Yesterday morning by 7 I had already pedaled my bike up to the White Pass summit and back down to Skagway. This morning Im drinking coffee in bed. I only tell you about my ride to brag. I'm shameless, and perhaps a little crazy. But I have had a goal since I nearly died of hypothermia last year in the rain and snow on the same ride in the same week in May - I probably didn't share that epic dumb move. That day, I knew the way up would be warm, with the huge hill to climb for an hour or two, and traveled light. I didn't think about the chilling descent at all.
I am off to Skagway for the North Words writing symposium today through Sunday. Which means I will miss John Hagen's opening at the museum Friday. He will be exhibiting a series of photographs of the Chilkat Beaches where John and I often meet while walking dogs. His images are black and white and lushly detailed.They make even people like me who know the place so well see it with new eyes.
My father Papa Bob was here a week, and since it was only a week, and since the sun was shining, and since the family has all (just about all, we missed a son-in-law who is hunting in the Aleutians and a son who is crewing on a fishing boat that's in Seattle right now) been hanging out a lot. ( Which means I haven't been at my desk.) The good news is that it is raining now, Dad is home safe, and I managed to get three obituaries done, copyedit a manuscript, and plant the carrots. I leave for Skagway tomorrow but will check in properly before I go. Thanks for reading.
I missed the inaugural Letter Nerds gathering at the library last night. The new group has formed to promote the old art of paper correspondence. (Cards, paper and stamps will be provided at meetings), because my dad, Papa Bob, the sun worshiper is here, so it figures that it is now raining and cold enough for a fire in the stove again. It also figures the rain arrived just in time for the middle school picnic and high school graduation night.
It is the time of year when some folks hunt black bear for meat. Black bears are the pork of rural Alaska. (The butcher will turn ours into sausage and brats.) But there is more to this first hunt of the year than food. There is something that calls male hunters, especially, to the woods after those long winter evenings at home where they are expected to speak at the dinner table, watch Masterpiece Theater, or learn a few yoga stretches.
"Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work."- Anna Quindlen
The forecast is for record heat the next few days. 70s! and sunny too, which is nice for weddings (there's at least one on Saturday, the first of about 8 this summer, I believe) and building ( there's all kinds of hammering and digging and pouring of concrete. And robins and eagles feathering nests...) Chip is very happy because his lumberyard sold a large window package for a project and he beat out Home Depot on the bid. The weather also means it's time to cut the grass and plant the carrots. But when?
I just talked to my friend Tim who is in Montana preparing to bury his mother-- she had been declining a while-- and she was old, and as he said, it was time. But it's never easy. He said her wish was for me to write her obituary, and so I will. I actually don't so much write them as I gather the stuff of a life into some sort of order that fits the form.
There is so much to tell you that I'm a little overwhelmed. I don't even have kids in school anymore-- but those poor parents (and teachers) are exhausting me from just seeing the many end-of-the-year celebrations and events. Prom, concerts, the track meet this weekend, the art show, bike to school day, potlucks and parties and fundraisers and farewells.