fleet is at three at the small boat harbor. There's no harm in reminding ourselves once a year that the sea is wide and our boat is small. 

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