The Buckwheat Ski Classic over in Skagway is not the usual race this year, as rain and record warm temperatures have ruined the snow. But, the entry fees have been collected, the food for the banquet has all arrived, and the snow castle at the big aid station up in the pass has been built. They managed to salvage a 10 K loop just for fun skiing. My husband never misses this event, and he headed to the ferry yesterday all smiles even if it wasn’t the Buckwheat as usual. He was looking forward to seeing old friends who have made the annual pilgrimage for 25 springs. This morning early I watched the moon set in the fog and heard a robin, and a trumpeter swan. I didn’t need a jacket over my pajamas as I stood on the wet deck. My coffee cup kept me warm.
The hens are laying again, too. All four Haines teams are in the championship game of their respective divisions at the Gold Medal adult basketball tournament in Juneau. My daughters are former Gold Medal champs, one year, three of them played on the Haines team, and Stoli might have again this year, but she’s having a baby pretty soon. Technically, he (yes, it’s a boy) has until Easter, but this is her third, and the other two did not want to wait until their due dates. I was thinking about dropping Facebook, since it seems to be at the center of so much that is not good, and then an old friend joined, and I haven’t seen him in years, and he requested that “friends” refrain from political posts, if they can help it, because he really wants to catch up with us personally, hear about our families, and reconnect. He can read the news and opinion pages in other places. It was so refreshing to read that, you know?
There was a memorial gathering yesterday for Boston Dave (34), the local snowboarder who died in the avalanche last week, and I’m writing his obituary this weekend. I learned from his family back east that he wrote his 99 year-old grandmother letters and mailed her postcards regularly. I sent some real letters and postcards myself, and felt better.
Also this weekend one friend will be attending a funeral for his younger brother, and another friend just celebrated a birthday, and a friend’s daughter just had a baby, and my middle sister emailed a photo from Cairo where she was riding a camel, and my younger sister is in Haines taking care of a young woman with multiple handicaps. That’s what she does everyday. It’s the last weekend of Spring Break for the school and the track team will begin practice soon. My old friend Betty’s old cat Cuddles will begin her diabetes treatments Monday, thanks to Tracy at the Haines Animal Rescue Kennel who volunteered to help. Down Mud Bay Road dahlia tubers are being pulled out of paper bags and planted in wet potting soil. One friend has 500 started already. Think of that– all that color– right around the corner.
It’s not a dahlia, but I do love this Haiku by John Straley, and I have shared it a lot this week, for all sorts of reasons– now I give it to you.
An old friend died
on the last day of winter.
Spring came anyway.