Dear resuming reader,
I have been remiss in writing to you this past week. But I have an excuse — we have officially entered the manic summer season in Alaska when we try to squeeze as much work/fun/family into every daylight hour.
I say “summer season” but really this is only applicable in terms of the increasing length of each day: currently sunrise is at 5 a.m. and sunset at nearly 11 p.m. In terms of summer weather, not so much. A hail storm yesterday afternoon turned into a snow squall. But we have not let the chill deter us.
We spent the first weekend of May in our riverboat. This is the earliest we’ve been out on the rivers; the ice broke up nearly a week before it usually does.
Beaver and muskrats swam along the shore; Arctic terns dipped and dove in aerobatics over the water as they fished for salmon smolt in the early morning; sandhill cranes, scaup ducks, mergansers, mallards, and buffleheads flew along the river and landed in the back sloughs; frogs uttered their first croaks of the season. At night, we sat beside a campfire and ate s’mores.
Also in true Alaska summer tradition, visitors have begun to arrive. My grandparents from Buffalo, NY, came for about a week, and then my uncle.
Soon, my husband’s family arrives, just in time to go fishing for king salmon. One of the downsides of living in Alaska is having extended family so far away. But these weeks have been the perfect antidote.
I have also been pursuing my new career as a published author. During the past weeks, I’ve visited libraries, schools, and book clubs to talk about The Snow Child, and a few days ago I had a signing event at the Flying Squirrel, a bakery cafe in Talkeetna, Alaska, where I ate the most scrumptious cauliflower macaroni & cheese and had a delightful conversation about books with the group of readers who attended.
And then, as if we haven’t tried to cram enough into our days, we have also been tackling lots of projects around our house. This weekend Sam and I built a small greenhouse so we can grow tomatoes, cucumbers and basil this summer. We hauled, split and stacked wood to try to replenish our wood shed. And I’m in the middle extending our garden and putting up new fencing around it. Hopefully by the end of the month, the snow squalls will have halted entirely, and we’ll be able to plant our garden with carrots, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and lettuce.
So if another week goes by without a letter from me, know that I am only knee-deep in summer. But I am thinking of you.
What are your plans for the coming season?