What a Difference a Day Makes.

What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours.

I've been singing that all week, as the storms and clearing see-saw back and forth. Yesterday, as my friend and I walked our dogs in the snowy gales we shouted "this is heroic!" and "we are arctic explorers" and when we wanted to talk, because we were stomping single file down the wooded trail out of as much of the wind and blowing snow as we could, we had to stop and face each other.  That way, the shortened version of our usual morning march lasted just as long. I downloaded the borough meeting, and then we talked about dreams- I wrote two obits this week. (Both former residents who no longer live here, Barry Joneshill (71) and Dave Black (82)  and both heart attacks.) During an interview with a friend of one of my subjects, I was told that if I write an intention on an index card before I go to sleep, with a question or two for people I love who have died, they will answer me in my dreams, and when that happens, I should wake up and write down the replies. 

"Do think that's true?" I yelled through the windy snow the next morning while we walked.

"That spirits contact you? I think so."

"I don't even remember my dreams," I said.

She said she has vivid dreams and lately they have involved losing her ID."What does that mean?" She said. "That I'm having an identity crisis?"

"Could be that it's not so literal. It could be just a dream."

I've also had a long talk with another friend this week about God and religion that was over my head. I need to read more Marilynne Robinson and C.S. Lewis. Much wiser people than I am have weighed in on all of this. Should I test the index card trick? There are a lot of dead people I'd like to hear from.

Saturday, the annual Haines Winter Olympics at the Fair and the adventure race over Mt. Ripinsky were held in a driving snow storm. Sunday, I skied with old friends and new in the Dennis Miles memorial 10 K out on Chilkoot Lake, and it was so sunny and bright what with the snow and the blue sky, and warmth-- about 30 is my guess- and no wind-- we were hatless and glove less. It was better than Hawaii. The thing is, I wished Dennis were there to see it and make me laugh. But he's not, he died skiing when his big heart stopped. One day all was well, the next it wasn't. It was weird and sudden, the way death can be. And so I remember him while skiing in the sunshine, because I still can.

I didn't bring a camera to the lake, but I took this picture of the Chilkat River beach when I returned:

The same view the next morning:

I planned to host the monthly radio show Lynn Canal Art Matters today, because tomorrow is First Friday with arts events all around town-- but it was canceled when the Skagway Panthers lost to Hydaburg at the regional basketball tourney and the next game fell during our show. That happens this manic time of year.  KHNS broadcasts the games, and it could be argued that calling them for a radio is an art form too- Doug Olerud is my favorite announcer, but Jeff Brady did a good job with yesterday's game. 

So tomorrow evening the distillery has Vanessa's weavings on display, the brewery features photographic topo maps, and there are exhibits, free refreshments, and live music in the Arts Confluence office, at Skipping Stone gallery, Alaska Rod's and more on Main St.  It may sound cliche but it's true: hanging out for an hour or two downtown with friends and neighbors warms the heart as much as a ski or a walk, if you let it.



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