Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Whitepass on the way to Skagway

     For me, spring starts on St. Paddy's Day, which marks the day I arrived in the Yukon, 1980.  I remember it well because green beer was served at the bar.  The Whitehorse airport at the time was a large cavernous hanger, with the only place heated being a small office in a corner.  Pigeons lived in the rafters high above the wide open space.  The luggage was delivered by tractor to a sheltered frozen ramp outside.  Winters seemed a lot longer and colder back then, and this day was no exception.  The first true Yukon character I saw was a fully bearded man wearing a long fur coat with coyote tails dangling all around the hem.  From under his massive hairy hood, I heard a raspy voice tell me "You should've been here yesterday, it was even colder."  I was undeterred and welcomed the new adventure ahead.

     On this 32nd anniversary Robertson and I drove over the White Pass to Skagway Alaska to visit some friends who are undertaking a massive house project.  I love the energy of dream houses under construction and to visualize with them.  We had the usual fish and chips at the Sweet Tooth Cafe, seated at the table by the window and watched almost no activity passing on the wooden sidewalks.  We picked seaweed on the beach to take back to the compost heap to give it some extra coastal vitamins.  Like tourists we stopped often to marvel and take photos.  It's still an amazing place to call home.
     Is it the human condition to reminisce of perfect days long after they have occurred?  I vow to be more attentive to the ingredients of idealic moments.  Take today for example, we snowshoed across the lake in the sunshine, and followed it up with a sauna.  I shoveled ice off the deck with only a towel loosely draped over me with steam wafting from my wet hair.  Scented a spoonful of water with drops of lemon grass and lavender oils before tossing it on the lava rocks to create steam.  The spoon is made of a burl from a diseased tree and the bottom is carved with "Maked it by hand" signed by "Skully".  Another true Yukon character who once had a spot on the Alaska Highway selling a variety of bowls and such.  I hold it up to Rob and tell him it's one of the few things I hung on to from my last marriage.
     The weekend ends with a chicken roasting in the oven, a glass of wine and a good book.

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