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Saturday, August 18, 2012

CHRONICLES: The Blessings of Family

At the beginning of last week (showing my lack of certain attention to the blogging stuff), my Aunt Memo and Life-Mate Dave came up for a visit on their way north to Sitka, Juneau, Anchorage, and Denali.  They were in Ketchikan for a few days.  I managed to snag a few days off, with which I was able to take them to the Saxman Totem Park, Ward Lake, and Totem Bight.  All that tourist stuff aside, the best part was the nights we had them over, eating and drinking and spending the family time that we've made less accessible with our time up here in the Great Wet North.

One night, Lyss had made fish tacos with some cod that our neighbor Greg had caught the previous day.  That night, as we were leaving, Greg asked us if we wanted a big king salmon filet.  Dinner for the next night was planned.  Lyss baked it with some garlic, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.  It was spectacular.  But, as good as the food was, it wasn't as good as the time spent.

Memo is my dad's sister.  That side of my family is small.  I only have one cousin who I haven't spoken to for a number of years, since before Bart was in high school as I recall.  But when anyone comes to visit, it's a rare and special occasion.

After they left, I was fortunate enough to have the distraction of going to Sitka myself for a few days for work.  When I got back, I took Malcolm and Dash and went down to Herring Cove to watch the salmon run.  He was pretty impressed with the whole thing, although we were both disappointed we didn't see any bears.  Next time, maybe.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

PROPHESY: An Unexpected Circumstance

It was sunny outside, yet still cool.  The leaves had begun their divorce from the branches, but the grass was still green, and the creek had not yet shrunken to a width that didn't require a bridge to cross it.

Dan needed to find his package, but we had no idea where the shipping place was.  All we had was a weird symbol, a logo of sorts.  It was an octagon, blue with many white lines crossing it in some sort of slanted geometric array, with a red A off-set on the upper right side.  Whatever place had this logo, I'm sure it would be across the creek where the make-shift docks are.  This town was small enough that the shipping and travelling terminal were easy to find and very close to each other.

As we crossed the creek and walked off the bridge, I peered through a window of the local coach offices and saw Dan's logo, so directed him that way and moved through the travelling terminal.

This terminal was a remarkable building, built from wood of the highest quality, yet it wasn't ornately done.  Simple planks of cherry and mahogany lined the walls of the structure, and round globes of light hung from chains from a flat ceiling that was open to the outside world in some places.  In effect, this was a quasi-indoor mall.

As I was taking my bearings, an older woman approached me and asked her if I could help her with something.  Since the purge of the old world, humanity's sentiment towards each other was a lot softer, so I offered to do what I could.  She led me through the terminal, out the south end, where a large warehouse existed.  It looked more cozy than a warehouse, and I realized that whoever owned it must have been exceedingly powerful in the area.  They had converted it to their home.

The woman took me inside, offered me a beer, and then explained her situation.  Apparently, the quality of drifter through these parts, drifters such as Dan and myself, wasn't a high quality.  Dan and I had been trekking for thousands of miles, though snowy mountains and over rough oceans, across dry deserts, to get here, and we were nowhere near our goal.  The local drifters were drunks, looters, thieves, a nuisance for the local attempt at law enforcement.  So when the woman told me that she wanted me to stay to marry her daughter, I had to stifle a laugh when I respectfully declined.  I understood the severity of their situation, but the idea... after everything that had happened in the past twenty years, it was a cozy translation into acceptance of failure, and that was something I wasn't willing to admit to myself yet.