It's my birthday, I'm 51 and very happy. (Also, happy birthday to L.A. Katzeek!) Last year I had a big party. This year, it is a family day. It is raining so we have the fire going and the house is full of children and dogs. All five of my girls are here (including cooing baby Caroline) our three old dogs and Sarah's young bloodhound. (Christian is off to Elfin Cove for the salmon trolling opener tomorrow.
My Dad brought his wet suit to the cabin this weekend, and Sunday morning swam for forty minutes in Rutzebeck Lake and almost died of hypothermia. (He is training for the annual swim across the Hudson River in NY in July. It is warmer there.) JJ and Stoli had to lift him up from my canoe onto the dock and we wrapped him in a sleeping bag and cranked the woodstove up so hot the cabin was about 100 degrees. Luckily, the cut on his head had healed and the frigid water brought the swelling down in his knee from his crash (on foot) Friday evening.
This morning as we cooled down from Morning Muscles, I said to Marnie, "He's going sky diving with his girlfriend for her birthday, should I be worried?" Barbara overheard me, and said, "Is this Christian?" (My 21 year-old son.) "No," I said, "My dad." Papa Bob is visiting from N.Y and at dinner last night announced he's going sky diving in July with a lady friend-- for her 70th birthday. (He's 76.) Later this morning he and I are going to jog the 3.9 mile Small Tracts loop. (His knee replacement is a success, apparently.) Guess I shouldn't be worried.
I should have enjoyed sleeping in this morning, what with the steady, much needed, rain, and no need to bike in the wet, (the race is over so we can be fair weather riders) and no Morning Muscles class ( T Th Fri.) But it was a tosser and turner night, thinking about Mike Saunders and his shocking death, shellfish poisoning is suspected, but not confirmed. I was at the happy party where the suspect crab was served.
I'll be in Skagway at the Skagway News Depot bookstore on historic Broadway, Monday June 28th from about 1:00- 6:00pm-- all afternoon-- I take the ferry over and back from Haines, my dad may come too, he'll be visiting from New York, so stop by and get a book signed, or just say hi, or send a cruise ship traveling friend over.
One crazy man rode his leg of Saturday's Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay wearing nothing on his bottom but a thong. Honest. And, Rosalee, who is newish in town and working at the paper some, rode the leg before mine on the Chilkat Valley News sponsored "Rolling Papers" team two months after birthing a baby. I've had a lot of babies, and ridden a lot of bicycles, so trust me when I say that she is a lot tougher than I am. I'd rather run a marathon two months after giving birth than sit on a bicycle for ten minutes, much less 20 miles.
I have house full for the bike race and I'm riding on the newspaper team, so I'm talking a vacation from the computer this weekend. To learn more about the new book, read the Capital City Weekly and the Juneau Empire. (I haven't yet, but I've heard good things about these stories.) It's all a bit overwhelming, which is another reason I'm signing off, watering the garden, and watching the tide go out.
When I met Jane Smiley on West Coast Live, she said she never reads reviews. When I told that to Chip, he said, "she doesn't have to." He has a point. I wish I didn't read them, but I do, especially when they are sent to me, as this one was by the editor of Book Page. (I also like the good ones best, who wouldn't?) Still, it is all easy to put the praise or boos in perspective.
Whoops- in case I told you wrong- or it is printed wrong someplace-- the reading in Juneau is at six on Thursday night at Hearthside in the Nugget Mall. Actually, that is a perfect time, since everyone can eat afterwards and not have to rush dinner. (Also, I hope it is raining. A sunny day would make it hard to come indoors.)
I am finally home, and spent the day taking good care of the dogs, ( a hike to Twin Coves and a good brushing) and the garden, (thinning, watering, weeding) and the family ( cooked a nice dinner and babysat Caroline while Sarah went to a meeting.) It was a pretty good day, the best kind, actually. I meant to tell you this about the organic farm in Petaluma my cousin's daughter works on-- they sell chickweed-- to eat-- it was in a pretty wooden bin right next to the green garlic and lettuce. Really, in California they eat chickweed. Makes you think about all that weeding, doesn't it?