Four Minutes

We live in a place with a lot of extremes.  The tide ebbs and floods twice a day, but here it changes by about 20′ each time.  The sun rises and sets, but it doesn’t stay around too long in the winter, and it almost never goes away in the summer.  Right now our daylight is increasing by four minutes every single day.  (It’s even more than that in higher latitudes.)  These things are just some of the ways that makes Petersburg a pretty interesting place to live. 

I apologize for being absent on the blog for so long.  We’ve had some sad and difficult things happen – losing a dear friend to a rare disease (CJD), and a very bad diagnosis to someone else close to us.  It has been a tough time and it’s not over, but we’re trying to be a little normal while we deal with things.  We say a lot of prayers, and stand by to fly to those we love when we’re needed again.  My friend Richard Thieme has a quote that I particularly like: “We are all embracing reality as best we can but sometimes reality hugs us back with a surprisingly strong bear hug…. OK, we say, that’s nice, I love you too, reality … OK, you can let go now … but reality, bless its heart, hangs on … (what is reality, you ask? Philip K. Dick said reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away …)”

The beauty of a winter day here is also reality, and looking out across South Harbor to see the Coastal Mountains and the Devil’s Thumb peak is good for the soul.  We’re so lucky to live in a place like this.  But its beauty is not just skin deep.  It seems like we have so many talented people on the island – more per capita than anywhere else I’ve lived.  Just for an example, we have a metal guy who’s also a musician and artist, and this is the “sign” he made to advertise his boat repair business.This sign is mounted on the ramp down to the North Harbor dock, and there’s another one like it in South Harbor.  It’s shaped and cut to fit perfectly around the ramp stanchion.If this is the skill and care he puts into an advertising sign, imagine what he can do for your boat!  Of course, no detail is omitted.  There are little figures in the pilothouse, but there’s too much glare on the windshield to see them in this photo.My favorite talented person in town is Miss M, a seventh-grader, National Junior Honor Society member, knitter, crafter, fisherwoman, musician, and taxidermist.  She’s amazing!  I love to see what she’s up to – it’s always something pretty cool… like playing the violin, flute, and teaching herself to play the erhu (a type of Chinese violin with 2 strings).  She also taught herself German and last year it was Russian – just because.  The other day, Miss M showed me a birthday card she made for her friend… who also learned Russian just because.It’s just another day among the wonderful people here.  We had the annual Meatball-palooza at the Sons of Norway this past weekend, and now everyone is looking forward to the annual Lutefisk (and ham) dinner in two weeks.  It’s a very Norwegian thing, and the best part is going early to help roll lefse – a Norwegian crepe.  (We have the easy part – our harbormaster Glo first takes 50 pounds of potatoes and transforms them into perfect balls of silky dough for us to roll.)  We’ll set up long tables and the experienced hands will help the new ones learn to roll the dough very thin with just the right amount of flour, and cook them on special round griddles, flipping them with thin wooden turners decorated with rosemaling on the handles.  It’s a community event, hands and hearts.  We help one another, and then break bread together.

Although many of the town’s events are traditional, we still keep up with current events.  Both the bear statue and the fishing boy statue were sporting pink pussy hats this week, showing their support for equality, and opposition to racism, hatred and harassment.