I am fine, it’s just life is so full right now with everything happening at once. We have been training for the annual Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay. It’s on Saturday, and Chip and I each ride half the distance from Haines Junction in the Yukon to Fort Seward, and it’s about 80 miles so we have to practice. I am tapering today, and it’s raining, which is why I am here, now. This is also the borough budget season, which means many assembly meetings, and there have been a lot of other meetings on other hot topics too. Nearly every night. And there is that sweet new baby (and his sisters since school is out) next door, and their cousins up the hill, so we’ve all been hanging out together.

My dear dog Pearl is recovering from double leg surgery, and may only walk on a leash, and now that she’s 11 weeks out, she can take longer ones, and needs them for strength and conditioning, which adds about an hour and a half to my day. I know, it’s tough duty but someone has to take the dogs to the beach.

And then there is the book deadline for the end of June. This is what my desk and the inside of my head looks like:

So it’s been bike, book, borough, and family (the dogs count) but honestly, I’m pretty lucky. I do feel bad I haven’t kept you up to date, but in a few weeks I should have a lot more time. And if it’s any consolation, I didn’t plant my garden this spring either. I figure I can add greens and such after the bike race, I bought a CSA from a ¬†local farm so we’ll still eat well, and there are tomato plants and herbs in the greenhouse, and geraniums in the window boxes. The hens are laying and the salmon season opens Sunday. This weekend Chip and I put a bunk bed up on the third floor for the red headed grandchildren. They will arrive with their mother who’s riding in the bike race following a recent win in a triathlon in Juneau, and Aunt JJ and Uncle Bryan on the ferry … this morning!

Can I tell you one more thing, and please forgive me for bragging about my children : JJ ran a 3:08 marathon a few weeks ago, and last weekend her sister Sarah won the Skagway marathon.

Can I share this poem, again, with you? It’s saved me on many occasions, and helps with all the things I do, on long bike rides, in tense meetings, when the words aren’t coming out right on the page, and dinner is late– I say ‘it doesn’t have to be the blue iris’ — and feel better. It is taped to my desk to remind me to be easier on myself and others. To take a deep breath, and to be grateful.

Praying

by Mary Oliver

It doesn’t have to be the blue iris,¬†

it could be weeds in a vacant lot,

or a few small stones;

just pay attention, then patch a few words together

and don’t try to make them elaborate,

this isn’t a contest

but a doorway into thanks,

and a silence in which another voice may speak.