Now I'm really home!
I will be staying put for a while. There's a day trip to Skagway to sign books at the bookstore there next week I think-- (I'll let you know what day, when I do), and Sitka in September, and hopefully a Juneau reading in the fall to benefit the Glory Hole homeless shelter and soup kitchen, and then Homer in April. My sights are now on getting the garden and greenhouse in order, preparing the coop for new chicks (arriving any day), and Joanna's wedding in July. (She is very organized and this is our 4th, so I kind of know what's what.) Oh, and the bike race June 20. (Family team with Chip, Justin, Eliza, and I. Baby James will come along in the car seat to keep us all from being too competitive.)
I arrived home Sunday afternoon and have been pedaling with Chip and walking Pearl (and bathing Pearl who seems to think a rotten sleeper shark hide that a bear dragged into the bushes near the house is better than Channel #5 when rubbed liberally on her neck, chest, and shoulders. It's not. It's really, really bad. Baking soda in the baby shampoo helps, some.)
It is tourist season, and I am apparently a minor attraction, so in between the coop and garden work today I'm meeting with a tour group of 17 from Australia at the Captain's Choice Motel, and RV visitors for coffee at the Rusty Compass. ( I warned them that I may smell like Pearl and show up with muddy knees.) Tomorrow is my first reading on a Holland America Line cruise ship (every Weds. in Haines this summer). The on-board book club selection is Find the Good for the season, and If You Lived Here is recommended Alaska cruise reading, so it should be fun to meet with travelers familiar with my work and answer questions about Haines.
In the meantime, Pearl and I warmed up for tomorrow's reading by checking out the scene in town yesterday when the Infinity was at the Port Chilkoot Dock. (There are more passengers and crew by at least 1,000 than residents of Haines.)
Even with a huge ship in, Haines is still quieter than any place I've been in the last month, and just a mile away and over the hill, you wouldn't even know anything was happening here at all. The irises and roses are all in bloom, but Pearl only has eyes for her slimy tennis ball. (Which she carried to town and back. Lost once and then found again.)