Monday's Thought? (A Canning Rambler)

I know. I usually post Sunday's Thought, but these change of season days have me off my schedule completely. I am watching the pressure gages on three canners for the next hour-- so I figured I'd catch up. I had planned on adding a Sunday Thought yesterday, but missed it because I was smoking salmon, and had to cut the alder and get the fire going and load the smoke house early yesterday morning, and of course walk Pearl, and then Stoli called and said she was coming over with her family to make us waffles, and then my husband's hunting buddies showed up  to help him fix the motor he got all gummed up with silt on Saturday while looking for a good place to moose hunt up the river  (and to have a few waffles) and then  2 1/2 year old Caroline wanted to wear her yellow dress, butterfly wings, sunglasses (it was breezy-- but sunny early yesterday), and go to church. You should have seen her praying with her little hands squeezed tight, a blond pigtail, in that darling outfit-- we could have been on a poster for the Republican convention, except that being a grandmother has made me more firmly than ever a Democrat. Then up Mt. Riley, with blueberry picking delaying the return, and just when we sat down to a quiet dinner (all local except the salt, pepper, butter, and olive oil--)  a big brown bear loped across the tidal flats heading toward the smokehouse, and we had to grab the fish quick. Since it was already in the kitchen, I figured I'd stay up late and jar it. This is life right now. As soon at it starts raining (now?) everything will slow down. I will finish that new book. Re-write the older novel. No doubt start the new novel whirling around in my head. My friend Sedge says writing a book is simple -- a book is 60,000 words, so that's 1,000 words a day for 60 days. (Then you can spend two years re-writing it, if you are like me. If you are like Lynn Schooler, you can start another one.)  Anyway, I saw the view on Mt. Riley yesterday and thought of Pam Houston's line from her new book, Contents May Have Shifted, which I am  reading now, because I like her, and because I'm interviewing her about it Thursday night in Anchorage, at the Loussac Library, and then going down to Homer with her and a dozen other writers for the Tutka Bay Lodge writing conference. The irony that she feels most at home traveling and I  am often homesick in Juneau, where I will be tomorrow visiting two daughters there-- oh joy-- before flying to Anchorage---  is not lost on me. Even with so much to look forward to, when I woke up this morning with a stomach ache that I was pretty sure was cancer or appendicitis, my husband said he was 100% positive it was my chronic please-can't-I just-stay-here disease flaring up. Sigh. Here then, is Monday's Thought: 

 " I have spent my life trying to understand why this rock and this ache go together, why a granite peak is more dramatic half dressed in clouds (like a woman), why sunlight under fog is better than the sum of its parts, why my best days and my worst days are always the same days, why (often) leaving seems the only solution to the predicament of loving (each other) the world." -- Pam Houston

And now a little slide show-- because the camera takes notes these days, and the images say more than I am able to right now, since I keep hopping up and down to adjust the stove so my canners stay above 110 lbs but don't rise so high they explode. I have spent my life making this home, and this family, in this small Alaskan community, and it is, now that I think about it (thanks to Pam)  the staying that seems my only solution to that predicament of loving each other and the world. 



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