I know it’s summer and I should sleep in, but when you’re solar-powered and the sun floods into your room your body doesn’t care if it’s 4:18.
So, I’m starting to settle into my sun-induced schedule, which entails waking up, going on a hike or drinking coffee and having staring contests with bald eagles.
The thing about going on a 6 a.m. hike is that I’m one of the first people out on the trails, so the likelihood of encountering a black bear increases. There haven’t been any documented attacks on the island, so that either means we’re due, or I have nothing to worry about. I like that one.
Monday after my hike, a drive with mom to the Thorne River for a short walk, lunch and an hour-long nap, I started into the summer chores. At one point I took a break from the terracing prep-work on the front yard which slopes into the ocean to watch mom planting flowers.
A month and a day after part of her skull was removed so doctors could get at her brain, she is planting flowers to go with the yellow tulips sprouting from weather-worn flower boxes I made her a few summers ago. Unbelievable.
She’s not allowed to do strenuous activity like hauling a bunch of firewood or taking four-wheelers off jumps, but it’s pretty miraculous — she’s even back to work.
After breakfast yesterday I drove mom to her sixth day of school since she was released from the hospital May 16. I was a little paranoid because being late is unacceptable, especially when you are a teacher driving your mother to school.
“When does the bell ring?”
“There is no bell.”
“You don’t have a bell to indicate the start of the school day?”
“No. Not in the elementary school.”
“So your students just show up on time?”
It’s one of the many things I have to readjust to when back home. Also noted was while driving most cruise controls are set between 43-47 miles per hour and at least one hand must be on top of the steering wheel for easier waving to other motorists.
The 4.1 magnitude earthquake Sunday was reported only by locals on Facebook and a local also commented that Big Foot had recently been spotted on the same mountain I hiked Monday morning. And some people think nothing happens in Alaska.
Anyway, I dropped mom off, then headed to the Little League baseball park. I thought it would be a great spot for column inspiration. Sure enough, within a minute of sitting down on a piece of driftwood on the beach that is extreme center field I heard the unmistakeable sound of a humpback whale blowing a geyser of mist into the air, then a giant fluke slowly slip into the ocean.
I started banging out this column and wondered where I should hike after picking mom up from school and how the salty air might impact my laptop.
Ah, island life.
To contact Jeff Lund, email firstname.lastname@example.org.