Sunday morning was spent in a reading room Zoom with Dina Nayeri (The Ungrateful Refugee) and Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere) for the Alaska Quarterly Review’s 40th anniversary benefit series. (I know. I am star struck, too.) They were funny, smart and normal. Such nice people. All that, and transporting, both with their readings and discussion of their work and these times, and where they were speaking from—Celeste was in Cambridge and Dina in a neighbor’s house in a small village in France. Sometimes I curse the way Zoom (and to be fair) Covid-19 has changed everything, but hours like that one make me grateful. As my yoga teacher says— it’s important to notice what delights us, and that hour of Zoom, did. The first snow fell on a walk afterwards, and it felt lucky to be up on the just-frozen pond the moment it began.

I’m trying not to hold my breath, but in between Zooms and walks outdoors, and Papa Bob’s chats I worry. (My dad just said that he dreamed there was a lion sleeping next to him, and that it was so real that it gave him a start–  I asked if he was scared, and he thought a minute and said, “No. She’s friendly. A good lion. I like her,” and dozed off again.) I am taking that as a positive sign for next week’s news. I am trying to avoid election anxiety, and thus reading the books, food, obits, or real estate sections of the NY Times and skipping the rest. Instead, I have been browsing closer to home for the “news” that filters in between the local news on KHNS and my weekly real paper (the Chilkat Valley News never, ever shouts at me from the comment section and when I’m through with it, lights the kindling in the stove.) My recent favorite finds from the Haines Community website  on-line classifieds which I have been reading outloud to Dad, are:

“A Very Fine Rooster,” needs a home (or?), as his owner writes, “I can’t whack him, but if you can I won’t judge.” He is “too crow-y for town living,” she says. ( I think it is a she, because I have a similiar dilemma. Two roosters are one too many for my small flock. I like one a lot, but the other is nice enough, and very good looking, so if you want him, let me know. I won’t ask what you plan to do with him, either.)

And then there’s this one:  There is a free defunct satellite TV dish, that could make “ a good frame for a pagoda roof.” Or a coop for your new rooster?

There are a lot of free “yard sales” as in tables or boxes on the side of the road with a “Free” sign on them. There was even a free rickshaw out the highway. I’m not sure what happened to it, and so far no one has trotted by the house pulling one.

With the rain and snow this time of year, you can’t leave books at the end of the driveway, which is why a free box of spiritual guides are posted on-line instead, including, You Can Work Wonders and Healing the Soul of America. Speaking of which, I already voted early for fixing what ails us. I hope you will join me. Please. So that next week, and in the weeks to come, there will be a resounding affirmation of decency, truth, kindness, the environment, and science–  and a rebuke of the nightmare of the last four years. My toes and fingers are crossed for Joe and Kamala. Actually, I’m about ready to start chucking horseshoes over my left shoulder. I think I saw some posted in the classifieds.