Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Odds and ends (ex-Fairbanksans, Belfair, Chatanika, ...)

Well, it has been a busy week or two, as well as very social time. Adam and Carrie, with Megan, were in town, on their way home to Texas after visiting Nome. We had them over for dinner, and since Eran, whom they knew from Juneau, was in town too, he also came. Megan is just a few weeks younger than Sonja, and it was fun to see those two interact. Initially not so well - Sonja got possessive of her rocking horse though of course she has not rocked on it fo the last month, but then later they shared.

Two days later was a potluck at Keith and Susan's, so that we could meet all of the ex-Fairbanksans together. Adam and Carrie stayed for that, and Tina and Alain, together with Anthony, were back from their float trip up north on the Canning river. Ellie and Andy made it in from Boulder. Asking Tina what are some must-have's for a float trip up north, she said hip-waders are good (better than regular rubber boots, to drag the raft easier when needed), and bug jackets too. One of the youngest Fairbanksans also joined the potluck - Laurel, daughter of By and David, made her debut.

(That day, Thursday, we also had to pick up our share from the Basically Basic CSA, I took a pic of Martin there but will have to wait until he gets back from canoeing to download that picture... it was a busy day)

Two days after that was the Belfair wedding, one of the reasons that many of these people were in town in the first place. Great wedding. Special touches included their own wine (with wine labels designed by Inari, who also painted the picture hanging now in Sonja's room), flower dogs instead of girls, Princess-Leia-like dress for Sharon, carhart attire for many invitees (per request of the bride and groom), Pinatas hung from the upper story afterwards, etc. Sharon and Lars did an excellent job writing their vows. Many a story I am not familiar with must be behind - Lars promised to clean up chicken poop and other yucky and smelly things, even if in unusual places. And to tell of failed projects. If asked. Lars's friend did a speech a bit later, where he read from some of the emails from Lars. Sounds like ostriches were at some point on the list of projects too.

They got one of those inflatable castles for jumping delivered and set up right after the ceremony. It was a huge hit. Sonja initially didn't want to play in it, because she had problems standing and walking, but once she got a hang of it (at a time when some smaller kids were inside, who couldn't make the whole thing move as much as the adults could), she was almost unstoppable, and wanted to "skakat" (jump) the entire evening.

I guess we're now in the time of our generation when people do have kids - Sigrun and Chris, visiting from Arizona, are due a month after we are, and Michelle and Evan, acquaintances, have a young kiddo also.

The next day, Sunday, Martin and Regula and Thomas were heading out to float the Chatanika, down from the Elliot highway, for three days. Since they were going to start very late in the day, I thought we could join them at the campground at the road with Sonja and the dogs, and head back in town Monday morning. Well, it did not quite work out. First, to get there, the car could not have been more full - between four adults, a kid in a carseat, two dogs, a collapsible canoe, life vests, gear for Martin and company, and gear for myself and Sonja, it would have been difficult to find a place for a mosquito in the car. We got to the former campground at Chatanica, put up the tent, then Martin went fishing while Sonja played in the river, throwing rocks and sticks in (always walking a foot into the water, so she was really wet when done). Then we had some sausages and meat grileld over fire. All this time, the dogs were enjoying running around.

The problem started afterwards: I tried to take Sonja into the tent and get her to fall asleep. Fat chance. After more than an hour, I asked her whether she liked camping or whether she wanted to go home. Home it was. We packed up the big tent, Martin put up his small tent, and with Sonja and the dogs I headed home. Thirty five minutes later, home we were, though of course it took Sonja a bit more to unwind and fall asleep.

The last two days were beautiful. Sonja had her bath on the porch yesterday, and also an impromptu one today: she went with me to the garden, where we realized someone vandalized the greenhouse, and then we went to throw rocks into the Chena. As before, she was standing in the water to throw the rocks, and her shoes and socks were drenched. When we got home, she went to play in the sandbox. Well, wet shoes + sand mix together very well, into a substance which is best gotten rid of by soaking, so soak in the rainwater we did.

Tomorrow, 4th of July, Sonja and I and the dogs will head out to pick up those guys again, this time at the top of Murphy Doam. Martin figured out that they can stop at the wild-named "1st Alaska Outdoor School", and for some money, that guy will transport it to Fairbanks. In the meantime, Martin + company were going to do the 7 mile hike to the top of Murphy Doam, where the road ends, and where I can thus pick them up. We'll see if they make it. In the morning, we'll go play in the Tanana by Will and Anne's, and, depending on how Sonja does, may be go to the Ester 4th of July parade.

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