After popular fisherman and father of three daughters, Richard Boyce, slipped off his gillnetter and drowned on the 4th of July, his friends decided to do something positive and honor his memory by providing flotation devices in the form of inflatable suspenders for the rubber rain pants of every fisherman in the Haines fleet- about 176 skippers and deckhands. Really, one person, Randa Szymanski spearheaded the effort, with guidance from her fisherman husband and his buddies on what would and would not work. Good intentions won't save lives.
From poet Mary Oliver- "Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your gift to us, if we only look, and see."
When a friend asked for volunteers to make dinners for Michael and the two little girls while his wife Melissa is in an Anchorage hospital, 800 miles away from Haines, on complete bed rest, until hopefully December, to keep a baby in her womb who apparently wants to come out early ( their third child, a toddler, is up there with Michael's parents and visiting his mother daily). I said yes. So did lots of other people. The meals-on-wheels calendar filled up quickly.
Let's just say there has been a lot of family time this week. We needed to get a tree stand up for moose hunting season, golf, berry pick, enjoy a few more sunny summer days at the beach, can some salmon, take a few walks, and spend some time rainy-day time indoors cooing at babies. There is something about the end of the August that makes me want to spend every second I can outdoors or with the people I love. I get this kind of homesick, time is passing feeling, and I just don't want to miss a second of it, you know? There will be plenty of time this winter to write, right?
It is more than a little nice to spend a few days with a little bit of the family (actually the very littlest right now) at a cabin on a pond out of internet and phone reach, without electricity or plumbing. My grandchildren will no doubt mess up all those popular surveys of college freshmen classes-- as they will know what an outhouse is and recognize the country morning sound of a shifting lid on a wood burning cookstove. We ate a trout for breakfast, berry picked, and saw a cow moose near the woodshed at dusk.
Tonight at 7:30 in the Chilkat Center the Haines Arts Council presents the Alaska String Band and Triple L Band-- it's a family friendly show of bluegrass, old time, gospel, and swing tunes. Tomorrow from 10-noon there is a Farmer's Market at the Fairgrounds. Sunday from 3-5 at the Fireweed there is a thank you party for Daymond as he exits the Borough Assembly and a potluck meet and greet for Jono as he runs for a seat. Then at 5 that evening at the museum Elena, Brooke, and Jackie will give a slide show about their trip to Dr. Greg's Kilimanjaro orphanage-- don't miss this.
Yesterday morning we cycled right into a fog bank at about 9-mile so thick I had to stop and take off my glasses. This is right along the stretch of road adjacent to the Chilkat River where we always see wet bear prints and piles of bear poop. Actually, the whole road from home to 10-mile has been like that this summer. If the Haines Highway were a hiking trail we would carry bear spray, sing loudly, and probably turn around and go home when we encountered, say, the fifth pile of poop. But on a freshly lined paved road we feel safe. Sort of.
I'm still catching up on chores and sleep from London, plus this is always a frantic time, as every nice day now counts with school about to start, and that fall feeling of winter so close. Last week's cold rain felt like summer was over, but then the sun came back just in time for Adam and Amelia's wedding. (It was wonderful, down at the beach at Paradise Cove, and then we danced all night to Kris and Lindy at the Tribal House.
My weekend plans kind of sound like an English movie- I have a funeral and a wedding to go to tomorrow. Harriett's service is at 1:00 at Harriett Hall, yes, it was named for her, at the Fairgrounds, and Adam and Amelia are celebrating their marriage with everyone in town at 5:00 up at the Tribal House on the Parade Grounds. They will provide fish and drinks, please bring sides or salads because, as the newspaper ad invitation says, Adam needs a break from cooking. He is the chef at the Fireweed and they have had their busiest weeks ever recently.
When a friend of hers heard that my daughter JJ was anxiously waiting to hear if she got a teaching job in Juneau, he said, "One phone call will change your life." She did get that call yesterday and is now packing for the move to the capital, and her sister Eliza who lives there is cleaning out her spare room so JJ can have it. It is nice that they will be together, and that they share the same profession. But what will we do without JJ? We'll be fine, and we are so happy for her, especially since she is over the moon excited. One phone call can really make a difference.