It's been a rough couple weeks for many of us. If the crowd at the Newman boys' memorial was any indicator, I might estimate there are thousands of us in pain right now. More now that we've heard news of Jimmy's passing as well. For some, it's the pain of seeing someone die before their time. For some of us, it's the pain of losing a friend. And it's a really bad kind of pain.
For the week after I found out about the boat accident, I wrote letters in my head to Casey, eventually writing some on paper.
A few years ago, I was celebrating not having to work on a Thursday, Thanksgiving, by going out to have some drinks with a friend of mine; when we entered the bar, a woman greeted us with something like, "Happy Native American Slaughter Day" and I had no immediate response.
His little Bogs boots crunched across the snow-covered, frozen boardwalk. Every few feet my son would pause to stomp an ice ball, peer into a dark hole or swipe his mitten through a tuft of downy snow before plopping it promptly on his tounge.
"Of course your are," I said. "You can be my hiking buddy any day."
It is a funny thing about miles. And mileage. They sure can sneak up on you. Yesterday I needed a fix. I hadn't burned a quad or pumped up a calf muscle or froze a lung in a week. So I called my "pusher" and he invited me, along with another "joneser," to run up Eaglecrest Road. Those five miles turned into the Black Bear chair lift and a return along the Treadwell Ditch Trail, via one section of muskeg and one still demolished bridge crossing, to Douglas. Five miles can become 22 in little time when you have mileage accompanying you.
For the second year in a row, the Franklin Street Gallery at the Baranof Hotel has organized a month-long series of artists’ studio visits – it's a great opportunity for locals to learn more about their favorite artists and to introduce themselves to those they may not know yet. The list of those participating is impressive, and includes some of Juneau’s most prominent local artists. A total of 15 artists in all responded to the open call.
By the time Alaska's votes are counted in the presidential elections, it's been called. We aren't a swing state; with our population we aren't even a state people think about. In 2008, I was watching polls in the Mendenhall Valley to be sure they stayed open late enough, that people weren't turned away — the televisions were already announcing Barrack Obama the winner.
It's easy to feel like our voices don't count in a race like that, but yesterday's election was only about our voices. So why did only 25-26 percent of people actually vote?
Denali Roughly 6.2 million acres. The third largest national park and preserve in the Untied States. Denali. The two bigger are also in Alaska (Wrangell-St. Elias and Gates of the Arctic) as are four more in the top 10 (No. 4 Katmai, No. 6 Glacier Bay, No. 7 Lake Clark and No. 9 Kobuk Valley). 20,320 feet high. Denali. Meaning "The High One" in Koyukon Athabaskan. Also called Mount McKinley. And "Holy Cow" and "Wow" and "OMG!"
The clouds lifted briefly this week to reveal a downy white dusting of snow on the peaks above Lemon Creek.
My husband, absolutely ecstatic about the sighting, called me to share the news. Talk of the fresh snow percolated through town and our paper's photographer, Michael Penn, was even asked to snap a photo of the tell-tale sign of winter's impending arrival.
Working in the field of journalism can do weird things to one's hours. In some ways, it is wonderful — I hate waking up early. In other ways, it is rough. I often find myself eating meals at weirder and weirder hours.
Today I decided to heat up some delicious roasted-red-pepper-tomato soup in a mug in the microwave. To avoid soup explosions and unnecessary cleaning, I choose to microwave in shorter increments and stir. When the time runs out on this particular microwave, the screen reads "YOUR FOOD IS READY" even if your food is, in fact, not ready.