Bob kisses Nola, Santa rides a bike, Seymour launches a project, Kalib takes the train to Saigon, and other winter solstice stories
On this winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, about 5 hours and 20 minutes in Wasilla, I slept very late - until 12:15 PM - but only because I didn't sleep much during the night. I needed to go Anchorage, so, along the way, I stopped at Metro Cafe and ordered a breakfast sandwich.
Nola and Bob were at the inside window. Carmen told me it was their third wedding anniversary.
They then gave each other a kiss.
In case you don't know it, Bob is a misplaced surfer from California and Hawaii, yet a real Alaskan, too. He is also a recovering alcoholic. Sometimes, when I go inside and he shows up, we talk about it.
He has told me he will be willing to share some of those stories here.
So one day we will - but not here... on the new blog that I plan to launch January 1.
The Talkeetnas, in my rearview mirror, on the shortest day of the year. Still, compared to Barrow, which is just half-way through a two-and-a-half month but often very beautiful night, our 5:20 hours or so of daylight is long.
How can a two-and-a-half month night be beautiful, you ask? The moon. Sometimes the moon will stay above the horizon all day long. It will cruise low over the broken ice offshore, seemingly magnified in size. Gorgeous.
And the Northern Lights. They are not out every night, but when they are... electrifying.
Upon entering Anchorage, I saw Santa. He had fallen on hard times and had traded in his reindeer. And this picture is a perfect example of why I am going to archive this blog and start a new one. This is a crop. The full frame picture is much better, but it just doesn't work at this size.
I actually do this fairly often. Crop photos that I don't want to crop, just because the full photo doesn't work on in this little blog.
This is Claudia and Seymour Tuzroyluk of Point Hope. Seymour is 87 now and Point Hope winters have become very hard on him, so he and Claudia winter in Anchorage. Seymour is working on a little project and asked my help.
"You're just like an Iñupiaq," Claudia told me, in explaining why he chose me to seek help from.
In truth, I know that only an Iñupiaq can ever be just like an Iñupiaq, but her words made me feel real good.
Seymour's project is extremely interesting. I hope he makes a success of it. I will do all I can to help him.
I have been without my wife since Sunday, but Lavina is off work Thursday and Friday, so I drove over to pick her up.
I again found Kalib playing with Thomas the Train.
He stood the little man on the tracks and then started running the train right at him.
Oh, no! The little man got smacked by the train!
"Sorry," Kalib said to the little man. "I'm sorry." Then he picked him up, stood him back on the track and had the train smack him down again - at least three more times, maybe four.
Then Jobe came along and again started to tear the railroad apart. In case you are wondering who he is looking at, it is Kalib.
I kind of think he was trying to tease Kalib a bit.
Last time, Margie and I took Jobe home with us. This time, we took Kalib. Lavina and Jobe watched us go.
And yes, Jobe, it was you.
I saw you do it.
I won't tell your mom.
But I can't stop her from reading this blog.
All I had eaten the entire day was the breakfast sandwich I bought at Metro. I was very hungry. For some reason, hours earlier I had started to think about Pho Saigon. So we stopped there before leaving Anchorage. Thomas the Train came with us - in triplicate.
Kalib, leaving Pho Saigon.
We will take him back home Friday, do some Christmas shopping and I will go visit Seymour and Claudia.