Anchorage Trip & More

I will be in Anchorage on Thursday, September 7 from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm ( I note the hour because I have been up from 5-7 am a lot these days..) at the UAA Campus Bookstore, reading from my books and discussing "The Local and Community in Small Town Alaska Politics." (Once again, inadvertently, I have a new area of expertise.) Please join us. I'd love to see you.  (All UAA Campus Bookstore events are free and open to the public.   There is free parking for this event in the South Lot, Sports Complex NW Lot, West Campus Central Lot, and Sports Campus West Lot.)

After that I will treat myself  to three days in Homer at Tutka Bay Lodge for a writing retreat with-- are you ready for this? Louise Erdrich! --And about ten great Alaska writers, including my friend Eowyn Ivey. The annual 49 Writers sponsored retreat is way across the bay from Homer, and a little place of cozy and luxurious cabins, great food (our host is chef and writer Kirstin Dixon), and full of smart conversations. I feel I need this more than ever in these troubled times. 

This also explains these "toys" on the couch.  (One for me and one for Trixie...)

Speaking of Trixie,

With all due respect to Mary Oliver, she is why I wake early. And why my hair has been wet and my clothes filthy for a week. House training a puppy requires a lot of slow walks and standing around in the yard, and every now and then she needs a ride, and so I have a muddy puppy pressed against my chest. Pearl  wishes we'd walk a little faster, and longer. But she's being a good sport, especially considering how she prefers to sleep in. 

 I have been worried and upset about the state of the world. Marching Nazis and the president's craziness that has gone beyond tolerable, no matter what your politics. Then there's Barcelona. Korea. Climate change. There's also a kind of helplessness settling in,  as in what can I do--  that's compounded by social media and on-line 24/7 news updates.

I hope it's not a cop-out to confess that the best thing about Trixie, is that we are too busy to be plugged in. This morning at 5:30, after Pearl had gone back to sleep with Chip, the puppy and I were taking one last loop around, and paying attention, and moving slow enough, that I saw a plastic bottle peeking out of the seaweed tide-line, and as I reached for it,  I spied a bear on the beach nosing in the grass ahead of us. I scooped up Trixie and marched carefully and quickly home. In a little bit I'm meeting my neighbor whose broken hip has been repaired, at the ferry, and helping her settle back in. We spent yesterday preparing her home. Maybe that's the best response to the news. Take care of a little one, or a neighbor, or a stranger. Pick some trash up. Hold open a door. Smile. Say thank you.  



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