My very pregnant daughter Eliza (she’s due Oct. 9) and her dog Annie are on the ferry steaming up from Juneau for Melina and Tim’s wedding, and so is friend Mario from Seattle– the sheets are changed and rooms straightened out. I set up a guy named Tony and his friends out at the cabin yesterday. He’s a friend of the bride and groom from Arizona. He said he’s never seen any place like this in America, and that it’s strange that people are speaking English without accents. But he was smiling a lot. Everyone is. The grills have been boated over, and the tarp brigade is making ready today across the bay in case there is a deluge, but who knows, maybe we will keep this warm, gray and blue kind of weather, which is pretty good. (Guests will walk to Tim and Melina’s remote homesite over the flats at low tide on Saturday, which is why the invitation says to wear rubber boots and bring a flashlight in case you stay after dark.)  In a bittersweet and almost predictable passage, Melina’s dear dog Fro died yesterday. He was 18 and had been failing, so the vet was on standby, but Melina said Fro died naturally, with his head in her lap. “It was time.” So, there will be a little funeral across the bay before there is a wedding. What a big thing–  Fro was her loyal partner for 18 years filled with a lot  of living and a lot of changes, all the really big ones until now.  I’m so grateful that Fro leaves Melina happy and settled. Don’t you think that good old dog knew that he could go, that everything will be all right now, with Melina and Tim and the ducks and flowers in their happy, cozy cabin across the bay?

Well, in other news, Senator Lisa Murkowski is in Haines and Klukwan today, and you can meet her at the Chilkat Center between 11:45-1:30 it’s a lunch potluck if you care to share a meal too, then she’ll be out in the village after that, around 2:00 I plan on taking the granddaughters over to the Chilkat Center, so they see a powerful, accomplished woman and will learn that they too can be one someday if they choose.  Speaking of strong women, the clinic staff had a farewell and thank you lunch yesterday for Dr. Julia Heinz and Dr. Marnie Hartman. Marnie is opening up her own PT practice in Joanne and Phyllis’ tower this week  (her yoga class is there now too, at 5:30 on Tuesday and Thursday) and Julia is leaving the clinic to do some doctoring in the Marshall Islands this winter, and spend more time hunting, I bet. Marnie’s  future patient, Chip, is moving around better on his crutches, but still not weight bearing on the repaired hip side. He’s on the porch at the moment shooting the air rifle over the cherry trees to scatter the birds. That’s another thing we need to do today: pick the rest of the those cherries and some more raspberries. Grandma Joanne  is going to make jam with Stoli and Eliza this weekend.  Do you think it’s true that the secret to a happy life is to both enjoy the passing of the time and to celebrate the changes that it brings?