Celebration of life

I attended Don Frantz’s celebration yesterday and was reminded what a great guy he was and will be remembered for. The Alaska Aviation Museum hangar was jammed with people for a buffet, libations and a power point presentation but the highlight was the words spoken from the hearts of those who knew him best–family and friends. Those words focused on family, bonding in love, take care of your mother and "Hey, good lookin.’" I was impressed by the years of love expressed by the Frantz family and the reciprocal love they experienced from others. What a tribute to a great man and great family. Best wishes to the Frantz family.

3 Joys

Celebrating today: 1) God granted me another day, 2) little sister’s birthday and 3) going fishing with family. Will miss sister’s call today telling me she received my gift because I’ll be on the road to the big water on the Kenai to dipnet red salmon with son and a couple of his. Family, that’s what it’s all about.

Dirty Jeans

Dirty Jeans *

She meant well. Maybe she just didn’t know about little boys and bugs and worms and rusty nails and fish.

Maybe it’s because she grew up with no brothers. Maybe it’s because she wasn’t a boy. Maybe it’s because she was used to a clean house. Maybe it’s because she didn’t like the smell of fish.

She was startled when she saw the boy’s pants on the floor—they were moving. When she finally got nerve to approach them, she jiggled the jeans and a frog fell to the floor and hopped across the room.

When the mother came home, the babysitter explained the mystery of the moving pants, asking the lady about the bugs, worms and rusty nails she’d shaken from the holey and dirty jeans.

“Oh, you had a normal day. He’s always coming home with critters and odds and ends in his pockets. When he plays outside, he usually goes through at least two pair of pants a day. What with his trips to the fields, the woods and the pond, he’s a one man expedition.

“In the beginning I didn’t know how to deal with him. He was always dirty, full of energy, bringing home stuff. He was often cut or bruised. And did I mention…hungry? He’s a boy. That’s what boys do. Dismantle stuff. Bring home things you don’t want in the house. They grime their bodies. “At first I didn’t understand. I complained to my neighbor Cy. Told him my little boy was a mess. That he was always dirty, bedraggled or bleeding. He didn’t like baths. He preferred dirt to soap. “My Little Guy brought home fish and asked me how to ‘fix’ them. I didn’t want them in my kitchen. I didn’t know how to ‘fix’ them. But I learned. I asked Cy. He showed me how to clean and cook fish. Then I taught my son.

“Cy told me my son was experiencing the blessings of boyhood.

“I didn’t want to deny my son those boyhood blessings. I learned that it wasn’t MY kitchen. Even more important, in his wise, old way, my neighbor showed me that there was something more valuable than my kitchen. And I told my boy to bring those smelly fish into the kitchen whenever he wanted. And he did, along with the rusty nails, bugs and worms.”

–Little Pea Pickin’ Larry, spring 2014

*Sub title: The Kitchen or the Boy Boy

How often do we marginalize those we love…perhaps assuming we’ll have them forever? Or how often do we place more value on stuff than we do on people? While contemplating these ideas, I thought it would be nice to take a closer look…at a boy, a babysitter, a parent and a gentleman whose decisions were based on their experiences. I wanted to portray the benefits of knowledge… and to show that personal relationships are more valuable than things—in Alaska and beyond.

Homer road report

Left Anc. 5:30 PM Tues., raining over Hope and Res Ck Trail. Few eagles at Peterson Ck. Spitting rain at Cooper Landing, clearing onto Kenai Burn flats, prettier and prettier. Moose ran across in front of us leaving Soldotna and two horse riders crossed before us at North Point prior to Homer, 4 hours later. Spent night with friends, Light on the Hill. Next AM spent 3 hours watching pit run delivered-spread at daughter’s driveway. Left A.Point 1 PM; 12 min. delay Happy Valley for yellow stripe painting. Monster Ak Range volcano-mts. Side trip mouth Deep Creek to show wife tractors, 20 eagles and talk w. 2 PA fishmen who’d hooked fish in the Kasilof and were returning. Side trip Kenai to look for used clarinet and music cassette tapes. Freddies 8-piece chicken and ice cream. Slow pokes necessitated stop at Sterling to eat chicken wing–best ever from Freddies; passed slow pokes (2 mtr. hms. and pkup entering Kenai Burn). Minimal rain at 4:30 PM. Silvertip: dark green spruce and hemlock pockmarked w. light green alder and grass covered the mountainsides, capped with glorious white and back dropped by robin egg blue and cotton ball clouds. Perhaps the prettiest RT drive ever to Homer. Reached home at 7.

Bear management

Reporting for duty. News flash. The good news…summer is here. The bad news…so are the bears. Local "media" suggests Anchorage is inundated by bears, a most unusual summer. Unusual? Guess what? ADF&G credits usn’s as the cause…you know, we the people who have delectable items for the bears to enjoy. My response to all this tired mantra is that people live in cities where bears have no business. If 25 sows have twins and 25% survive, that’s 12 new bears a year. How many is that in 5 years? How long will the ADF&G continue managing people instead of bears? (more on this tomorrow)

Manliness

Let freedom ring. If you don’t have the manhood to put your name on it, you’re not a man. Why would you send an anonymous letter? Man up. Why would you expect your voice to be heard if you’re gutless to put your name on it…as in wearing a mask? Are you gutless? Come on. Alaska up!

God’s country

Cranked up the grill yesterday for special brawt recipe of wife’s. awaiting company…and noticed even at 48 degrees, I could see my exhaled breath. Felt like snow in Anchorage. Nevertheless, we live in God’s country.