The Polar Bear Swim & Kitchen Table 2009 Highlights

 Tom was here last night and he says he has about 15 wooden pallets to burn down on the beach to keep the annual Polar Bear swimmers warm. Which is a good thing since it is about 15 degrees and the north wind is shaking the house. The tide is coming in so at least they won't have to run far. As for me, I'll watch. I think the water off the Port Chilkoot dock is too cold in June. It starts at 11:00 and is over about 11:05.
 
Before dinner last night we sat in the kitchen drinking Aussie champagne and Paul's beer, and made lists of our top ten events/accomplishments of 2009.  It was harder than it should it have been, and we resolved to to more next year.  Tom and Jane's list included a road trip to Eagle, skiing in the Buckwheat ski classic and Jane's co-dominance with the bears at Pack Creek, (she stared down a bear and won). Tom built a tool shed and together they acquired a log splitter. They celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary too, there was a relative's wedding, and Jane's father recovered and is thriving at 90. They also took a trip to Kathleen River. Ours included Stoli's graduation from high school,  Eliza becoming a second grade teacher, Christian sky diving and bungee jumping in New Zealand, Chip shooting a bear with a bow and arrow (he and Jane have different views about bear co-dominance.) Chip's  dad died ( but we celebrated his life with all the cousins and Lende/Stevens/O'Connor clan in Virginia.) Sarah went to Europe (and she got pregnant, but we decided to count the baby in next year's list rather than this year's list, since she is not here yet but may arrive any day now.) J.J. went to Ireland (this was a close one, as she landed in Dublin last night. We may claim this on next year's list too.) I rode in the Kluane to Chilkat bike race for the first time since my accident. (Chip broke his nose and smashed his shoulder in a spectacular crash that he's still bragging about.) I had a 50th birthday party, and Chip and I went to Mexico with some good friends this time last year, and made friends with a former republican Governor we spotted on the beach, which only goes to show that if you live in Alaska long enough you really will know everyone. 
 

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