Waiting for Snow

By , November 10, 2010

Today is Martinmas Eve, or Old November Eve. Tomorrow, Martinmas, has been overshadowed since the early part of the last century since we began observing Veteran’s or Remembrance Day, marking the end of World War I. It used to be considered the first day of the real onset of winter. Perhaps it’s appropriate, then, that we had our first snow last night.

Here on the homestead we just got a skiff, but we normally get less snow than Haines. This morning, while Aly and were out roaming through the woods, we heard the roar of a snow plow over on the bay. A message from Michelle on the phone when we returned (she’s keeping friends’ children in town again) asked if we’d been out playing in the snow.

Aly’s pretty pleased to get what little we had. Yesterday, she played John McCutcheon’s CD, Four Seasons: Wintersongs, particularly the song, Waiting for Snow. They say the oldest human superstition is “naming calls,” or, more currently, “speak of the devil . . .”. I guess it worked in this case.

The snow’s gone now here at the homestead. Aly and I will hike out after dinner to join Michelle for the second night of the drum making class. We’ll see then if town still has any or not.

The drum making class was really fun, by the way! A good crowd attended, and we hear the class in December is full as well. Tonight we’ll be checking out our drums, which should be dry now, and making beaters for them. Aly and I will take a devil’s club cane that we’d made a couple of years ago. It should provide beating sticks for the three of us, and maybe even two or three other people, as well.

I’m very interested to see how my drum turned out. It seemed to be tending more toward oval than round—I can’t wait to see if it “shaped up” as it dried.

The instructor’s going to try to get Alaska Native storytelling star, Gene Tagaban, to come in December to teach us some drumming songs. Then, sometime in January, both classes from this year and one from last year will get together to “paint” our drums with Sharpie markers.

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