Busy day

Today was one of the busiest days I’ve had in a while.  To start things off, the photography class shot the pictures for grades 6-11 on the second day of picture day.  Since the 8th graders had PE, we shot them first starting at 8:45 AM.  The order of shooting went Grades: 8,7,6, 11,10, & 9.  Overall, the pictures went really well and the photo class did a great job collecting pre-paid flyers, selecting the proper background, posing the students, and getting the kids to smile.  What remains to be done is the cropping, sizing, proofing online, re-shooting, and ordering.  This picture of Hannah is a nice shot, but it needs to be cropped properly, as you can see.  I initially was going to do all the cropping myself, but now I want to show the class how to do it and let them try it first.

IMG_0238Then I had to clean up the bits that needed to be put away that nig ht and write out what sub-plans I could for whoever would be my sub and pack up the things I needed to go on the trip to Anchorage was scheduled to leave at 5 PM.  I walked over to the Library at 4 PM and said bye to Holly and picked up the Subaru Legacy.  It turns out that cars are really heavy.  I needed to get the car back to Holly so she could have it, plus I needed to say Happy Birthday to Mark Daniel before I left.  I called ahead to Margaret so that Bob could get ready to take me to the Airport for my flight on Wings (of Alaska), Margaret told me how Mark had just been up in the tree and she wished she had a camera.  I told her I’d be there in 1.5 minutes and I’d have a camera ready to go.

IMG_0256 Mark scampered up the tree, lickedy split, smiled big and then raced back down to  give me a hug.  I hate leaving town on a big day like a birthday.  He’d been looking forward to it and counting down the days, like kids do, and it was just really lame to have to leave.  He’s grown up so much in the last year and experienced so much, and yet he’s still learning and growing so much. 

The flight to Juneau was, by far, the best flight I’ve ever taken to Juneau.  The weather was perfect for flying, clear cool skies with almost no clouds in sight.  TIMG_0304he pilot said we were going down the eastern shoreline, so grabbed a seat on the left-hand side of the plane and kept my camera with me.  we headed straight for Point Sherman and then flew up over the ice fields and then skirted the tops of the mountains until we got to the Mendenhall Glacier and then flew into the valley via the glacier.  It was beautiful.  Absolutely stunningly beautiful.

At Juneau, after flight 67 arrived from Sitka I called Jack on is cell phone and confirmed that we were going to be on the same flight.  He was way in the back of where my seat was but since the plane was less than half full, the stewardess let me moved back to sit by him and catch up on things.

Getting the car at 11 PM was a fiasco.  The rental company we booked with was called Budget, but it wasn’t Budget Rent-a-car, the national chain.  Instead it was a little family owned business that made up their own policies as they went along.  The worst part of the rental was they required insurance with full coverage for each driver, on the driver’s own auto insurance even with Alaska Airlines Credit Card payments.  The rate for the economy car was $27 per day for three days, and the insurance they insisted they get was for $29 per day.  Needless to say, I canceled the rental on the spot.  Instead of getting out own car, Jeremy and I just bummed rides from my brother Jack.

Grandma’s Viewing

IMG_8439c Belle Plaine MapWe went to the viewing in Belle Plaine last night at a local funeral  home. 

The funeral home is remarkably similar to the one that we used for Grandma and Grandpa Hinds back in Worthington, Indiana and also perhaps similar to funeral homes across the country.  This is the town we always headed for when we went to visit Grandma and Grandad Davis.



IMG_8313There was a handful of classmates of my father and uncle Ted’s there at t he home to pay their respects.  The Family moved to Belle Plain from Wichita in the summer of 1954.  The bought the farm before that, then fixed up the house and moved there later.  Dad lived there for a year before graduating in 1955, Betty Jo graduated from HS in Wichita before they moved and Ted graduated from Belle Plaine in 1957.

IMG_8309One thing about the palor of death in the reclined position is that the skin doesn’t hang downwards.  This was something I didn’t notice myself but was point out to me. 

It’s difficult to imagine that the lifeless body there was my grandma for all those years except that she looks much the same in so many ways.  And it’s difficult to imagine that one day my mother and father will have a similar service that I will probably attend, and then, one day, my lifeless form will perhaps lie in a similar box and my children will perhaps gather around in a similar way. 

Mortality.  It’s quite a creepy thing. Holly has always told me that she doesn’t want to be embalmed, but to just cremate her. 

IMG_8307The Casket is nicely made and the slide show was nice too.  There was no real program at the viewing.

I rode down to Belle Plaine with John & Karen Francis, stopping by Harbor Freight along the way to pick up some galvanized shims so I can align my engine on the boat.

The Funeral is this afternoon and everyone is getting ready for it now.

Here’s another picture from the past…


Back row L to R: Christina, Jimmy, Dori, Brett, Tami, and Clay.  Front row L to R: Jack, Andy, Matt, and Betty.

0043cThis photo must have been taken in the early 80s at the Ancil Davis Farm near Belle  Plain and looks like it was taken in the summer or fall due to the shorts and general summer attire.

Tami remembers being pregnant with Missy at the time, but that seems nearly impossible, as Missy was born in June 1983, and she’s not really showing much.  Brett was still living with his parents and was in Connecticut until 1986. So, I can’t reconcile all that information to figure out a probable date.  If the date was in 1983, then that makes sense because that was the year my family spent the year in the lower 48 states while my folks spent a sabbatical in 1982-1983.

Photos are interesting as they document the way things are, and later on we can look back and see how things were.

Elisabet is here! And my family is back too!

Holly and the boys arrived in Haines today on the slow boat Malispina, bringing Elisabet for the first time to Haines.

Below is a picture of the ship they arrived on, but it’s difficult to see that it’s a boat, as the tide is very low and much of the hull is obscured by the dock.

IMG_9278 She is very nice and easy going, and she is a very pretty young lady.  When they arrived, it was nearly dark and just starting to rain with a heavy dense humid feeling and fog forming above the Lynn Canal.  On the tin roof of the log cabin, I can hear the rain going pitter patter on in a gentler calming way and I can hear Elisabet unpacking her things in her room.  The two three boys are all asleep and Holly is just about gone too.

In the photo below, we have (Left to Right), Elisabet, Holly, Mark Margaret, Bob, and Luke Michael, I was taking the picture, and John Caleb was asleep.  The Ferry is in the background.  The Ferry is not fast, as ferries go.  It has a cruising speed of 17-19 knots, as do most of the slow ferries, so it takes about 4.5 hours to make the journey from Juneau to Haines.

IMG_9279c As soon as Elisabet got here, Holly showed her around every room in out small cabin: the

two bedrooms, one for us and one for her, the bathroom, kitchen, pantry, and living room.  It was a short tour.  Then we ate a light snack of fresh home made bread & butter, jam, water, and juice.  The boys were dead tired and while claiming to be hungry for this or that treat really were just needing to get to bed.  I put the older two to bed, putting them in their pajamas and brushing their teeth.

When Luke was almost asleep, Mark Daniel figured out that their sleeping bags were switched and tried to switch them back to their proper positions but of course Luke was not in any condition to either have the bag pulled out from around him or crawl out of the bag himself, so when Mark started to pull him out of it, he just cried.  I took mercy on him and lifted him up and put him in his bag and laid him right back down.  Soon he was fast asleep.

As soon as Elisabet could, she started unpacking her bags and putting things away in her closet and little drawers.  It is difficult to know exactly what she is understanding or not while I’m driving, because I can’t see her face. But when I’m not driving, I can see comprehension or a question quite plainly in her facial expression.  I think this language barrier will not be too big of a hurdle to leap.

My prayer is the same as my mother’s prayer: that this year together with Elisabet will be a good year for everyone in the house and that we will all bless each other, help each other, and learn from each other.

Everyone but me is asleep now all over the house.  And now, I think, I will join them.

Jeremy & Kathleen arrive in Haines!

IMG_9752Jeremy (little bird) & his wife Kathleen arrived (un-greeted) at the ferry due to an unfortunate sequence of events.  They were in Juneau visiting Jeremy’s sister, Jennifer and came up on the Fairweather.

I  hadn’t seen them for seven years but we had a nice first night together at the Southeast Alaska State Fair.  The weather was Terrible: 50 degrees F, raining lightly.  The walk-ways were deep with mucky Mulch, but we persevered and ate, tacos, burritos, and macho-nachos!

Mark & Luke evidently need more practice smiling at the camera, which is surprising. Oh, well.

The Bludance anchors in Port Chilkoot. What’s up?


After the men of note practice, a large merchant ship (550 ft long and 85 ft wide), the Bludance, home ported in Malta, pulled into the shelter of Port Chilkoot and dropped her anchor then swung around into the wind.  She sits there now, looking rather conspicuous, if I do say so.  I’ve never seen any ship like her in these  waters.  I googled her and wound up with a link to Jane’s Merchant ships that requires a purchase.

She’s sitting very high in the water and is hanging off her starboard anchor, as can be seen in the photos.  Needless to say, I’m quite curious what she’s doing here in these waters empty, as she is.  It’s tempting to hail her on the VHF and ask what she’s doing, but I’ll probably resist the temptation.  It’s quite windy in the canal today and a number of fishing vessels elected not to head out to Boat Harbor this evening.  Perhaps she’s needing to get out of the wind for some reason.

Uncle John is home!

Bob and Margaret returned from Juneau today aboard the Greta with John!

IMG_8432cIt was sure great to see John again.  They made the trip from Juneau over two days,  anchoring up inside Mab Island last night and continuing on this morning.  Bob and Margaret aren’t prone to anchor up in unfamiliar spots, so it was nice that John was there to show them our favorite spot to anchor during the fishing season.  There was a very stiff south breeze blowing them along so they used the engine for only about 20 minutes or so on the trip home. 

John looks about the same, it seems. I suppose if one looks closely, he’s a bit older, but so is everyone else, self included. In the photo, he’s playing the local young folks in a friendly game of soccer.  Jack did the purchase on the soccer shoes that he’s sporting as he keeps the ball away from Chandler Kemp.  I was on the Windbreaker with the mechanic that is going to install the new engine when they pulled into their slip.  When I went to tie them up, the dingy was in the way and its rope was blocking the cleat, so I flubbed it and she rammed the dock.

The boys were sure happy to see him and play a little ball with him.  Of course Holly and John had a great time yapping about all sorts of things and I shoed him my Motion Computing LE1600 tablet PC and the cool stuff one can do with Art Rage 2.5.  He had a difficult time believing that I did the painting of Chandler, but that’s to be expected.  He’s been reading a book called Micro trends that seems like it would be worth reading.

Margaret fixed a wonderful meal for us and we had a nice celebratory repast.  Then the Men of Note rehearsed for the Saturday State Fair performance which will be at 2 PM.