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.

Maybe we should call it manic May? I mean, I wanted spring so badly that I was getting kind of depressed– okay, really grumpy actually. But when it suddenly arrived yesterday– late, but in a spectacular way– all shorebirds, sea lions, bears, wolves, moose, swans– sun and even warmth– I felt like I had back when I was nine months pregnant with my fourth child and so wanted to deliver her, until the first labor pangs commenced and I remembered the work of bringing a new life into the world. I could have used another day, or at least a nap, first.  Thanks to the good weather, my to-do list has just filled up with so many things which all must be done right now, or this week and next– and the week after– especially if I want a nice garden (what a year I chose to tear mine all up and re-do the beds) and an organized wedding for my daughter–  (is it really only about six weeks away?) — And, of course we decided to enter as a  two person team instead of the usual four in the annual bike race– so pedal, pedal, pedal I must if I am to survive sitting on the bike for 4-5 hours on June 15– which makes it not so easy to do yard work, or sit in a chair. Oh– my book deadline is now July 1, which means serious desk time. Like full-time. Here’s the funny thing– when I started ranting about what size to make the new pea fence, and what color to stain the house trim so it will look nice for the relatives coming for the wedding, and when would I find time to ride my bike and edit the book, and what color compostable forks do I order from the sustainable wedding website, and how can I get the smell of Pearl’s fishy spring puke out the rug?– My 23 year old son said, “White people problems.” (I was not sure if I should print that, but it’s funny, and you know that he means–  privileged people who have time to complain about digging in the dirt and riding bikes,  regardless of skin color. He should have said first-world problems, if he’d known it was for publication.) The thing is, he’s right. My worries are not even close to real world issues. They are blessings. Honestly. Am I really grouching about an abundance of riches from sunshine and weddings to riding a bicycle in the paradise that is spring in Alaska? Really? My problems are so very few and small — and mostly imagined or chosen. I can’t believe I even shared them with you. I’m sorry.  Which is why I must give something back to the suddenly sunny world that is so full of wonderful things– and go pick trash off the side of the road, right now, before the community clean-up ends. After that, there will be time to finish the book, and order those  compostable party cups. Some one has to walk the dog, too. Might as well be me. (My son should have said “Golden Retriever owners’ problems.” From now on, whenever I start to rant about riches, just say that. I’ll know exactly what you mean.)