I went to HS with Rudy. We were in band together (he played sax) and cross country (he was MUCH better than I was!!!). He also was a wicked hockey player (or so I understand, I didn’t get to watch hockey, which is odd. Mum loves hockey! It may have been because it was an outside venue!). Anyway, Rudy takes his kids fishing. Ryu is about 12 now, I think, and I so enjoy following as he fishes in his dad’s wake. This particular event, Ryu outfished his dad. Again!!!! I love watching kids do amazing things! Homer Alaska, kayak, fishing for kings. Full of amazing! What a blessing this young man will be to the future of our world, he is a great one now!
Mum has celebrated her 75th birthday. I am humbled to find she is still able to celebrate. I honestly did not think she’d see this birthday. I thank God for the hours I get to spend with her, even if they are often incredibly frustrating and drive me nuts. Even when I am awake for hours and hours watching her to make sure she is ok. We may look alike and have some similar mannerisms, but I could never be as strong and brave and fearless as she is. She is always telling her doctors how she has no depression or anything. Sheesh, I do!!!!! But, she is a survivor and will go down fighting. Bless you, Mum. Thank you for giving me life so many years ago.
In 1997, Mum took a class for one of her degrees. I think it was creative writing. Anyway, she wrote a story and thought it was the end of that project. Well, a couple of years ago, mom took the story in to a school to read to some kids in a special needs class. They enjoyed the rhyming sentences and asked for it again and again. One of the faculty members asked if they could borrow the story and mom consented. This is what has become of the silly stanzas mom scribed about a goat and a boat. A short picture book evolved from the brains of mom and an incredible illustrator, Ray Lee. Thank you, Ray. Thank you to his parents for pushing for this. Thank you for blessing my mom. After the paperwork is signed, Ray’s family will look for a publisher. Pretty cool, huh?????
Mom keeps books. Lots of different kinds of books. Old books, new books, really old books, and Reader’s Digest condensed books. As one who reads, I tend to pick up the old books and read about life in the distant past. In all of the older stories, firewood makes ashes to be used for household tasks. Usually, it was used for soap. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of making soap from ashes, but not to the point I really want to try it! One of the characters I read about used the ashes to sprinkle on ice. Which is where my blessing is going!
At this time, in North Kenai, there is a lot of ice. The bright sunshine has been working on the snow and creating a dangerous lovely sheer layer of ice anywhere you walk. It is not as bad near the house, we don’to get out there much, so we can walk carefully. However, down by the news box it is awful. It is so bad, one day the newspaper people tossed the paper in the snow, rather than skid up to the box. This irritated me and I thought of ways to ‘fix’ the problem of ice. Chipping it took out some of the ice, scoring it didn’t do much at all, but then I remembered ashes! Mum had gotten the wood stove going in the two and a half weeks I was in Oregon last October and there were ashes in it. So, I scooped out a box full and took them to the drive. I felt rather old fashioned as I scattered ashes on the white shining path, I only hope it works! At least for a while.
So, books to thought to action. Gotta love books!!!!!!!!!
Max lives across the lake, which is frozen now. Mum’s dog is a mostly house dog of dubious antecedents. He’s supposed to be a spendy long haired mini doxie, but appears to be more of a medium frustration. Max and Obi bark back and forth, but rarely see each other in the fur. Max wanders quite freely, swims in the lake in the summer, and chases the snowmachines of his two leggers in winter. Obi? He barks and chases snowballs or rocks or sticks or balls you throw for him, as long as they are short distances! Yet, these two can be amicable when they meet. They can test each other and decide a puppy peace treaty is best for the neighborhood. Without hours around a table or a tweet, these two can decide in seconds it is ok to share the same territory for a duration of time and be friendly. If only man could learn what these creatures know innately. Granted, they don’t always behave well around each other, but this day, they were. And with the touch of a nose, they were off tending to their own business once more. A canine blessing.
They came back. I was pretty sure they would, but oh, they are such a joy! Since mom hasn’t been home since October, the feeders have bee neglected. When we arrived early this month of March, I’ve not been able to get to the feeders. So, I tossed seed on top of the snow. It was blown by the wind and settled into hollows of snow and then today, the birds arrived! They were scraps of color fluttering in the trees, punctuating the air with bright notes of cheer, and zipping around almost too fast for me to focus the camera on. I was just able to reach one of the smaller feeders and put a tiny bit of seed in that, too. Mom has nuthatches, chickadees, red polls, downy woodpeckers, and grosbeaks. I am sure there are others, but I have a problem. Unfortunately, when the stuff in the living room got moved, so did her bird books! I am slated to look for them. (not a joy or blessing!!) Loving having the birds back, though!
In the states, spring has arrived. It is a bit like the scene from ‘The Secret Garden’ when Mary tells Colin how she thought it had arrived, but now it really is here! Eastern Oregon is on the edge and soon it will be erupting into colors racing to bloom. In my yard, The first pale crocuses are providing food for soul and bee and making way for the daffodils. Here, in North Kenai, we have a lot of winter left. Soon, in maybe a month, it will be my least favorite season up here. (Ok, tourist season is another worst!) It is break up which I do not appreciate much. I wish I could leave and come back before the Oregon heat of summer–after mid July! The optimum snow bird. The best of all worlds! I love winter, but this Alaskan girl has a deep appreciation for a lower 48 spring.