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.

I have been writing acrostic poems for the kids — and they are a hit, except when I drop a letter from a name — at least I only missed two and they were in middle names, but one was Lende and spelling that wrong caused a lot of laughter. It is easier to write these on my typewriter, but I’m giving it a go for you–  it was so wet and windy my camera could hardly take this photo, so I couldn’t send a pretty postcard.


A New Year’s Wish 

December 31 2018


N  ew Year’s Eve at 2:45 in the afternoon
E  everyone is sleeping, the dogs are snoring too, and still wet from the morning walk at    
             almost sunset
W  hich comes early on December 31 especially when it’s raining snow sideways


Y  ou never can predict the weather. We have skated snowshoed skied ran walked and puddle          
             slopped through 37 Alaska winters. Is that possible?

E  xcellent years all of them chock full of love and joy, peace, health,    
             always good health. Children and dogs. A lot of food, too. So many meals around the big table. 

A   ctually, there were a few bumpy ones, accidents and illnesses sorrows and anger.
             Tragedy and disaster. Not everyone who shared those holidays is still here. More have arrived though. My husband says “It could be so much worse” and that becomes true, and is a comfort and why I love living with him, especially when so much has been so wonderful.

R   eally, what more could I wish?

S    haring these years with a family and dogs and you, and walks on the beach (even today it
                was so awful we laughed) and turkey soup on the stove (have I told you the Christmas turkey was perfect? I had to make up for Thanksgiving, which was not.) And a warm house, and as my dad would say, good work to do?

E   very year he writes a Christmas card. (A tradition as old as I am, I think, and this year
               I’ll be 60.) He closed the last one “May you have good health, good work, and full days.” Hopeful and realistic never too much to ask. I’ll take it, thank you. And pass it on to you. 

V    is the letter that I think of as love, and this morning on the radio while it was still dark
               Cheri played Stevie Wonder singing, “I just called to say I love you.”  All who heard it stopped and made a call, or a text, said a prayer, cried, and I bet sang along and I hope were suddenly so grateful for the lousy weather and turkeys good and bad.

E    xcuse me repeating it but the best wishes are often the oldest. I wish you glad tidings of 
                comfort and joy. Eyes, ears, and hearts for wonder too–  the why and the wow- I probably should have used all that on the first W, but the soup needs a stir so it will have to do, for now.)