Don’t drink water from the ocean.
I know you already knew this but I’m advising you in case you forgot.
This past weekend, I went to the Kachemak Bay Writer’s Conference in Homer, AK. I got to hear Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See. He was poignant and hilarious. I got to attend some good classes on everything from screenwriting to lyrical prose, and I got to spend some great time with Shawn and my mom.
The conference is at a hotel right on the water. I worked on a commercial fishing tender back in the day. I learned a lot. I learned that I don’t like giant diesel engines between me and the water any more than I like giant diesel engines between me and the earth or the snow (sorry Todd!). I have a secret hope to learn to sail one day… But that’s a dream for another lifetime. Not knowing this process, I am almost just as happy to get to just be by the water. The ocean is such an entity. I love music– I think my headphones are second only to my phone in the list of Important Things In My Pockets. Music keeps me grounded and sane and contained. But in Homer, the only time I put my headphones in was to go on runs. Otherwise, for the times that I was on the beach, I just listened to the water. The neurotic part of me kept nudging me to put the music on, get life organized into sound. But the most of me rocked back and forth with the waves. It was easy to be by the water that way. Watching birds and whales and sea lions live their lives, ignoring pesky shoreside humans. The water is very good.
Then, this week, I hung out in Palmer to put in some in-person time at Out of a Jam Solutions. It’s always good to re-callibrate at the office. Thanks to Michael and Margaret for putting me up and to Chris for feeding the sled dogs, and to Amanda for letting old man Jessie out! And to Shawn for taking care of everyone during the week I wasn’t in my usual be-cabined hermit form.
Mountains surround Palmer. Right now, the last snow of the year sits in lightning-bolt slices at the tops of the mountains, and green crawls up from below. June is the best time to appreciate mountains. The green and white look so sharp. As summer goes, the green will win, and when after the reds and golds of fall, the snow will creep back down in full glory. Mountains let you see the seasons in a gradated way. Mountains make me love Alaska. Mountains are the only thing at all missing from Fairbanks, for me.
Shawn likes that you can see the Alaska Range from the hilltops in Fairbanks. For me, it’s just far enough out of range to be a tease. Still, we are lucky, because we can spend an hour or two in a car and make it to them.
Even though the itch to be running dogs is up to maddening level, I do love Alaska in summer. I am grateful to get to see these various, incredible faces of my favorite place.
And! I am grateful to get to see my doggos soon. I miss them, and I’m ready to play and run and enjoy the madness of my little pack. Counting down the days to home, now.