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 two things I’m not going to do in 2013 (or ever): The Polar Bear swim at the Port Chilkoot Beach Jan. 1 (call Greg Podsiki for details) and para-glide off Mt. Ripinsky like the fellow my friends saw the other day sailing down over their heads holding onto a kite with his snowshoes dangling from his boots. But I suppose I shouldn’t end the year with a negative attitude– so I will resolve to be a better mom, wife, friend and grandmother. I will work on being a better writer, too. Or at least a more productive one, and finish both the books I’m working on. I was pretty grumpy this morning with all the sleepless worry of what I haven’t done this year — and the worry of next summer’s wedding and this week’s trip to Florida to see  Grandma Joanne. (What will I wear? To both…so silly, I know. And what about plates for the reception?My dad, Papa Bob, hates paper. Can I rent real ones, somewhere? Maybe in Juneau?)  As soon as it was almost light– about 8:30, I took a  walk in the misty wet of this thawing morning, and I felt better right away– A lot better. My mother was right, playing outside really does cure most ills. (You can come along with me when you are done reading this if you’d like, I took a few pictures for you.) I had begun my walk thinking I hadn’t done much this year– you know, time flies and I’m a-wasting it and all that– then I realized that  2012 was a very big year, full of good changes (and a few terribly sad ones– we lost Ted but see him daily in his granddaughter’s smile.) Stoli and Nels were married, moved next door and had baby Lani, then Ivy arrived a few months later and she and her folks and sister bought their first home across town,  JJ and I both graduated from UAA, Eliza and Justin got engaged, Grandma Joanne and I watched Karen in the London Olympics, and we added Pearl to the household. Well, how about that? It is hard to believe so much happened in 12 short months. It’s as if I have begun a whole new life since this time last year.  I wonder what will happen next year? There’s so much unkown to look forward to, it’s better than Christmas. Today already feels more like the beginning of something than the end. I’m pretty sure we will go to the radio station’s masquerade ball tonight from 8-1am at the Chilkat Center. I did grab a mask and one of the loaner second hand gowns off the rack at the station, so I don’t have to worry about what to wear, although I’m still not paragliding off Mt. Ripinksy, ever,  or joining in tomorrow’s Polar Bear swim. You can,  though. Be my guest. I’ll hold the towel.