Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill) made the Anchorage Daily News best books list, along with some other pretty great Alaskan books. They'd all make great Christmas gifts.
It is so easy to go through life looking feverishly for special ways to find God when God is most of all to be found in doing common things with uncommon concientiousness-- Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict
It is a busy day, with all the holiday activities, and fresh snow, and the kids on the way home for Christmas. (The girls arrive tomorrow, I think, since the ferry was canceled again today. Turns out the Fairweather is aptly named: it only runs in it.) Which is why I'll be brief. This episode shows the miners building their camp, digging a lot of holes with big machines, chasing bears, and meeting the neighboring miner. There was also a lot of gold mining information that I kind of glazed over at.
The talk at Morning Muscles was the 4.2 earthquake. It struck last night at 8:43 somewhere back behind Santa Claus Mountain and almost all of us felt it. (Kim didn't, but her neighbor's dog is in heat and is driving her Golden Retriever crazy.) Beth even ran to a doorway. I stood up and thought about it.
The Lighting of the Fort survived what organizer Annette Smith said was the worst weather, ever. It was raining snow, sideways. This has prompted concerns about the Snow Dragon's appearance in Saturday's Christmas parade. The church youth group will be manning the dragon, and Pizza Joe will be the head. There will probably be too many volunteers at the new school cafeteria on Saturday afternoon. (The dragon will be assembled at 3:30 for the 4:30 parade.) But Annette is still worried. She fears a repeat of last Saturday. The weather forecast calls for breezy with snow and 29 degrees.
I like this guide because it includes one of my books, shameless, I know. But it is extensive, and may help your holiday shopping. Please buy them at your local independent bookstore. This season, support Main Street first. If you'd like a personalized copy of either of my books email the Babbling Book store in Haines, at email@example.com and Tom and Liz Heywood will make sure I do that asap.
No doubt you were wondering why I haven't mentioned the Lighting of the Library. That's because my new column about it is in the Alaska Dispatch. The weekly column about small-town Alaskan life is back. Read it here. (My guess is it will run each Tuesday, but I'll let you know.)
The first episode of ten in the first TV series to be filmed in Haines wasn't as bad as we had expected. Haines looked good, and the only local guy in it, truck driver Donny Braaten, represented us well. Last summer the Discovery Channel filmed the Hoffman family and friends from Sandy, Oregon attempting to gold mine in Haines, up near the former (and long gone) gold rush town of Porcupine, about thirty miles out the road from Main Street on the Porcupine River.
So much to tell you about next week-- watching Gold Rush Alaska with friends and the Lighting of the Fort in the worst weather ever. The choir sang outside, knee deep in snow amidst torrential slush. But first, a little day of rest from my desk for me, and Sunday's Thought for you. It's from Mary Oliver's poem, Where Does theTemple Begin, Where Does It End?
There are things you cannot reach. But you can reach out to them all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of God.