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.

“While the rosary has many purposes, it is often prayed before, during, and after the time of death. It is considered an intercessory prayer, which asks for Mary’s intercession with God.” –Instructions from The Rosary Prayer Service for the Deceased.

O sisters, let’s go down,
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters, let’s go down
Down to the river to pray — Traditional Folk Hymn

Thursday’s I volunteer on the Back Country show at KHNS from 1-3. There are community announcements to read, the weather, road conditions, ferry schedule, Listener Personals (a kind of audio message board) and more. The information is all mixed up with music that ideally should make people want to keep the radio on rather than turn it off. I figure the tunes are background. But I choose them carefully.

I spent the morning working on an obituary for teacher, birder and Episcopalian, Pam Randles (79, Parkinson’s). I learned a lot I did not know about her past in the Peace Corps (she signed up as an adult, a few days after her only child turned 18),and educating girls in Qatar.

I liked the play she co-wrote about an historical shipwreck and her bird talks on KHNS. It was weird that there were only two Listener Personals today, one from Jim that the ski trails at 25 -Mile are groomed, and another noting that someone saw a hummingbird this morning and to have your feeders ready. There is a lot of fresh snow. Over a foot, and it has drifted, plowed and been shoveled higher.

A hummingbird? Pam would have been all over this. (Could it be her?)

Last night I went to a rosary service for Carol Waldo who also died recently. She had not been well, and I won’t be writing her obituary because I’m going to Australia next week, so I don’t know how old she was but I’m pretty sure it’s older than Pam. I do know that Carol’s children were both killed in accidents – one cycling and one in a plane crash. She donated the life insurance to the Friends of the Library for children’s programs. She turned tragedy into something good. She lost her children, but generations of kids have read stories, played games and made paper flowers on Mother’s Day because of her gift. The editor of the paper told me that on deadline days he used to see Carol and her sister walking downtown very early, before anyone was moving, picking up trash.

Carol and Pam were very different—not in the same social circles—old, new- left, right. They both made Haines a better place. The last song I played today was Down to the River to Pray, and I dedicated it to Pam and Carol.

I love the rosary service (and I am not Catholic) because I have great faith in women and in Mary to watch out for us. To nudge God to give us the benefit of the doubt, and some more authority. Holy Mary Mother of God Pray for Us.

Retired teacher Jansy Hansen was Pam’s good friend to the end. She is a devout Catholic and so was Carol. She led the rosary for Carol last night.

One of the announcements I read today noted that the Women’s Christian Fellowship is meeting Jan. 13th at 10 am at the Sacred Heart church, and Jansy is the speaker. The topic: “Becoming Peacemakers Through Faith.”

That may be the only way to become a peacemaker.

Keep the faith.