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March 14, 2022: Intimations of Spring

Winter loosened her grip, maybe briefly, today, and we were all reminded of why we live here. The distant peaks of both the Chugach and the Talkeetna Range were clearly visible. They always remind me of crumpled envelopes.

I worked on book project administrativa before heading into town to do hands on book project shlepping. I stopped at the post office to pick up what I thought were six more boxes of Alaskana books from Portland, Oregon. Turns out there were two boxes, one was from Pete’s family, and one was from my family.

Arkose Ridge

I opened one box at the Meeting House, after unloading a truckload of books. The one from the Tinsely-Praetorius household (they call themselves the Tinslorius family) contained oranges and lemons. These are from California. I was glad to see that they withstood the cold and were still fresh.

I opened the second box upon arriving home, after doing a distribution run. My sister had told me what the box contained; nevertheless, the contents did give me reason to pause because it was in some ways a blast from my past.

The reindeer cup – I had never seen this before. That was okay. The plate, for holding spoons and the like while cooking, this was a bit harder to take because my mother had painted it – this is now the only thing of hers that I now own.

There was also an old journal of mine, containing poems and a photo of me completing the 1974 Rochester marathon. My youth, my energy, in the writings and the photo, did take me aback. The writings are actually quite good – I was a very articulate writer – had I gotten some guidance career wise, I might have made something of myself. For this reason, I quickly closed the notebook and put it back in the box.

Also included, my grandmother’s shoe collection. The shoes are decorative, small, mostly ceramic. I never fully understood why she chose to collect shoes. She may have told me, and I may have forgotten.

I’d said to my sister a few weeks ago that I’d take them when she said that they were sitting in her garage. Ten, twenty, thirty years ago, I most likely would have said give them to someone else in the family.

Do we become more sentimental as we grow older? I guess so.

Everything, including the shoes, were carefully wrapped. I will put up the nick knack shelf in my cabin when the weather is better. The question I have is, what will become of these shoes when I am no longer around? I mean, is there anyone out there who collects this sort of thing? I thought that maybe there would be at the very most a dozen shoes – there are close to three dozen.

I don’t feel any great sense of attachment to these shoes. Rather, I feel a sense of obligation. They were important to my grandmother, so I will continue to take care of them. But who will want them? I haven’t a clue.

Next: 72. 3/15/22: A Conversation with Raudi

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