Thanksgiving was going to be a small enough crowd this year to sit down at the table. The Nashes were having their own dinner, with all twenty of them, but two of the girls got stuck in Juneau as there was no ferry Weds. and a snowstorm kept planes grounded. But Thurs. the snow turned to rain and it got really windy and so they made it up on time, although Corrie said the landing was a little sketchy, to say the least, as they bounced around over the river and made the hair pin turn to the runway.
I'm not really in the real news business. But my friend Tom, the editor of the Chilkat Valley News did make me think yesterday, when he noted that my work this week for the paper is not the kind of news I usually write about. We were upstairs above Main Street in the newspaper office, talking about this week's paper. I am writing an obituary of a nineteen year old Native single mother with a year old baby. She died in Juneau on Sunday morning, no one is sure what of. Her body has been sent to Anchorage for an autopsy.
We baptized baby Aurelia Trinity yesterday at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Mission. Her young parents Franny and Addison used to live here and came up from Juneau for the blessed event. And yes, this was literally a blessed event, there were all kinds of blessings and prayers.
An email from my wandering son, the first in weeks mind you:
Hey mom, all is good. I went sky diving today, pretty sweet jumping out of a plane at 12000 feet, not much else is new. I'm heading back to Dunedin soon to get back to the surf. Hope everything is good and your novel is going well.
"It smells really good in here" my daughter Eliza said coming in the door from her day teaching. We have been home for ten days alone-- my husband has been deer hunting, my other Haines daughter and her husband have been in Mexico, the two younger girls are at UAA and my son is, according to his facebook page, getting in touch with nature somewhere in New Zealand.
I am supposed to be writing a new Dispatch column, but my head is still in this novel I'm finishing a draft of and I'm finding it hard to shift gears. (I love saying that, "this novel I'm writing." It sounds so crazy.) Also, it is 19 degrees, snowing and still dark enough to need a desk lamp to see at almost noon. I just got off the phone with a woman from New York doing a story for NPR about obituaries, and I'm pretty sure no one from there will ever call me again. I ranted and raved for a half hour about paid vs. unpaid obituaries.
I woke up at five fifteen, looked out the window at the snow, pulled on snow pants, boots and a coat over my pajamas, turned the coffee on and went outside in the white dark and shoveled my way to the car and then swept the snow off, started it, and scraped and brushed the windows clear before wading up the driveway to the road to see if the snow was too deep for the Subaru. The road had been plowed yesterday,and so had my driveway, so the new snow was manageable. Good thing, because I didn't want to miss my Morning Muscles exercise class.
I Think I will I need to breathe some, before I comment on Oprah and the W.I.W.N.N. I will say that we had a nice turn out for the show, although the dogs seemed to be in charge, and at one point there may have even been more dogs than people. That's when I put two of mine in the car in the driveway.
I was at Olerud's store, not too long ago, checking out with a shopping cart full of groceries, when a friend holding a red pepper and bunch of cilantro looked at it and said I could save a lot of money at Costco. (In Juneau) I said "But I want Candy to have a job, and her husband to be the fire chief, and her children to be in our school." Also, by the time I take the car to Juneau on the ferry and spend the night in a hotel and eat Thai food and go to a movie and the eye doctor I could have bought a ticket to Belize. Anyway, my friend, who is a smart guy, looked at me funny.
This coming week we will be hearing a lot from our ex-governor, The Woman I Will Not Name, and as one of my favorite political bloggers sort of put it, the only choices are 1. Finding an uninhabited tropical island (my first choice, but I've got four dogs and four chickens to care for and my husband is deer hunting and it has just snowed about a foot and someone has to shovel) or 2. Hold your nose and jump in.