We humans had a terrific Christmas this year. Thoughtful gifts. Great food. Happy grandchildren. Our daughter Amy and Olive, her Blue Heeler, came up from Seattle. The exception to the overall joy was Deacon, our reclusive generally weird black cat, who spent the holidays hiding behind the paint cans on a shelf in a dark corner of the garage. The area in front of the shelf is blocked with a blue plastic tub full of boat stuff, two emptied Kitty Litter buckets overflowing with golf balls, and our pickup truck.
I love Christmas. I love the familiar rituals that I’ve followed for forty plus years. Around the 10th of December, Doug gets the big extension ladder out and props it up against the opening to the attic. One by one, he hands me the worn boxes marked “Christmas” out of the attic with their CDs, ornaments, knickknacks, and the crèche. Our live Christmas tree always comes from Glacier Gardens, but the wreath with the big red bow is plumped up with boughs from a convenient tree behind our house.
I want to see the Planning Commission deny the Juneau Mercantile and Armory owners a permit to have fully automatic firearms for their customers to use. Given the horrific events in Connecticut where so many women and children were slaughtered with round after round of automatic weapon fire, I strongly urge you to not approve their use at Juneau Mercantile and Armory, the proposed gun range.
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.
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.
The November 11th issue of the Empire had an article on page A9 with the headline:"Vatican digs in after gay marriage advances". A shorter article next to it declared, "Pope resurrects Latin with academy to boost study." I tore the page off, folded it, and set it on my desk, where it has languished for almost three weeks.
We came home with a heavy bag of goodies from the 2012 Juneau Public Market. When we got there around 2:00, the line was moving quickly. Once we had our bright red tickets, Doug and I split up at the double doors so we could check out our favorite vendors and browse at our own speed.We agreed to meet back in the entry area at 4:00.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend." Melody Beattie
I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Holidays, particularly Christmas and Thanksgiving, bring back memories of family gathered around the table. We've sat at tables where two or three tables were placed end to end, and covered with different tablecloths and different sets of dishes.
I’m sifting through the business cards, notes, and notations from the 3rd Vision2020/Drexel University Congress in Portland, Oregon. I got home late yesterday after a long day of flying broken up by a wonderful lunch date with our daughter in Seattle.
Vision2020 is an ambitious program to achieve equality for women in five areas by the year 2020:
* Increase the number of women in senior leadership positions in American life to reflect the workforce talent pool and demographics;
Over 100 women, two from each state, spent all day yesterday (Nov. 16) at the third annual Vision2020/Drexel University Congress in downtown Portland.
Portland welcomed us with open arms and enthusiastic support for the initiative's goals. Once I get home to Juneau, I'll write more about the goals, progress made, and some of the great work women are doing around the country.