All Good Gifts

Here on the “homestead” we’re enjoying our annual week of celebrations: Michelle’s birthday, the anniversary of moving to the property (our 8th, today) and Michelle’s and my 33rd wedding anniversary (see Reserve Week). Michelle decreed that her birthday would be sunny and warm. Unfortunately, the weather gods disagreed, giving us instead a darkly cloudy day and a southerly gale. Fortunately, the day before featured Michelle’s weather. On that day, we rafted the Klehini and Chilkat Rivers with Michelle’s employer’s guiding outfit.

(Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Iron Mountain from across the “moose meadow” (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

We floated the glacier fed rivers we are more accustomed to driving along the edges of, bouncing and swirling over gravel bars and gentle rapids, listening to stories about the the geography, wildlife, and history of the area.

Michelle is technically required to take his excellent trip, so that she can advise visitors about it, but it hardly seemed like work, even for her boss, who virtually glowed with pleasure as he shared the rivers he loves. Besides, I got to tag along! (See Be a Tourist in Your Own Town.) As a birthday activity, it couldn’t be beat!

An eagle takes off from a sandbar on the Klehini (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

An eagle takes off from a sandbar on the Klehini (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

On her birthday itself, although we had to change the planned day on the beach and evening cookout, we managed to celebrate. We hiked to the top of the knoll and hunted mushrooms for dinner. I even managed to give her a couple of gifts. The rest, which I had to order from out of town, will hopefully arrive in the coming days.

Today, Michelle’s tending to her more usual work tasks, while I’m left to my own devices. I can’t imagine a better way to mark today’s anniversary than doing the normal work of the “homestead.” I’ll hopefully include an excellent celebratory dinner somewhere in the plan, most likely featuring mushrooms. We’ll also need to put our heads together for a plan for our wedding anniversary. We ought to figure something out in the next few days.

We talked earlier this week about this celebration-heavy week. We noted the de-emphasis on gifts in favor of celebration. I suppose the good gifts we celebrate this week—another year of life, another year of home, another year of love—might just be more than enough.

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