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 can’t believe it’s a month since I checked in. I’m fine. No one is hurt or ill or in some crisis. I apologize if I worried you.Time really does fly when you are having fun– right out the open windows– and it is not like a boomerang, these moments won’t ever return– and it is  summertime and the sun is shining and the house has been filled with family and I have a fall book deadline.

 My dad Papa Bob was here, and oldest daughter Eliza, her husband Justin and the little red heads. JJ came from Dutch Harbor too, and so we’ve had almost the entire clan– except for my son who is off in Australia surfing and chef-ing, and JJ’s husband who is keeping the fleet’s electronic systems running out in the Aleutians. Then Sarah’s husband’s brothers, sister, their kids, and his parents came to town for a family vacation too– 

Did I mention Eliza brought her dog with her, so for two weeks there were three large, wet, hairy dogs in the house, and with Stoli’s dog next door, that usually meant four, or even five, when Sarah brought hers? Yes, there is sand all over and the house, and yes, I still have some in my sheets.

In addition to a lot of meals, naps (children and dogs, mostly), and fooling around in the backyard, we raced in the Chilkat Challenge Triathlon– a very fun paddle, cycle, run event showcasing the Chilkat River. (You are looking at where it meets the sea. Isn’t it grand?) Justin was the first solo finisher, Eliza’s team was second (she cycled),  and the team I pedaled on and Stoli ran on, was third.  Our paddler was a nice guy and good kayaker who is in the Air Force near Fairbanks. He competed last year too, but lost his teammates at the last minute, so organizers called us and we jumped in. JJ ran the 9-mile final leg for fun with her little sister. The party at the end featured the best tamales I’ve eaten North of Mexico made by Sarah Bishop and Melina Shields.  Then on the 4th of July, my Sarah won the Mt. Ripinsky Run, beating JJ’s  women’s record. (I had it when JJ captured it for the first time, though she and Jess Kayser Forester had tied for it since then, and after that JJ had run it even quicker a few years later)–  Time passing is worth celebrating too, isn’t it? 

James also got a haircut and maybe Molly could use one. Has anyone seen her hair ties? 

Also, the new back door is almost installed. I still need to varnish the inside.

There have been many municipal meetings for  we borough assembly members, apparently there is no summer recess, although everyone speaks less to shorten them. The children’s summer theater presents “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” Saturday and Sunday, and the Southeast Alaska Fair is next week. (Want to bake a cake or  a pie for Hospice of Haines? Drop in off at the booth.) The fishing is better than expected, at least for the drift gillnetter in our family, and this morning we surprised a bear on our bike ride, but he skipped across the road and ran up into the woods. When I told Chip it scared me, he said, ” And this from the woman who has had  a bear in her backyard two nights in a row?”  That’s true. He dug up a log next to the picnic area last night, but seems polite, since he stayed clear of the garden and he didn’t even tip over the nearby clay pot of pansies when pawing up the rotting driftwood looking for grubs. The electric fence has kept him away from the chicken coop, I think, since he hasn’t bothered them either.  But yesterday the dogs had two baths after rolling in bear poop. (Yes, twice. Ick.) But honestly? It’s a small price to pay for life in paradise.