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 was so warm in my bed and so cold outside that I almost stayed right there instead of heading out to Morning Muscles in the frigid dark ( 12 degrees, snow as hard as iron, and blowing northern gales) but I’m glad I did. I have never regretted a workout. There were just five of us, and the big old barn of a Chilkat Center lobby wasn’t a lot warmer than the parking lot. Even though Marnie put us through our paces I kept my fleece on.  Marnie plugs her phone into a speaker and plays music off Pandora. Upstairs, we can hear Amanda walking around at KHNS, and while I always have the radio on, Morning Edition doesn’t really inspire crunches and lunges. Marnie’s phone started out with quiet instrumentals, but then she said it wasn’t doing much for her, or us, and switched to what sounded like Motown light, which was perfect. It put everyone in a good mood.

Today I do my radio show on KHNS, Back Country, from 1-3.  When I was trained, a wise program director cautioned me about sending subliminal messages out with the tunes, and country music can be pretty depressing, what with the leaving and drinking and lonely themes. I think about the lyrics when I choose my songs, as well as the mood the music creates. Lifting weights  and holding that plank position, I listened to Marnie’s music and thought I’d like to make people feel this way too. Heck, it wouldn’t hurt to dance around your desk or kitchen while you listen, either.

I will mix in plainer, old fashioned country music too– as tonight the Arts Council is showing a movie, also in the Chilkat Center– dress warm–  called This Ain’t No Mouse Music, a five star documentary on American roots music, featuring Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Michael Doucet and more. ( Not a bad line up for my show, now that I think about it.) The other night I was at dinner with friends, and my host, a banjo player, pulled out a record player and his old albums,  we listened to the scratchy twang and familiar tunes and lyrics– some of them were songs I play on the radio, but simpler, less polished versions and could hear the voices of our collective past, and it was nice, really nice, to be there together by the fire watching that record spin.

 This Ain’t no Mouse Music,  means real and authentic, not  computer enhanced– which is why it is perfect that before the show I can play old records on the radio, and then attend choir practice from 6-7 at the museum and sing real songs with real people, and the end the day where I began it, in the Chilkat Center, with friends and neighbors (hopefully more than five!), and a musical movie. But first, it’s time to walk Pearl in the cold, but beautiful, winter wonderland out back, bundled up like a the Michelin Man.

(If you are farther out and about, the golf course has nice skiing, but not tracks. There are tracks set at Chilkoot and Chilkat state park roads and 26 mile near the dike.)

Happy Thursday!