Death, Taxes, and About Medium

Here's an idea for a new book, or  a TV show-- Death and Taxes, about an obituary writer and an accountant. (I haven't gotten farther than the title...) It came to me at the grocery store yesterday when I saw Greg, an accountant friend, and I asked if he was enjoying all his free time after tax day, and he laughed and said tax work never ends. (I had talked to him last when I was writing Erma's obituary.) Anyway, I said we both will always be working since the only sure thing is death and taxes.

I have been living in Ray Menaker's head this week, writing the eulogy for the 93 year-old newspaper publisher, teacher, arts supporter, scholar, civic leader,  conservationist, socialist, and all around towering figure in the liberal side of Haines life for fifty some years--  his service is on Saturday at 4:30 in the Chilkat Center. Today at the pool when a friend asked how I was I answered, "about medium" the Ray always did.

( Also coming up: the fundraiser for Barbie, the kids, and Nash bunch is Thursday evening at the school at 5:30,Spring Fling at the Fair is Friday at 6:00, and the preschool May Pole party and picnic is Sunday at 1:00 at Tlingit Park.)

I also visited  a medium yesterday, she's a  clairvoyant who is a guest of friends. She said things in my future look good-- and that the people I've written about are all whirling around in the spirit world and watching over me with kindness, so that was nice to know.

I am having some good luck lately, she is right about that. I won The Suzan Nightingale Best Columnist in Alaska award from the Alaska Press Club on Saturday, even though I didn't enter. (The Alaska Dispatch News did it for me, it turns out.) I won it years ago,  2002, so I guess this means I have writing endurance to match my athletic endurance? Of course writing awards are all  highly subjective. I would have given it to a much harder working Alaska columnist--  Dermot Cole. (My columns are sort of random these days, although I'd love a weekly column again. I enjoyed writing them more than anything else I do, and the relationship that  they cultivated with readers.)

That said, I love awards, who doesn't? From pre-school gold stars for picking up toys to ribbons for winning a race-- but I try to keep them in perspective with a poem from Mary Oliver taped nearby-- This stuff we do for love and happiness isn't a contest she said. This is life-- and today, this minute, is prize enough, don't you think? 

(Speaking of paying attention to what matters, the borough manager candidate whose Facebook posts were racist and sexist withdrew from the running after the outcry from just about everyone I know. But that's another story...)

One more thing-- 

The cherry blossoms are about to burst open, and I'm wondering, has anyone ever seen the exact moment a bud becomes a bloom? Can you watch that happen? It feels like right now, that I could-- although I should get back to Ray's story. He would appreciate the question though-- as he was always happy to discover new food for thoughts.




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