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.

As the old song goes, snow on snow on snow, although the midwinter has been far from bleak. It’s busy, bright, and astonishing, actually. We have forgotten about life with real snow over the last few dry winters. I had to find the shovels. My old snowshoes broke the first day out with them, but I quickly replaced them, as they are vital to my winter well-being. You really can’t walk on the snowy beach without them. Yesterday my friend and I figured we could take a quick dog trot before an indoor workout, and bare-booted it to the tideline thigh-deep and tripping on buried rocks and drift wood. We had to walk back into the blowing snow because the woodland trail was a long way up. In other news, the dogs won’t go out without me. You would think they’d walk themselves, but that is not happening. So here is my last call with them (and to check on the chickens) before bed. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. I want to stay here, always.

“If you have to leave home this morning, not all roads are plowed and the snow is deep,” says Janine on the radio, adding that there is a winter storm warning until six pm tonight for more.I don’t think I’ll try to drive to the pool. She also reads the news that the flu has arrived. 70 students were out of school on Wednesday. The  kids (big and little) next door have it. The ferry, the first one in a week, will also be late, arriving around 2 am Sunday instead of noon Saturday. Chip will be on it. I’m trying not to take it personally. Meanwhile, the home improvement projects continue.

And the crew at Lutak Lumber are all there helping me with them.(More paint please, “the usual,” I say, and Jimmy mixes another gallon of Casual White. Which could describe the landscape right now.)

The trip there and back is a wonder. Why have I never paid attention to this corner view before?

And while we work Peter the painter and I listen to the impeachment trial on KHNS. Shouting at each other up and down the stairs “Did you hear that?” “You have got to be kidding!” This makes Trixie anxious. Could Southeast Alaska invite Harry and Meghan to be our honorary King and Queen and join the Commonwealth as a new provence of Canada, or even a small country like New Zealand? With free healthcare, university education, and reliable ferries? The Haines Borough even borders British Columbia, and they’d be really out of the way up here, no one could find them. Their dogs would love it.

Last night JJ called and said my blog makes it sound as if I’m living the life of Riley. It’s all smoke and mirrors. I’m barely keeping up. I didn’t even attempt to drive over Cemetery Hill to choir practice last night, but I will this evening since we are singing the Star Spangled Banner at the basketball games tonight. The Wrangell Wolves should be here, as I hear they have chartered a boat from Juneau. The first game begins at 5:30. The popcorn is good, and so are the hot dogs. The company in the stands is as entertaining the games. Tomorrow you can ski or snowshoe to a Farmer’s Market at the ANB Hall from 10-2,  and Sunday night at 7 that Arts Council  Northern Lights Showcase evening of music and spoken word that was canceled because of last Sunday’s big storm will give it another go. Peter is staying home today to practice. His band will be playing. And Janine, who is now  suggesting that I keep a shovel in my car should I venture out, will be reading a piece she published recently in a literary magazine. All good reasons to get there, one way or the other.