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.

September is busting out all over. The good news is the bears are feeding on salmon in the river and look fat and happy, and that other hungry bear has not returned to the cabin, but Trixie still won’t come inside.

Also, we have had no Covid updates since last week, and I’m going to assume, for mental health’s sake, that no news is good. In the meantime, we have been freezing salmon for the winter,

trying to keep the dahlia’s from breaking in the wind, splitting more firewood, suggesting to the cucumbers in the greenhouse that if they want to be in a salad they had better pick up the pace,

and doing our best to keep Papa Bob warm without baking ourselves out of the house.

He had a dear cousin and a close friend die on the same day last week and that was hard. At breakfast yesterday he asked, ” You know who’s next don’t you?” I was not sure what to say, when he said, “You, if you don’t slow down. You should take a nap,” and he walked back to the couch and plopped down for another one himself.

We have also begun converting the old garage next door into a guest house ( or my house? ) Just kidding, sort of. As I am pretending that I don’t mind being away from my desk so much — and honestly, I know, I am lucky to be able to be hovering, and caring for this place and my people—but there is a great appeal right now in a home of one’s own. (And I’d be within shouting distance of Chip and Papa Bob.)

We have also been walking dogs,

herding chickens ( and searching for the egg stash. It was under the coop. Piles of them. “Like Easter,” Chip said. He blocked the access and they are not pleased),

and Facetiming with the kids from Juneau to Australia, although I get to play with Teddy in person now on Tuesdays and Thursdays when his mother teaches piano lessons. Pearl is his new best friend.

And of course, we are still riding bikes first thing in the morning when it isn’t too wet and windy, out to the cannery and then back to Chilkoot, but not for much longer, as the sun doesn’t rise until 6:15 now, and Chip needs to get to work. Next week we will be moose hunting at dawn instead of pedaling.(On Saturday Chip turns that magic retirement number, but he’s not quite ready to fight Papa Bob for the couch…)