I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

One of my favorite wedding gifts for  Eliza and Justin is a huge spruce salad bowl about two feet across and a foot and a half deep that feeds  thirty people generously , as we did the other night.  It was turned by a local woodworker who is no longer with us, Guy Hoffman. He who famously said that if you want good weather, then make your own high pressure system. We gave it to friends for their marriage 15 years ago. The now divorced bride re-gifted it, saying she looked around at our family, and especially all the grandchildren, and realized as the oldest daughter (she too is one) Eliza would no doubt be making lots of big salads for family gatherings. She added their names to the bottom of the bowl next to she and her ex’s. Someone suggested this might be bad luck. I disagree. The Episcopal wedding service includes much of the traditional language of marriage– including what God has joined let no man put asunder– but we all know that other saying: to err is human.  I count myself blessed that being married has made my life happy– going through the world two by two with the right person means you always have a friend who knows you better than anyone and still loves you. I read a recent article about long marriages that was controversial, as it’s author wrote that happy marriages don’t take work, and based on her research successful couples seem to be lucky in their love.  Well, after three decades with my sweetheart I know that keeping marital peace does take work– but most of it is the good kind of work, like gardening, or walking the dog, caring for children, or sharing a nice meal– the kind you want to do– But I also know it takes two to paddle a canoe and one willing partner with all the good will in the world won’t get very far in  a current against the breeze. That’s why I  like that big salad bowl, and it’s new life in our family.  I’m glad it’s been given a second chance, and that it’s original owner has been as well.  I actually think it’s good luck,  because it’s  a (large) reminder not to take love and happiness for granted– and while your at it, share the joy (and the salad) with gratitude.  I really should post a photo of it now, but I had no idea I was going to tell you this until I sat down, and I’m not at home, as the house is still full, and I needed to get back to work, so I’ve taken the dogs and my laptop above the lumberyard for the day.