Heather Lende's blog

A Small-town Alaska High School Graduation

Everyone agreed it was a very good graduation. The Valedictorian, Abby Jones, who will be playing basketball at a community college in Washington next year, and who plans to major in education, communication, and psychology,  spoke sincerely, sweetly, and succinctly about the best qualities of each of her 24 classmates. Every time she named one you could see them sit up straight and smile. The dads nodded proudly or held up the camera and the moms reached for the Kleenex or fanned themselves with the program, or perhaps fumbled a bit with both and the emotion of it all.

Sunday's Thought

"YHWH [Yaweh] is definitely a verb form. We can take comfort in the certain knowledge that God is a verb, not a noun or an adjective." - Thomas Cahill



A Recipe for the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Start with an extra hour of sleep on Saturday morning, be sure the window is open so you can hear the crows and the gulls and the tide flowing past Pyramid Island. It helps if the sheets are old and soft and have been dried on the line, and that the pillows are lumpy and stuffed with feathers. A small dog on the quilt by your feet is not necessary, but a good book is. The secret to the best cup of coffee you will drink all week is that you don't make it. It is a gift.

A Spring Beach Walk Postcard

 A beach walk with Auntie JJ (Joanna Jeanne) and Baby CC (Caroline  Cooper) and of course, Forte. Like Cher and Bono, the happy water dog has one name.  (Also, note grandma's blooming cherry tree.) Also, that boot on JJ's lower leg is because of a stress fracture from all her running.




A Little Business

The good news is that the paperback of Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs is a hit, and has made the Indie bookstores national bestseller list, (#39 this week) and the Pacific Northwest booksellers bestseller list. (#13.) But, you may have heard on the radio that Amazon is now selling more Kindle books than print volumes. I'm still not sure what to think about this, except that I love bookstores and real books, so please buy your books at an independent bookstore. BUT if you do have a Kindle, both of mine are now available there.

A Little News

In real news, two young Haines artists have been given big awards.  Writer Rosie McGuire and artist Sarah Cohen both earned Rasmuson Foundation grants yesterday, congratulations! Rosie grew up at Lutak, but lives in Cordova now where she fishes commercially with her husband. She may be out slaying the Copper River Reds right now. Sarah also grew up in Haines, and lucky us, is back after college.

Art and Dirt

 My back is sore, my knees hurt, and at Morning Muscles yesterday the 8lb weights were a lot heavier than usual. It is spring, and that means digging, painted, pruning, burning and fixing stuff up. In my neighborhood gardens are being turned over, trees trimmed, one neighbor is building a deck, another is planting flowers and a couple are hanging gillnets in preparation for the fishing season.

A Few Life Lessons from the Dead

I wrote two obituaries for the Chilkat Valley News last week. Seamstress and homemaker Beverly Craig (70) died in Oregon, she and her husband Chauncey lived in Haines for many years before kidney failure meant she needed to move closer to a hospital back in 1992. Beverly had been challenged for a long time by her serious health issues, but remained cheerful and happy.

Of Hummingbirds and Hunters

 I was on my into the grocery store when I saw Doug Olerud come out of the sports shop next door with a hummingbird feeder and then prop the door wide open. I was just thinking about Doug, and what a good advocate he was for the library when he was on the borough assembly. (We could use him in the current budget talks.) Anyway, I went in to tell him so, but there was a crowd (four is a crowd right?) trying to shoo a panicked hummingbird out the front door.

Sunday's Thought

 From a poem by Emily Dickinson:

Eden is an old-fashioned house

We dwell in everyday

Without suspecting our abode

Until we drive away



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