I wish I had my camera yesterday when little Lani and I were on the beach, and saw two kite boarders skipping over the surf, flying between the cove and Pyramid Island in the strong wind-- and how one, my neighbor James, who has a South African accent, came zooming right up to us on the shore, dumped the big sail, and stepped onto the beach in his wetsuit and harness, holding the slick board, and said hello-- it was a 007 moment-- I half expected him to peel off the suit and reveal a dinner jacket-- after a little chat, he hopped back into the water , hooked up his board and said goodbye,
My schedule has been turned on its head thanks to a darling 17 month old, which is a good thing-- as I'm a little tired, frankly, and appreciate the slower, gentler pace. The best thing about having little children around is that as long you don't try to do anything else, caring for them is easy. The fine summer weather is wiping everyone out. I mean, when it's sunny and 70 for months, we have to ride bikes, climb mountains, garden, stain the deck, picnic, jam and fish-- throw sticks to swimming dogs-- all of it. It never ends!
First, the great good news is that Stoli is well, she and Nels are in Anchorage and the doctors have stopped the labor, and hope to keep it stopped for at least 2 more weeks (Stoli is 34 weeks today, term is 40, but their 17 month old Lani was 2 weeks early...).Stoli is also very healthy, and the baby in her womb is healthy too-- she just wants to meet us soon, is all. You may have gathered that it has not been a quiet week in this Lake Woebegone at all. Thursday my daughter and her husband and toddler left for six weeks in Sitka to wait for baby number two (due Sept.
I've been humming that John Prine tune, "I'm taking a walk, going outside..." this weather has a pull stronger than gravity. And who can say no to Pearl and her ball? And a person can't work all day. A writer on a deadline must stretch her legs. Breathe deeply, and get sand between her toes. (Or more accurately, mud. The melting glaciers have deposited a thick sheen of goopy till below the tide line and it's turned the inlet the color of creamy coffee.) Speaking of which,I am sipping another cup, and back at my desk, and that book I'm supposed to be writing?
This weather just has me all sun drunk-- it is crazy, and beautiful, and as Mary Jean just said on the phone (she had dialed my number by mistake, but we had a nice chat anyway), it even smells like summer used to when she was a kid in San Diego-- the sand, the sea, the suntan lotion.
It's Southeast Alaska State Fair time and Hospice Desserts to Die For booth time. You know what they say, when it rains it pours? So of course the berries need picking, the garden has exploded, the sockeye are running, the days are shrinking, the dogs are shedding, company is still arriving, and you are a tad behind at work. Oh aren't we blessed? Showcase your baking skill, and earn that doing-good busy-baking feeling, by (please) preparing a divine dessert (cake, pie, cupcakes, trifle?) for the Hospice booth. You may drop it off Thursday, Friday, or Saturday when you come to the fair.
You may know that my daughter Stoli is expecting in mid September, but her first baby was born quite healthy on her own time, about two weeks early, so we think this one might be early. She'll be leaving for Sitka to stay closer to the hospital on August 12. I will be on standby, waiting to rush down (or rush as much as ferries and planes allow) to babysit Lani when Stoli thinks she is about to commence labor so she and her husband can both be in the delivery room. Last night at dinner Stoli said she'd been feeling some contractions.
I have read that when you walk the dogs and they do all that stopping and sniffing it is their way of reading the news. The dogs and I (we still have the grand dog Annie, the honeymooners return to pick her up this weekend) have been walking down the beach and up and over Cemetery Hill to town every day where I hole up above the lumberyard and work on that book. (I really hope I'll meet the August 1 deadline. The only hope I have is to leave the house, otherwise I just can't stay indoors.) I love the new commute, though. The dogs aren't the only ones who get their news on our walk.
At least for one week. As I typed my way toward the end of that new book deadline, I got an unexpected boost yesterday when I learned that If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name, my first book, made the New York Times Bestseller List for July 21st in ebooks. It's #17. Wild is #18. Seriously? Pinch me. (I have seen a copy of the list. Powers that be say it's real. If you get the Times mail me the list after you read it next week, okay? I'm at PO Box 936, Haines AK 99827. I'd like to frame it. Heck, it may never happen again.) I did ask my agent, Ms.