Sunday, September 6, 2009

Indian summer

Liam impersonating a Beatle from Sgt. Pepper

Liam and Nora, a very good friend of his with a similar dressing aesthetic

Karyn Noyes, one of the very first people to ever meet Théa, reading her a bedtime book

The Super-sized Swingset.

Alaska sure is putting on a show this summer, and gifting us with a Labor Day weekend like none in memory. Sunshine, t-shirt weather, gentle breeze to keep bugs at bay, so very very awesome. There might have been frost last night, but very subtle at best, but season's change is certainly in the air. The days are getting shorter, though it is still light until at least 9. The fireweed has all bloomed out, replacing its summer-time fushia blooms with crimson seed pods and white tufts of seeds. I am currently looking out onto the hills around the house where the setting sun is enhancing all these colors with an amber glow that makes it all seem a little surreal. The mountains don't have any snow-dusting covering them yet, and are more barren than I have ever seen them. The yard is so green it almost glows, thanks to volcanic ash and plenty of sunshine.

It's a fascinating thing about Alaska, though. Just when you start to finish your to-do list for the year, and can settle in a chair and enjoy it - fall hits, followed closely by winter. Fall in Alaska goes like this - one day, usually in October, it gets cold and all the leaves change color. About two days later, it rains and blows and all the leaves fall off. Then it is gray and rainy for most of the next two months. But hey, maybe this year will be the exception. One can always hope.

So today, instead of working on any of the practical things that need doing (windows in rental cabin, finishing painting of house, etc.) we assembled a gigantic swing-set. A friend of ours who moved to Anchorage said we could have their swing set, if we could move it. It turned out to be about 20 feet long and has room for a lot of stuff. Best of all, it has two swings, which both Thea and Liam loved so much during our time near the parks in Victoria. So I was thrilled. Finding a place for it, not to mention getting it here, took some effort, a few strained muscles and a couple of explatives, but we managed. We even finally buried the electricity line to the cabin that has been exposed for a very long time ... does the list of things like that ever shrink???

Anyway, we ended the day with a foray into the wilderness in search of blueberries. We found some - just enough to spend about 20 minutes picking and enjoying the warm, mossy ground, and the act of discovering and then eating straight from the source. Then we scooted into town and raided the sadly-ignored raspberry bushes of a nonprofit organization that will go unnamed to protect my family. It was an amazing day, a gift from the weather gods, really, and the cap to an extraordinary summer.

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