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 should have said, “September already?” (Tonight I’m looking forward to September’s First Friday from 5-7 downtown, I saw John Hagen hanging his photography exhibit at Joanie’s gallery, and there are new art pieces in the Howser’s windows, too.) 

This morning, riding our bikes by the school we saw the police truck with all its red and blue lights flashing. My heart skipped– I feared an accident with a child. Turns out is was just one of the officers out there making sure we slowed down. “He’s probably heard you ride over 20 in the school zone,” Chip said. (We actually coast down that stretch…) It’s his birthday this month, and when I asked how he wanted to celebrate he said, “I’d like us to ride 100 miles.” Us? I did suggest that we could ride his age, 60, and that would be plenty, but he has a century on his wish list, and since he is my best friend, and since the weather may not hold and there’s moose to hunt this month too, I will pedal along with him tomorrow. Wish me luck.

The Hospice of Haines fall volunteer training session begins tomorrow morning, too. You can still sign up, just call Beth at 766-3669. You don’t have to commit to volunteering if you take the training, but probably will want to. All of our volunteers (full disclosure: I’m on the HOH board and we could use a few more, especially in the winter), say that they receive more than they give when they spend time with either bridge clients or the dying. The Hospice training is far and away the best education I have received in practicing kindness and compassion. Especially the communication component. Comfort often comes from what we don’t say, or do, by just paying attention and being kind. Imagine if we treated everyone we met as if he or she were dying? Think about that. We could change the world. In a very real way, the Hospice training is like a counseling session on how to be a better human being, and who couldn’t use a little help with that?