Paul and Annie said it must have been 50 degrees on top of Mt. Ripinsky Saturday, and Dr. Feldman said he walked all the way to Pyramid Island without getting water in his boots Sunday. (We walked almost to the airport the day before with the dogs.)The tide was out and the river is that low. Lots of people were saying it was a beautiful weekend- for April--.
The other day someone called the fire department because there was smoke coming from the woods out by 7 Mile on the Haines Highway. When the fire department got there they looked at the deep snow between them and the fire, which was about a quarter mile up the slope on the side of Mt. Ripinsky, and strapped on snowshoes. They stomped in, and found a a big old tree partly burning. So they took off their snowshoes and used them to scoop snow on the flames and hot spots, putting out the blaze before it became a forest fire.
The wolves began howling during the women's downhill. Right after Lindsey Vonn won my husband let the dogs out and said to mute the TV and come stand by the door. Across the Chilkat River a whole pack was crying and howling. Although howl is not an adequate word. The longer we listened the more the wolf voices sang with a kind of chorus of lament and yearning, except that every now and then one yodeled with a crazy joy. The pitches, range, and tones reminded me of brass horns in a Charles Mingus inspired piece.
John just called, and said to be sure to eat a doughnut today so we'd have good luck all year. It's a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition he said. His wife Cheryl is from Pa. I told him that in our church we eat pancakes and sausage tonight. It is Fat Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday) the last night before the very lean forty days of Lent. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Tradition dictates that you eat a lot of fat today and then give it up (proverbially and physically) until Easter.
We ate king crab tonight at my daughter's house that her friend (and ours, and everyone's really) Stuart caught this afternoon and cooked for us. It took a while for him to find the propane burner and the great big pot so he could boil the crabs on the deck. Also, it was late, about 8:30, when he showed up with it and he was a bit stressed. We were watching the Olympics and holding the baby and in no hurry. But Stuart stepped in the dog dish, and spilled some kibbles and water, and he was already kind of a mess, in a dirty sweatshirt and jeans. No one can be as messy as Stuart can.
When I told my daughter Sarah I wouldn't be able to attend the basketball game, or hold the baby while she watched the Haines Lady Glacier Bears beat the Lady Wrangell Wolves again --the baby's tiny ears are not ready for the noise of the gym--because her father and I were going to John Schnabel's birthday party, Sarah said, "he must be 90." She's right. John turned 90 Feb. 11 and the logger, miner, and ace bridge player hosted his own birthday bash last night at the Elks.
Maya, who is about five, said to Sally, who is also about that age,"can we have a sleepover?" Sally's mother Sara said "not tonight." Then precocious Maya, who is tiny with lots of dark curly hair, said that she preferred sleeping with her mother, until her father came to bed, and then she had to move to her own room. Maya explained to Sally that she wasn't sure if she liked sleepovers yet anyway, but that they both would when they were teenagers and didn't like their parents anymore. Then they would have sleepovers all the time.
Yup, you read right. There is now a real, honest to goodness Haines Tuxedo, and I'm not talking about Dan Henry's Salvation Army dinner jacket or Lee Heinmiller's T-shirt with the tux design on it. North Face has a brand new heli-ski suit called the Haines Tuxedo. It's only 999.00. Really. I'm kind of curious about the "internal media security pocket" feature. Is that catalog code for a concealed weapon holster?
This morning I had nice notes from an undertaker in Plano, Texas (it is snowing there),he said he knows what I mean when I say I snowshoe with the departed; and a special-ed teacher with a dog named Carla, after the "Good Dog Carl" books, just like my old dog Carl; and the niece of a former Haines resident who is visiting here this summer. A bookstore owner in Juneau was excited about the Advance Reader Copy of Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, and another blog reader asked where the comment section is.
The moose was about three feet from the window when Forte started barking. There is a difference in a friendly, " I really need to go out" or " someone's at the door" bark and a moose in the yard bark. Also, when there's a moose in the yard you can't let the dog out. Forte won't chase a moose, but a moose will chase him. (Plus, the neighbors may not be thrilled by his wake-up call at 4:30 in the morning.)