I've had a busy couple of days. Well, not compared to Kelly Hostettler and friends, who ran from Skagway up to the White Pass yesterday, 40 miles in all-- and will keep going at about a marathon a day for the next ten days until they swing back down from the Yukon to Haines, on the 360 mile wilderness road route called the Golden Circle.
There's a moose stew bubbling in the pot, made with garden carrots and my neighbor Betty's apples, for a little added spice. Chip says local apples are to store bought ones what sockeye salmon are to humpies. (Is that how you spell it, or is it humpys?) Either way, I am no fan of humpy pie, no matter that more people eat canned pink salmon than any other kind. I'm icing my knee, and polishing my first Woman's Day column, it will run in November, and what with the stew, fresh sweet peas in the vase, a fire in the stove and a relatively tidy house, I'm feeling very Woman's Day-ey.
Chip was counting the brown bears across the river, and checking for goats on the mountain with his spotting scope and I was on the couch with my knee on ice last night, and telling him about Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, a great book-- so full of information about what Americans eat and why. (Mostly corn, it seems, although not the kind from the can, rather by-products in everything.
I was hoping to stay awake during the arthroscopy on my torn meniscus-- it's a breeze, they said-- although I was a little surprised that the pre-op involved an EKG, and an IV and questions like "are you an organ donor?" and "do you have a living will?" (Yes to the first, no to the second... and the EKG was fine, except that my low heart rate-- 45 beats a minute or so, --set off the alarm.) Like I said, I was hoping to watch, but with the nerve damage from getting run over by the truck a few years back they decided a good sleep was better than a spinal nerve block.
I'm thinking about Pizza Joe and Holly's wedding, and how nice he looked in a Navy blue blazer, white shirt, tie and khaki pants, with that red flower in his lapel, and how she wore a real white lace wedding dress and white heels in the mud on the bank of the Chilkoot River, and how there was a bear with two cubs right behind them wading in the stream and climbing on the rocks, and how the locals there for the ceremony backed up, but the larger crowd of tourists moved forward for better pictures.
Yesterday we watched the plumber stick his whole arm, up to the shoulder, into a full septic tank and reach around feeling for a clog. Well, actually, I couldn't look, and the backhoe operator turned away and groaned, and my husband covered his face with his hands. Even after such a heroic act, the plumber did not find the simple fix we had all hoped for, and so we are moving to plan B, which requires digging up the driveway. After he delivered that news, the plumber climbed out of the stinky hole, rinsed off with the garden hose, and lit a cigarette.
I never have breaking news, but this evening I do. Usually I'd save it for Duly Noted, but this is important and can't wait for the deadline or you'll miss it. Pizza Joe and Holly are getting married. Tomorrow! (Weds. August 25) at 5:00 pm right in the middle of the bears and tourists next to the Chilkoot River, at Deer Rock. Cake, punch and many happy returns of the day will follow the ceremony, out at the golf course.
It is primary election day in Alaska, but before I vote, I have Charlie Brouillette's obituary to write. The 86 year-old retired teacher , fisherman, and the grandpa of my son and daughters' friend James, died Saturday. He came to all the basketball games and was so proud of James when the team won the state championship. We ride bikes past his house on the side of the road by the airport almost everyday, and I love the stuffed moose head in his old outhouse.
The party was in a lovely home, with timbers, cabinetry, tile, and furniture all crafted by local artists. Yukon songsters Nicole Edwards and Annie Avery played and sang in front of a colorful wall hanging of strutting purple and teal peacocks, some serious, others sort of startled looking. There were chairs set up for the thirty of us or so that were invited to this house concert. Apparently they do this all the time in the Yukon. It is the first one I've been to in Haines.
I am glad it is raining, since I can't do much until my knee gets fixed (next Friday in Juneau) except laundry and closet cleaning. I could write, and I really should, but with all the family here that is harder than you'd think. I'm a day time writer, not a night time one. And everyone is around all day. JJ and Caroline will be here from 9am to 1pm today, and as soon the baby arrives she gets all of our attention, which is how it should be. A long time ago, I heard Tom Bodett speak about the writing life.