The Lighting of the Fort survived what organizer Annette Smith said was the worst weather, ever. It was raining snow, sideways. This has prompted concerns about the Snow Dragon's appearance in Saturday's Christmas parade. The church youth group will be manning the dragon, and Pizza Joe will be the head. There will probably be too many volunteers at the new school cafeteria on Saturday afternoon. (The dragon will be assembled at 3:30 for the 4:30 parade.) But Annette is still worried. She fears a repeat of last Saturday. The weather forecast calls for breezy with snow and 29 degrees.
I like this guide because it includes one of my books, shameless, I know. But it is extensive, and may help your holiday shopping. Please buy them at your local independent bookstore. This season, support Main Street first. If you'd like a personalized copy of either of my books email the Babbling Book store in Haines, at email@example.com and Tom and Liz Heywood will make sure I do that asap.
No doubt you were wondering why I haven't mentioned the Lighting of the Library. That's because my new column about it is in the Alaska Dispatch. The weekly column about small-town Alaskan life is back. Read it here. (My guess is it will run each Tuesday, but I'll let you know.)
The first episode of ten in the first TV series to be filmed in Haines wasn't as bad as we had expected. Haines looked good, and the only local guy in it, truck driver Donny Braaten, represented us well. Last summer the Discovery Channel filmed the Hoffman family and friends from Sandy, Oregon attempting to gold mine in Haines, up near the former (and long gone) gold rush town of Porcupine, about thirty miles out the road from Main Street on the Porcupine River.
So much to tell you about next week-- watching Gold Rush Alaska with friends and the Lighting of the Fort in the worst weather ever. The choir sang outside, knee deep in snow amidst torrential slush. But first, a little day of rest from my desk for me, and Sunday's Thought for you. It's from Mary Oliver's poem, Where Does theTemple Begin, Where Does It End?
There are things you cannot reach. But you can reach out to them all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.
Susie was on the radio yesterday afternoon, in full Texas twang. She's from Philadelphia but her heart is in Texas, or was, it is in Alaska now, where she noted as she read the weather forecast, that what we lack in length of daylight we make up for in quality.
Pizza Joe's lovely wife Holly Jo and a friend made this short video for YouTube that shows the Haines Snow Dragon being put together in the Elks Lodge before the parade a couple years ago, and me and Pizza Joe (he's the head of the dragon, I was the smoke that year) chatting afterwards. It's kind of cute.
Here's an Alaska reality show I'll watch. (Okay, I do like Deadliest Catch, in small doses.) They call is Gold Rush Alaska, and it was filmed in Haines last summer.
The bear tracks were coming down the mountain and we were going up. They were frozen and had been left in the slush, my husband and I reckoned, two days before our hike. The way the light snow had fallen that day, and the timing of their walk, had preserved the round front pads and longer upside down pear-shaped rear paws, perfectly. When they stepped just right I could count each claw. They were longer than my mittens and wider than my boots. “It’s a good-sized brown bear,” my husband the bear hunter said.