Off the Road, Finally.

I do apologize for not telling you all about our trip to Anchorage and back with the cross-country team. We left at 7am Thursday morning and made it to Glenallen by about 10:30pm where we spent the night, and then drove on down to Anchorage Friday, arriving about noon. (We did manage to make the wrong turn after supper at Fast Eddie's in Tok and drove about forty miles toward Fairbanks before we realized our error. That interior spruce forest looks the same everywhere.

Community Matters: Vote.

Yesterday I took Caroline to lap-sit story hour at the library. There were 17 babies between 6 months to three years old there, along with their parents and grandparents. It was crowded and happy and diverse-- all the best things about this community. This was October. These were not summer people or visitors. They were us. Community matters, so today I'm voting for community values-- for children, for the library, for education and recreation, for the pool and a downtown facelift.

On The Road Again

We are off at dawn to Anchorage with the cross country team. The good news is that we aren't taking the Dalton Trail, we are driving in the school van, and Gary put the studs on. I'll let you know how we do Monday. Now I have to make a thermos of coffee and check the weather in Tok. I think it is snowing in the pass. Dear Lord, our van is so small and Alaska and the Yukon are so big-- have mercy on us.

The Power of Positive Talking

Here is how coaches survive traveling with fifteen teenagers-- the kind of travel that includes sleeping on the floor in school gyms and classrooms for three nights out of every seven for five weeks in a row-- when you unfold from a sleepless night under a desk in a math classroom at six on Sunday morning,your face imprinted with the carpet design, hobble to the door and pad down a hallway littered from last night's big dance (which you chaperoned without ear plugs, and that could explain the buzzing in your head) toward the public restroom, and see your co-coach sitting on a chair in the h

A Hospice Lesson

 When I dropped off my salads for the Hospice of Haines volunteer training Wednesday evening, (the board makes meals for the trainees) organizers Beth and Liz were counting chairs and looking around for more. Beth said they'd need 18. It was a record turnout. ( The Hospice board makes meals for the trainees during the nights and weekends of the class.) That means there will be more volunteers to help folks remain in their homes as "bridge" clients, or transition from here to there, in true Hospice fashion.

Christy and Dr. Phil

Help me get the word out about an Alaskan bar owner (and the de facto poet laureate of Haines) who has written some great country songs inspired by Dr. Phil. Our own Christy Tengs Fowler needs a break, and someone who could get her tunes to Dr. Phil himself. Read her story, and listen to a song, and I'm sure you'll agree there's something really wonderful about this CD.

Of Ice and Air

 On Sunday afternoon coach Liam Cassidy and I took the Haines High cross-country team to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and even these Alaskan kids were wowed by its rough beauty and force. The weather helped, (we were in summer clothes) so did a pretty girl in shorts riding a mountain-tired unicycle out on the gravel bars in front of the lake and glacier. We listened to the thrum of the big waterfall for a long time, and it was so pleasantly mild that the cool mist from it was welcome.

Good Knight Baby

That's the decal Lexie gave to Kendra Knight at the baby shower last night. It's for the wall over her soon to be Baby Boy Knight's crib.  How sweet is that? Kendra's mother, Frankie, told the women assembled that when the baby comes, we will be the ones supporting Kendra, her husband Alex, and their little family, she said, "How blessed we are that you are our friends... and each and every one of you are part of their support system." Which made us all blurry eyed. Then  Christy said, " We don't have to do anything, do we?" And everyone laughed.

Summer in September

 Today is my oldest daughter Eliza's birthday, she is 27 and teaching fourth grade in Juneau. It is hard to believe it is already 60 degrees and sunny at 10 am. On a few September sixteens we have had a thin layer of ice on the puddles in the morning .(And just about all have had lots of puddles.)  Eliza was about the same age as baby Caroline is when we came to Haines. I loved walking around town with her in the backpack. Yesterday, I took Caroline out in her baby backpack, and we made the same rounds.

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