23 April 2008

Old Connections

It's a strange thing being back in a place you grew up after an absence of fifteen years. There are so many people I've never kept track of who appear in the bookstore. It's disconcerting to run into them at a time where I am not doing what I want to be doing, what I have trained to do, what I have been doing all those years I have been gone. And yet it is interesting to have glimpses into these lives again. Although I grew up in more or less the same place I went to 4 different schools in very different towns and so some of the people I see I haven't seen in a very long time, since kindergarten or fourth grade.

Today while walking the dogs I ran into my middle school Spanish teacher walking her son to school. I ran into a ex-elementary school classmate who is now a married cowgirl. An old physics teacher of mine, who allowed the class to construct a catapult and aim it at the nearest highway, browsed through our literature section. I had lunch at a fine restaurant that turned out to be owned by an ex-high school classmate. Most startling of all was the local cop who had met me in the Small Alaskan Town At A Cross Roads three years ago at a potluck who remembered both my name and our topic of conversation. Just before closing the door opened and, my mind having already dismissed it as impossible, in walked an ex-high school classmate who I had last seen in Alaska. It is interesting to me to note that there are the people you consciously stay in touch with an see frequently because of it, and there are some people who you don't try to stay in touch with but who seem to pop up in your life over and over again.

17 April 2008


All of a sudden there was this wind that sent parked strollers across the street and whipped the flags off the flagpoles. A strange wind for the Rocky Mountains, a wind that was reminiscent of a the Northern Most Ice Free Port City, Alaska where the wind would blow my windows open at night and I would have to brave the cold to go outside and reign them back into their hinges. But this wind is unusual here and one could almost feel the trouble it brewed. From the window I watched the snow whipping off the ridges of the tallest mountain in view. The bookstore seemed to fill up with people who had never been in before and the story trickled back in waves.

Fire. Wildfire. A blaze that quickly grew to 300 acres blown across the river, the highway. The highway, the only route really, in this tight valley, was closed. Again I was transported to Northern Most Ice Free Port City, Alaska where the road would close due to avalanches regularly and we would be cut off entirely - a rising claustrophobia. Amazingly, although the fire burned hard and hot, the houses were mostly saved, the livestock, the people, and pets all were. There was one severe injury from a fisherman who was overtaken by the flames in the river. Now that's a story - who expects to be burned while standing in the middle of a river? The first wildfires of the season blossomed all over the state, earlier then usual. Although the ground is exceedingly wet & snow still lies heavily on the ground in places the trees are dry, not having brought up the sap from their roots, and the dry grasses from fall are quick tinder. The haze of yellow smoke covers the sun so that it is like looking at the moon in daylight. The town where I am living, Town at the Confluence of Two Gold Medal Trout Streams, is suddenly alive with people, the bars are full, there are people pacing back and forth talking worriedly on cell phones, people who can't get home even if they live beyond the fire.

10 April 2008


So today I fell down a flight of stairs, quite literally. My foot came off the top step and suddenly it was like being on the ice sheets on the streets of Farthest North Ice-Free Port, Alaska (ironic, isn't it? Ice-free port but no ice-free streets, but I digress.). And I went down, pretty much on my vertebrae, bumping along trying to stop myself with my thigh and my wrist while, most stupidly, trying not to break the glass items in my hand (note to self: throw them down and let them shatter! They are easier to replace then a back!). Coming at long last to a stop I sat up gingerly and promptly almost blacked out. Head between my knees. Breathe. Etc. Now I have a Frisbee sized bruise on my lower vertebrae & back that fits nicely right where the fabric of my waistline wants to rub and it is swollen and sore and the waistline doesn't help. I have a football sized bruise on my thigh.

Gorgeous red rocks, 2008
And I keep thinking...I've got to learn to stop being such a klutz. This is brought into stark relief by the fact that the Marlboro man fell down a flight of stairs in my sister's house the same day and shattered his ankle and is now in the rehabilitation part of the hospital. You can majorly damage yourself falling down - downs stairs or otherwise.

Desert Mountain Sheep, 2008

I went to lovely the lovely Peach Growing City in the Shadow of a Mesa (I'm taking lessons from Jo(e) on pseudonymous place names) for the weekend to visit with old friends and new and we were going on a lovely red rock desert hike when my new friend gasped and asked "are those bruises?" on my legs. I looked down, and sure enough there were - there always are because I am forever running into things or knocking things down. Luckily I'm only a klutz within man made structures - out in the wilderness I look much more like these desert mountain sheep we saw (pictured), hence my graduate school nickname of "mountain goat". I sure don't feel like one today though.

07 April 2008

Don't Bump the Glump

I just had to tell you that Shel Silverstein's first poetry collection has gone back in print (after 3 decades)! It's a gorgeous book with color drawings: Don't Bump the Glump. It's absolutely fabulous. It opens with this:



03 April 2008

Archive Meme

I was tagged by Amanda over at A Lady Scientist for the Archive Meme in which you go back through your old posts and find some favorites. I've much neglected this tag as it occurred right before I went on my unplanned break. But I promised her I would do it so here goes...I must say, I don't feel like I've been blogging long enough to do this and even with my small selection it's hard to choose! I'm going to tag anyone because I'm sure it's made its way around the Internets already.

1. About Family: It seems that the majority of my posts on my family seem to be "In Memoriam". I tend to be circumspect about my family here because they don't know I have a blog and I want to respect their privacy. So that leaves me a few posts to choose from that aren't in memoriam. I guess it will have to be REAL BEACHES which is about my niece on a visit with her grandmother (my mother) to Alaska.

2. About Friends: I think I have to chose my post IN HOLLAND which is about time spent in a dear friend who lives there. More of my real life friend grace these pages but I think this one sums up the joy of deep friendship.

This photograph of a mountian lion was taken by Mitch Starr, a ranch hand, 11 miles from my parents' house

3. About me, who I am, what I think I'm all about: Hmph. This one is very tough. Because I think different bits of me are represented in different posts. So I guess I'm going to choose IM BAYERN GEHN DIE UHREN ANDERES. Im mostly choosing it because many of you won't have read it but it also meets the topic. It's about how different viewpoints are important, how things are not always straightforward or how we expect, how diversity, whether it be cultural or biological, is of great value.

4. About something I love: For this my dear Disreputables in A CAT AND HER DOG.

5. Just a good post, any post: I think I'll choose my PRIZE CONVERSATIONS WITH TURONS for this one mostly because it's always good for a laugh.