Build, hike, plant, climb — time to do it all

Dear sunny reader,

The mad frenzy of summer in Alaska has officially begun. 

Sleep? Who needs it? We’ve got gardens to tend, houses to build, fish to catch, and mountains to climb.

Our neighbors, the Baers, have already put a new roof on their home. And to clarify, because I know sane people in other places actually hire someone to do these sorts of things, when I say they put on a new roof, I mean THEY put on a new roof. As in the two of them ripped off the old shingles and plywood, put a massive blue tarp over it, and hoped it wouldn’t rain while they rebuilt the whole thing.

Another one of our good friends is a farmer, which means he is in full-on frenzy mode. The fields are now free of snow and the summer sun has begun to dry up the mud, so he is riding the tractor, planting night and day until the hundreds of acres are ready to sprout potato plants.

Across the way, our other neighbors just returned from their spring bear guiding trips. My dad is booming logs out of a pile in his yard, and my mom is studying for her MFA residency in poetry. She also teamed up with some other artists last weekend to lead an outdoor retreat in creativity, and she went for a hike with my brother near a local ski resort. She said the smell of the sun-warmed hemlock forest was delightful.

Sam, my husband, put on a dive suit and helped install a salmon weir on the Deshka River as part of his job as a fishery biologist, and in his off-hours he took out a window in our house and built our first staircase.

In the meantime, I tilled up our garden, hauled buckets of water from a creek, and planted cabbage, kale, broccoli, carrots, turnips and a few flowers, and set up my pea fence. Last night at 11 or so, I stood on our back porch. The sun had just set, so it was the soft blue of twilight. Looking out over the garden, I admired the neat rows of moist soil and lovely little seedlings. Then I saw the currants I had forgotten to transplant.

But today is a new day. We’re thinking about fertilizing the rhubarb, finishing the Sheetrock in the stairwell, and transplanting the currant bushes, as well as a lilac and mountain ash. We need to feed the chickens, water the garden. Oh, and we’re planning to climb up to the mountain behind our house to check out a little patch of snow that has lingered in the sun.

Our oldest daughter is worried we won’t have time to do it all, but I reminded her – we’ve got all day, and all night.

Happy summer!



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mr. Baer
    May 30, 2011 @ 13:11:56

    Today, after planting the last of the flowers and a few of the pounds and pounds of potatoes Adam gave to Jenny (there’s enough potatoes to plant all of Chickaloon), Jenny said. “Let’s take a bike ride before we get caught up in another project!” So we biked with Bella to Fish Lake to sit in lawn chairs, tossing balls for the frenzied water loving dogs. We didn’t pound a nail or plant a seed and it felt good. But alas, back home, we found ourselves in the shed, redoing shelves so we could fit in the fantastic deal of a large metal toolbox (Another affliction of early Alaskan summers – garage sales). And then we had the senses to go inside, read books and take naps, but now looking outside it is another gorgeous late afternoon in paradise, I should go outside and experience it more. What can I do? Well now common sense is beginning to take over, it’s time to blow up the float tube, take down the fly rod, prepare for an early fish outing on the lake tomorrow morning, tube with the loons and then I should go biking and hiking and more fishing, but oh shoot, the darn garden needs watering again.

  2. Sue Mathis
    May 31, 2011 @ 08:59:08

    Geez, Eowyn, I’m exhausted just reading about all you guys did! Aren’t Alaskan summers awesome!!!!

  3. A Baer
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 06:24:48

    Craig, you spend a lot of time on here. Maybe it would be appropriate for you to start your own blog.

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