Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the day we commemorate the air strikes on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the invasion by the Japanese. My mother's first cousin, Harold Arneberg, died on the U.S.S. Vestal. My mother's beloved and only brother, Bill Collins, was killed during the war. Forever young, his photo was always in a prominent place in our home.
All this snow reminds me of the one and only time I used a snowblower. Fortunately, no one died. That particular winter, Doug, the Official Snowblower, was going out of town, but snow doesn't take a hiatus so he showed me how to start it. He demonstrated the basics of maneuvering it around, cautioned me to be careful, and left. Doug always clears the whole driveway and the berm, and often takes care of the neighbor's berm while he's at it.
The conversation about Alaska begins with "And where do you live?" When I respond, "Juneau, Alaska", people always react with surprise and almost always say, "Wow. Really? What's it like?" Or, "Wow. Really?" My observation is that nobody does that with other states unless they were born there or lived there, as in, "Oh, cool. I used to live in Omaha." Alaska elicits a strong reaction from just about everybody. And then, almost invariably, people ask, "So, where is Juneau exactly?"
This has been a great year for women in the Olympics. In sport after sport, we've seen women break records and inspire millions of spectators around the world. There are women competitors from small countries that I need to Google, and women from the biggies like the United States, China and Russia.
This summer was all about travel. We signed up for a Grand Circle Travel boat trip from Honfleur to Paris on the Seine, a pre-trip tour of London and a post-trip tour of Paris. Our plan was to go to England a week early, rent a car, see the sights, and then join our tour in London. A highlight would be a few days in Tottington, north of Manchester, to meet my husband Doug’s distant relatives on his grandmother’s side. So, it was to be seven days of touring, genealogy, and fun.
On August 23, 2012, carolyn V. Brown of the League of Women Voters wrote an editorial to honor Women’s Equality Day titled “Equality – There is work to be done.” The op-ed talked about the issues still facing women, including the paycheck gap. In the comments section below, “noroadfugtive” disputed the idea of a wage gap between the genders, quoting Steve Tobak in a CBS News piece.
The future of Juneau is much brighter now for our downtown grocery store and the terrific people who work there. We will soon see a Foodland IGA sign over the entrance. It will be right over that little eating area where the guys in the ball caps go to drink coffee, women meet their friends to catch up, and folks eat lunch.
There was an IGA store in Montello, Wisconsin, where my mom grew up. Her sister, Kathleen, would call it the “Igga” Store. My first thought when I saw the article in the August 31st Juneau Empire was of Aunt Kathleen.
As I wrote in my earlier blog, I was invited to speak at a women’s conference on September 8, 2012, in Unalaska. Billie Jo Gehring, who was born and raised in Juneau, called me from her home in Unalaska and said the conference was about empowerment so they wanted the keynote speech to be around the theme of women's empowerment.
After protesting that there were no doubt empowered women on the island, I was convinced by Billie Jo that she wanted me to be the one to speak to the women of her island community.
This month, I’ve been out at the University registering voters once or twice a week for the Juneau League of Women Voters Registration Drive. We do this in pairs, and we’re there for two hours over lunch time. There’s lots of time to talk.
Anne Fuller was my registration partner on September 25th. Anne is a Storyteller and Gatherer of Stories. I told her I was doing this blog and felt a responsibility to do it in a community building, yet interesting, way. At one point, Anne said, “The question is why do we tell the stories we tell?”
Imagine sitting down for a lovely dinner with friends and plunging right into the presidential elections. "No politics at the dinner table!" That's excellent advice unless everyone shares the same ideology, in which case it’s fun. Endorphins rise. Everyone is animated. They interrupt and talk over each other. They belong to the same tribe.