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.

That’s what my neighbor Betty says about me sometimes– “I know you are busy busy busy” and I always say “not really, I just have a lot going on at this moment. Friday I have nothing.” Which is sort of true. I’ll be sitting around waiting for my daughter to go into labor…

I arrived home from Thanksgiving in Juneau on Sunday and jumped right into to an obituary for my favorite logger, Leo Smith, who died after he rolled his skidder and hit his head. Leo would have been 90 in January. His service is 11 am Saturday at the legion. I will miss it, because I will be back in Juneau again. I’ll miss First Friday on Main Street and the Lighting of the Fort ( 5 sharp Saturday) and the Christmas bazaar at the school, too. (Chip will pick up our tree from the booster club.) I’m on grandma duty, with Eliza due any minute. My job will be to care for little James (2). I will let you know how that goes. I’m also signing books at Hearthside downtown in Juneau on their First Friday, so maybe I will see you there? I was going to be there anyway, and it was nice to be asked.

Speaking of nice to be asked, I couldn’t tell you this before because these things are supposed to be a secret until they are published, but the New York Times asked me to write a book review, and I said yes, even though I had never written one before. Ever. Because that has been the secret to my entire career. Just say yes is my advice to any writers. Duly Noted? Sure. Obituaries? Okay. A weekly column? Why not? A book? Absolutely! This book is called On Living, by Kerry Egan, and it is right up my alley, as it is written by a hospice chaplain about her life and work, and good lives and how they end. Click here to read it.

All lives do end, even Leo’s, and also this week another former logger and local legend, Erwin Hertz (80) died of an apparent heart attack at his brother’s home in Montana, in the same family farmhouse he was born in. So now, I have to finish that story before tonight’s deadline.

I’m behind because I spent a good part of yesterday studying my 184 page Borough Assembly meeting packet, and then the meeting was canceled because it was supposed to snow. (It rained.) I know they mean well, but I think the newer staff don’t realize that the weather service issues those ‘potential risk to life and property’ storm alerts about once a week all winter, and we sort of wait and see, and mostly it’s business as usual. And that early dismissal at the school is not as unusual because of the highway bus run. That was definitely the right call.  My friend Tom blames the internet. He says the news services love warnings and danger alerts, and when they issue them, then people are supposed to pay attention, because what happens if you don’t and there is a tragedy? It’s sort of like cell phones. How did we hike or travel without them before? And if we leave ours behind and then need it, well, that’s not good. As the mayor, who canceled the meeting emailed: better safe than sorry–  

So, I guess Betty is right. I’m ‘busy busy busy’ today, and then packing and cleaning and heading out on the ferry tomorrow. Friday I really do have nothing except First Friday at Hearthside. I’ll bring my laptop to Juneau, and stay in touch. I will miss the December festivities here,  and it looks like another storm warning anyway, so hopefully everything won’t be canceled again, and much colder weather, and I’m a little sorry to be away, but the best kind of busy is waiting for a new baby, and hopefully holding one soon.