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.

It’s a lovely, warmer, snowy morning, and the wind has died down. It was so quiet last night I couldn’t sleep, but my neighbor was up early and it was her turn to drive to 6am Morning Muscles, and with the snow she was concerned about getting there before the roads were plowed, but she has a nice truck and the snow is dry and only about eight inches deep– so we made it. (As my husband says, we could have had a fine workout shoveling our driveways, but I’ll wait for Jack and the loader.) Since we had the time,  and with the snow wanted to avoid the steeper hills, we took the long way around, marveling at the winter scene, the snow and lights just coming on in a few upstairs windows, smoke drifting out of chimneys. She kept saying how beautiful it was, all we needed were a few Christmas lights. Joanne and Phyllis had theirs on, but otherwise the Fort was dark.Not for long– Saturday at 5 is the annual Lighting of the Fort (well sort of annual, too much snow canceled it last year.) The canon will blast on Greenwich Mean Time, not Haines time, so be prompt if you want to witness that (or come later if you don’t), and there will be hot dogs, caroling, sledding, and a pageant. Then at 7:30, Tod Sebens directs “The Dixie Swim Club”, a play about  a group of southern women friends who meet over the years, at the Chilkat Center. I was also up last night worrying about Christmas gifts,  I haven’t done any shopping yet– but today I’ll go to Dejon Delights and order smoked salmon for the family back east, and then the bookstore (there is 20% this week on some titles) and everyone can use a good read. The Lost Coast Surf Shop or Back Country Outfitter should have something for my surfer-snowboarding son, which I need to mail. Olerud’s is always good for wool socks. I am pretty sure there is nothing I can’t find to give the girls in Haines, especially with the big Community Ed Bazaar Saturday morning at 10 in the school gym. Phew.  I may be more ahead than I thought. It really is beginning to look, and feel, a lot like Christmas.