Monday, September 27, 2004


"At night the stars put on a show for free..."
--Up On The Roof, The Drifters

There was thin ice on the puddles in the driveway this morning and a billion stars across the sky. The moon was sinking in the west, already beginning to wan from fullness, as I arrived at work. The brilliant spark of fire--Venus--presides over the pre-dawn sky.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


The same prevailing weather pattern that gave us such a warm, dry summer is still in place and may promise an early winter. It is snowing in Anchorage today and at the thousand-foot level here as well. Even at our house, the cold rain was hitting with bits of ice imbedded in the drops.


I came across this article while doing a search on Alaskan news....


Friday, September 24, 2004

Good-Bye To The Islander

Some time during the past few days--or the last time I saw the mountains--there has been fresh snow on the highest peaks toward the head of the Bay. After our unnaturally-long summer, this seems precipitous, though I know winter is just teasing us at this stage.


When I came into work yesterday, MH was on the phone to Kenai, passing them information for an accident package. Homer Air's Islander had crashed on the beach at Hallo Bay while on a round-robin flight from Homer. Luckily. no one was killed but it sounded like they got pretty roughed up. We probably won't see N6522T again.

Plane crashes on Alaska beach; all seven passengers survive
- Friday, September 24, 2004
(09-24) 08:33 PDT ANCHORAGE (AP) --

An airplane with seven people aboard crashed on a beach soon after takeoff, but all but one of the passengers walked away from the wreckage, officials said.

One woman was knocked unconscious, and a man broke his arm in the crash Thursday, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Raymer. The other occupants had bumps and bruises and mild cases of hypothermia.

The plane crashed on the beach at Hallo Bay, about 75 miles northwest of Kodiak, and was found partially submerged in the water, Raymer said. A man who had loaded cargo onto the plane, registered to Homer Air Service, saw the crash and radioed a distress message.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Andy Smircich, manager of Homer Air Service, declined to release the names of the passengers or say where the plane was headed.

"Everbody's OK and that's what we're focused on at this time," he said.

Monday, September 20, 2004


I felt well enough--after much coffee and Thera-Flu--to make a run into town this afternoon to pick up some groceries and check the mail. The sense of autumn has grown stronger since I last was out in the world.

Under scattered clouds, the steel-blue sea crinkled like foil in the face of the brisk southwesterly breeze. The windward side of the Spit was white with froth and the sunken shoals off-shore revealed their presence by the breaking swells. The brisk air held just a hint of the chill that is promised.

Today it really feels like Fall.

The hills behind town are a mix of dark spruce green and the yellow-orange of the alders, climbing up to the meadows that mark the ridgeline. From a distance, the fields of fireweed are dark red. They have all gone to cotton--the tops tinseled with the burst seed pods, the last clusters of cotton clinging to them like the memory of the state fair. The leaves have been burnt red from the frost. Even in death, the plant is beautiful.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Autumn Chills

I've spent most of the past few days in bed, when I could. What started out as an annoyingly drippy nose on Monday became a full-fledged head-cold by Tuesday. I have only stirred from bed for the necessary tasks--cat care and feeding and taking Denny to the orthopedic clinic for his knee.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Today is my favorite cousin's birthday but three years ago it took on another, very unfestive meaning.

For what it's worth, Happy Birthday, Kathy. I will never forget that some very good things have happened on September 11th, despite whatever else may have followed. It is through our relationship over our lifetimes that I have some idea what it must mean to have a sister.


I recalled my personal experience of 9/11/01 in last year's blog entry. It still gives me a bit of a chill when I realize that I must have woke from my sleep just as the first aircraft was hitting the North Tower.

The rest of that day--that whole week--was unreal, viewed through a veil of physical and spiritual pain. Even here, a continent away, we felt the blow personally and staggered under it.

We have survived and passed through our grief into a new world, a darker, less secure world. I was just thinking, as I climbed the steps to work yesterday and fumbled for my key, that it has been three years since I didn't need my key to come on watch, three years that our building has been locked down. Like most anniversaries of the sort, it seems both longer and shorter than the actual time. The events on those days are so strongly etched in our memories that they still seem fresh, yet the world has changed so much it is hard to clearly recall the time before airport screeners and closed-circuit cameras.

Now the paranoia seems almost natural.

But behind the new normalcy are the spectres of smoking holes in the earth and losses that are felt fresh with every anniversary.

Monday, September 06, 2004


I was greeted by stars as I went out of the house to go to work this morning--the Big Dipper hanging low in the North and Venus brilliant to the East between Gemini and Cancer.

It has been three weeks since I opened the station. Our days have shortened by an hour and fifty minutes in that span and the sun is rising nearly fifty minutes later now than it was in mid-August.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Old Typhoon

We had an old typhoon move through the area yesterday and our weather has turned more autumnal in the wake of the storm--clearing skies and gusty winds for us today.

At least it has cleaned the smoke from the skies and--one hopes--put a damper on the remaining fires in the State.