I have been talking and answering emails and zooming so much in the days leading up to June 30 (the book launch and my birthday) and the days since, that I have not been very good about staying in touch. The minute I’m off the hook with book stuff I head outside, so will it be okay if I just give you the scoop in pictures?

Chip and I celebrated 38 years of marriage with an 83 mile bike ride (and a few more long rides since then. This is what we do in the summertime. Usually early in the morning.)

On my birthday after the zoom launch (thanks for coming!) we had a family picnic, safely, on the beach, and I left my phone inside so my daughter took the picture of the cake, and the flowers from grandchildren, and I think that’s Ivy’s doll. I kind of like of this composition, don’t you?

I have signed a lot of books for The Bookstore in Haines, so many that they sold out of the first pile, and now more boxes are heading my way. (If you haven’t got one, and want a personalized or autographed copy, contact The Bookstore.)

The long summer days are glorious. We don’t take advantage of the so-called midnight sun as much as we do the early morning light. This is what 4:45 looked like the other day. Why sleep through this?

Then there’s FaceTime from Juneau with baby Emilia (and her mom) about three times a day…

Also, we did get to “go out” for our anniversary, on the “safe and socially distant plenty of fresh air” porch at the 33 Mile Roadhouse. The pie was warm (strawberry rhubarb) and the ice cream was cold and it fueled us for the rest of the ride home from the border.(The still closed Canada/US border…)

 Emilia again!

And back to book stuff.(This post card mirrors my brain– and life– these days…) This is the book on civil discourse that I praise in Of Bears and Ballots.  Choosing Civility by P.M.Forni.

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The advice in it is helpful for the proverbial cloudy days when it comes to communication, with anyone– but especially people that you find difficult or that find you difficult.

The local family again. I have gone through a lot of whole milk, Ovaltine and whipped cream. Chip is the chocolate milk man, but when he’s at the lumberyard, I run Poppy’s take-out place for them, leaving  it on the porch railing.

Have I mentioned the real bears? That dark stuff is showing up regularly on the beach…

And fishing season has begun, and so with any luck the smokehouse will be fired up soon.

I did collapse and take a nap one afternoon, which is so unlike me, but Trixie insisted.

And for careful readers — this is the picture of my great-grandmother on a burro with the other school teachers at a silver mine in Mexico.

And for my birthday, Chip gave me my very own:

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I have some sport limbing to do, as my house is being swallowed up by roses and spruce trees. (I’m keeping the roses, don’t worry, but I think the trees need thinning.)

Have a safe and happy Independence Day weekend. We’ll be out on our bikes as long as the weather holds. And thank you again for all the love these last few weeks. It’s hard to put myself out there as I do in Of Bears and Ballots, so your kindness is very much appreciated.