We heard the emergency broadcast on an EMT's pager at church, the voice said there was a 63 year old man, unresponsive on Mosquito Lake, CPR had begun. When the service was over another EMT, arriving to pick up his wife said the man hadn't made it, but couldn't, as per the volunteer ambulance crew code, say who it was. But he was shook up. "It'll be a real blow the town," he said. " He was pretty popular." It was on Mosquito Lake, in January. A snowmachiner? An ice fisherman? I guessed hoping to get a clue. "Skiing. He was skiing with friends." That limited the possibilities.
In Bishop Desmond Tutu's book, God Has a Dream, he writes:
So how do we ensure that goodness does prevail?...Our decisions--personal, corporate, at play, at home, in private and in public-- make the moral fabric of our society, indeed of the world. How we interact with people in our lives... makes the difference. The sum total of these interactions determines nothing less than the nature of human life on our planet.
It's wet and windy today, about forty degrees warmer than last Saturday's sub-zero temperatures. A good day to be indoors timing the annual swim meet. Yesterday there was a a brief moment around two when the snow stopped and before the rain came blowing up from Juneau that was really pretty. One of my friends argues that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. Maybe they haven't been here on a morning like this, with slush running down the icy streets and rain blowing sideways.
The ferry arrives with swimmers and basketball players for this weekend's competitions.
Loading up the Wrangell Girls in the school van for the ride to town.
Tonight the Haines miners will no doubt lose another 1000 dollars and face imminent financial and personal ruin. It was fun to see Dorsey fishing with friend Greg Bigbsy in last week's show, and the summer scenery was terrific. But I can only willingly suspend disbelief for so long. I do like to see clever people beat the odds, using their wits and skill. It's part of the appeal of life in Alaska, but that seems less and less likely on this show. The last episode hinged on getting morphine for the mechanic's pain, (you can't operate machinery on narcotics, can you? ) and a fuel emergency.
I skidded and swerved in the new snow (it was deeper and slicker than I'd expected) up the hill and down again to Morning Muscles. It looks like Afternoon Muscles will be shoveling and hauling some firewood to the porch. What with Merry's passing (thank you for all the kind thoughts) and just getting back from a trip, I'm up against some big deadlines and about 24 hours behind on everything. The revisions for the first half of my novel are due Feb.7, I have a Woman's Day column (April!) due now along with this week's Dispatch column.
Here is Merry’s obituary, written in Chilkat Valley News style, though not published there, as editor Tom Morphet does not document dog deaths, unless they are news. Merry was never in the news. She led a private life, centered on her home and family. She did not attend potlucks or parades.
First, my dog Merry did die, yesterday afternoon, peacefully, with Forte (and me) by her side. A full obituary will run tomorrow. If you want some light reading, here's my latest Alaska Dispatch column. Also, I did watch Gold Rush Alaska Friday, and will write up that review soon, too.
We have been saying goodbye to a gentle old dog. Merry is, we guess, 16. She's lived with us about fourteen years, but was a full grown abandoned stray when we adopted her (or she us?) one Christmas Eve. The other trouble is that Merry isn't the sick one, her pal Forte (12) has cancer and wasn't supposed to last this long. What's he going to do? And my terrier Phoebe is no spring chicken either, she's 11 and won't come for long walks anymore. You'd think I'd be better at this, being a hospice volunteer. You'd think I'd know that a dog can't live to be whatever 16 X 7 is. You'd think.
Since we are celebrating Caroline's first birthday today (it was yesterday, but her dad was in Sitka with the basketball team he coaches) I thought I'd share a birthday prayer from the Book of Common Prayer--
Watch over thy child, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she fall; and in her heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.