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.

I have always been terrible with titles, and so I know this one isn’t very clever but I have never let that stop me. I used to write columns for the Anchorage Daily News and Woman’s Day and the editors always picked the titles so I never had to think about them. I just wrote what was on my mind and they decided what it was about, or how to catch a reader’s eye. ( I would love to write another regular column — it’s my favorite form. But that’s for another note.) My working title for If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name was The Great Alaska Death Book. (I know. That’s awful.)

Anyway, first, I wanted to share this picture with you if you haven’t seen it– of the moose in the moonlight the other night. I took it from the bedroom window, and then sang  “It’s a marvelous night for a moose dance” all the next day. The snow pack froze hard when the temperatures dropped– hard enough for her to stay up on top. I had been worried she would break her leg post-holing, or collide with a car up on Mud Bay Road. Then the weather changed.

Now, it has changed again. It is raining and windy too, and there’s a little flooding– puddles are becoming ponds on the icy roads and in our driveway. Pearl doesn’t like it one bit.

Last night I asked my daughters if they were worried about the heavy rain in the forecast on top of all this snow,  and they all said NO. Loudly. They said there is so much to worry about with every other person catching Covid, storms, the state of the world and if the neighbor is okay or a ferry will ever come again– that they are DONE. They said I should be, too.

After hearing on the radio that the Haines Police dispatchers all caught Covid and were still working in the Public Safety Building, I decided to just take responsibility for my personal safety. For starters, I needed windshield wipers. The rubber had torn off mine in that cold snap and when the slush started I couldn’t see anything except a smear and a black noodle whipping back and forth. I drove to The Parts Place slowly, like one of those old lady drivers, holding my chest to the wheel, nose above the smear. 20 mph. Luckily there was no traffic and what there was, like me, crept along on high alert for a beam of headlights shining out the snow-walled driveways. At intersections, I nosed out between berms higher than the roof of my Subaru.

“What year is your car?” Tyler asked after I told him I needed new wipers.

“It’s a new Forester. 2010.”

He laughed. I did the math. My new car is 12 years-old?

“It only has 30,000 miles on it,” I said.

The new wipers are not on my car yet (the instructions are easy for little engineers…) So I did not drive to the pool this morning as the wind lashed the rain against the house and the rest of the snow crashed off the roof. I didn’t want to be the first person to test the ice roads, even in my well-kept 12 year-old car, with my even better cared for 62 year-old body. (I can  walk a few miles home should I slide in the ditch.)

So I rode my bike upstairs and listened to Nanci Griffith and the first song I heard was “Who Knows Where the Time Goes.”  Can I tell you how that made me laugh? And how when the rain strafed the side of the house like gravel, how much I have missed the sound of windy wet days? I pedaled harder and even sang along with Nanci to so many other songs that are really poems that she left for me (and you) to hear even if she’s no longer alive. I imagined another book, and since I didn’t have any place to write my ideas down, I filed the vision for it in my head under Caregiving on Mud Bay Road.  I only biked for an hour and four minutes, so I don’t have much figured out yet, but I do have some scenes for two chapters, titled (for now), Time and Love. I’m writing Love first.