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’m afraid I lost my temper in a meeting I thought was about food carts and trucks, and how to make them work for Haines while still supporting local eateries– but it turned into a discussion about vendors selling– or renting– stuff out of trailers parked downtown, or in the Fort, or anywhere– you know, artwork, or lumber, or groceries, or books or scooters, that the representatives from the Borough Assembly argued they supported as free enterprise. Anyway, I got mad, and that is not ever helpful or even neighborly. I apologize.  (It’s also not good to blame The Borough for stuff, when what I really mean is a few elected officials.) 

There are so many good people who work for The Borough. What’s not to love about Miss Holly at the library? Or the way Kathy greets you when you walk in the Borough office, and Henry’s smile and good humor at the dock, or the way Eddy can fix anything, and Dean is always polite and never seems to lose his temper,  but right now, I’m especially thinking of Ralph, who is retiring as public works chief– his job is being advertised- although he can’t be replaced.

The other day it was raining and my granddaughters, ages 6 and 4, were over and we decided to re-arrange the doll house,  clean it up a bit, and make the ‘yard’ neater (as in pick up the toys on the floor) and just when it seemed that we were all done, Ivy said– ‘What about Ralph’s house?’ –and Caroline said, “We need Ralph’s house!’– And so she dumped the blocks back out and she and her sister built another house, and then we all agreed how much better the doll house is now that Ralph’s place is next door, and how nice it is to have good neighbors and to be a good neighbor, which means sharing jars of fresh jam and shortbread. (And how lucky they are that even though Ralph is retiring he’ll still live right across the driveway from them.)