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.

Here are a few things to know for Tuesday: Wear your ice grippers, I know they may be a pain to get on and off your boots, but they are better than a broken elbow and we are not out of the woods at all, ice wise. it looks like spring, but at 10 degrees and blowing 25 it’s really cold, and while there are bare patches of road and sidewalks, enough even for Chip and I to ride bikes– as long we go back and forth on the same 3 mile stretch and wear a lot of warm clothes– the most hazardous parts of each outing are those icy places closest to the doors you want to go in and out of. At the pool, Marge, who hasn’t been swimming in a while, what with the winter flu bugs and the ice and cold, said that it was better than it had been in her driveway. She keeps a can of sand by her door and sprinkles it ahead of her to the car.  She said back when she was in her late seventies, or maybe it was her early eighties, she once had  to crawl back up to the house, spreading the sand in front of her on the ice as she went. “You do what you have to do,” she said, smiling, and using a cane to steady herself on the way into the pool. I was so inspired by that I had to tell you.  I have been a little lax on blogging lately, and I apologize. Mainly it’s because the voice I hear in my head as winter tightens her grip, is something along the lines of “who cares what you think?” This has been reinforced by my new foray into public service on the planning commission. All the decisions we made at my first meeting were questioned by the mayor and postponed or will be appealed. Then again, this is March, and that’s what happens. People dig in and hold on tight. It’s either fight or flight, and if you can’t fly out of here, well, you get the picture. Luckily we have Lent coming up, to remind us to be kind and patient with each other, and that a little suffering is a good thing. Today is Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday, the last night of fun before the 40 days of fasting and spiritual improvement  until Easter.  At our church we have a pancake supper with lots of bacon and beer. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, when we are reminded that from dust we came and to dust we return. Or in the north, maybe we are also made of ice and snow. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of last season’s fatal heli-ski accident, the one that my daughter’s boyfriend was in, and thankfully survived, and hopefully remembering that will keep the heli-skiers from any harm this season.  I think that part of the issue some residents have with our extreme mountain sports is that people have died doing them. Three  so far, and that is a burden that is hard to bear, especially for mothers and fathers who have adventure seeking sons and daughters. I know we can’t protect them all, and that’s a risk they want to take, but losing just one, if he was your one, would be nearly unbearable.  Those of us who don’t ski down untracked mountains don’t really understand the  thrill.

And of course, in that manic March way– who wouldn’t want to be up on top of this world on another bluebird day like today? If they can find deep enough snow (the mountains are awfully bare) the skiers and boarders will be out enjoying it.  Be safe, is what I said to my daughter’s boyfriend a year ago, and what I wish for all the adventure seekers today.

Also, the basketball teams, cheer leaders and pep band will be on the ferry to Juneau this afternoon for the regional basketball tournament, the Fish and Game advisory board meets at 7:00 in the assembly chambers, there’s a joint school board assembly meeting at 6:30 at the school, and mark your calendar as Saturday night the Arts Council presents Ruth Moody of the Wailin’ Jennys (you’ve heard them on Prairie Home Companion) at 7:30 in the Chilkat Center.