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.

Naah… As they say around here, there is no such thing as bad weather if you dress properly. (Another wise seasonal saying is to dress for the weather, not the vehicle, just in case.)

I have great rain gear and good rubber boots but even so, the fire was warm and the coffee hot and I was not too keen on a march this morning in the gray rain, again– (It has become a pattern this heavy rain and the accompanying weather alerts: flood watches, high winds, check stream banks and be prepared for trees rooted in soggy ground to fall. Landslides. Let’s not think too much about that okay?) Still, it is good to have friends who insist on moving in all weather, and dogs who need to get out as much as we do. My desk is now steeped in the scent of Eau de Wet Retriever. When they dry I sweep up the sand piles.


On the plus side, I did discover recently that the Haines Animal Rescue Kennel (HARK) will groom even large, muddy, hairy dogs. The good women there are taking all three of my dears tomorrow for a spa day. (Really, that’s what they call it.)

I have been out of sorts from my gut woes for certain, but also I think the time apart from community events and even the family ( with all the IronMan training they could not afford to catch Covid and not be able to compete) has been harder on my heart than I realized. And not only mine–

We went to Juneau for a grandson’s birthday party over the weekend and took two more grandchildren down from Haines, and I had more fun playing cribbage on the ferry with them than I swear I would have on a trip to Hawaii. In Juneau, after the little kids “friends” party- a first for James, the birthday boy, I took the grand kids to the aquatic center. James was so excited he kept saying “I’ve never had  a pool party before either!”– And it was just us. The last two years have been hard on him too. When you are eight that’s a huge percentage of your life.

I also think the “bubble” advice backfired in an uninteded way, and can be blamed for a lot of the divisions in our community, the state and the nation right now. Everybody retreated to camps of like-mindedness in-person, on Zoom and FaceTime, on social media and more– you know?  We didn’t have the usual mixers that create what the smart folks call “social capital.” The chats about how deep the water is on the creek or what will we do about these wet dogs? Weddings and funerals were smaller and kept within close contacts. Does anyone open a  conversation at at a potluck or rummage sale the way they post on social media? With a hammer? People are so much gentler in person.

The good news is that there are a lot of opportunities for finding  what has been lost as the flood waters rise and light fades this fall. Sometimes you have to make yourself step out into what feels like emotional rough weather.  It helps if you bring a friend. But the other great thing about Haines, is that you can show up by yourself and there will be people you’d like to see there. That happened at a fancy wine-tasting  dinner a few weeks ago– there were several of us that came without dates (or pre-planning, it was a surprise) and we had a great time sitting together and catching up. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed that. It felt so good.