How to Listen With a Willingness to be Convinced: Public Communication.

 I know, that’s kind of a mouthful, and after the tragedy in Tucson and the President's eulogies at the memorial, topical. But by coincidence, this was the subject of the fourth Community Matters forum last night at the library. We spent the evening learning (or re-learning, or perhaps affirming) how to communicate with civility in public. We were all earnest, and hopeful, and most wore winter boots and several layers and sat on coats draped over chairs sipping hot tea and coffee.

Tea in Bed

 I'm afraid re-entry has been a little bit of a shock on my intestines, or that I have brought back a little bit of Mexico and it really doesn't want to stay in my stomach. It's a good thing it is so cold that staying in bed with tea is not a bad thing. It's nice to be home when you don't feel well. Although Sarah and the baby are both afflicted, and I may need to go over there and help them today.  The trouble is, that when I see throw-up, I do. It's a reflexive response.

Sun, Fun, & a thought about bad Guns.

The forecast in Haines is for severe winter weather, winds to fifty knots, high temperatures in the single digits and lows below zero, which is really cold here in town by the seaside. It will be well below zero out the road.  And this is the weekend the snowmachiners race down the highway for 200 miles to Dezdeash Lake and back. It makes me cold just thinking about it. I can't complain though, since ten days in Mexico has left me with a little sunburn, which along with a happy heart from hanging out with my family on a tropical beach, should keep me plenty warm.

January Woman's Day Column & a Vacation!

Hi, here is my January Woman's Day column. And this is the last time you'll hear from me for about ten days. Things are a bit crazy here, as the Lendes are doing something we have no practice at- taking a family vacation. We did this once, years ago, when the children were small, to Disneyland. Don't ask. Just thinking about leaving home has me traumatized and I'm not the only one. Three of us have the flu.

Heart and Brains and Art

 We are chin-deep in the post-holiday doldrums with the flu and the snow and the somewhat tattered Christmas decorations. One section of lights on the tree is out. Chip just said, "When they ask me why I'll leave my wonderful wife I'll say because no one ever puts anything back where it belongs." He is looking for scissors to trim his frayed boot lace. Good luck. They could be anywhere with all the last minute wrapping that took place around here.

Einstein and Coffee

 I think it was Einstein who said that a hundred times a day he was reminded that his inner and outer life were dependent on the labors of other people, living and dead. Maybe he wrote that thought down on a snowy January morning, well before dawn, when the plow truck rumbled by his house, clearing his way to the market for coffee, because the bean jar was empty, and arriving there at 7:00 am he found yet another good person plowing the parking lot, and two more inside turning on the lights and putting muffins in the oven.

The Second Day of Christmas

In the traditional calendar, today is only the the second day of Christmas. But even die-hard church folks know that the holiday began about a month ago, on Thanksgiving weekend. And here where it is so dark, who isn't cheered by a string of bright lights on the porch in November? It was one for those Christmases that didn't quite work out, travel-plan wise. Sarah, Brian, and Caroline didn't make it to Wisconsin, as the Alaska Marine Highway chose to put the notoriously unreliable ferry Fairweather (and well named) on the Juneau-Haines route, and high seas and bitter cold kept it on port.

Sunday's Thought

 From Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales: One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear the moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve, or whether is snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

 

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