Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A moment of silence

       Juneau, the town we love and call home, has suffered a tragedy. No, no one died, but something very precious to a lot of people was callously destroyed Monday evening. A playground that was built by the community back in 2007, involving hundreds of people and thousands of man-hours, was set ablaze. This wasn't just any playground. It really was a magical place, utilized by a majority of the community. There are photos of it all over the place--all you have to do is type in "Project Playground Juneau" to see them. If I can find any of my own, I'll add them to this post. Swings, slides, an ice castle, a play fishing boat, tunnels, boardwalks--this description doesn't do it justice. This park was a real center to our community. There were always kids running about, thoroughly enjoying its wonders and delights.
      I got the news from a friend at about 6:00 Monday evening. I felt shock, sadness, and outrage as I looked at the photos and watched my Facebook feed blow up. I didn't realize how much my kids would feel the loss. My son, especially, stomped around, saying, "Why would someone do such a thing, Mom?" Both the big kids said, "That's my favorite playground. And now it's gone." Sentiments being repeated around homes all over Juneau.
      Joe drove by the park on his way to a meeting last night and told me there were people gathered everywhere. Cars were stopped on the side of the highway, nearly every fire department vehicle in town was there. One would think someone of great importance had died and the town had convened to mourn. Not too terribly far from the truth.
      I was perusing Facebook this morning and came across a post by an acquaintance. She wrote a poem about this very real loss and I believe it expresses what most of us are probably feeling more than anything else I could say would. I will let her words end this post.

Smoke still curls, 
Charred bones remaining of buildings that 
Brought this borough together not so long ago. 
Cars line the street, 
Crimson flashing reflections in 
Motionless mirrors.
Children's hands and their laughter Float like ghosts in that
Space, empty and hollow.
Amber caution tape sways
Wider than the burned seats of swings,
Metal bars blackened.
Plastic flutters in the wind.
We cannot put out the flames with
Fear, or the
Tears that stream down.
Justice will not return
Wonder to Juneau's children's eyes, Imagination set free among
Castles and boats and joy.
Green grass, laid bare and burnt, will grow again.
But we must not stay so idle.

-Kristina Paulick

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring has sprung

     It's April here in Juneau, and it is beautiful! Kyrie has one sail back on now--her roller furling main--and we're enjoying some sunshine. I don't know what the official temperature is today, but I do know it's too warm to hang out in the cockpit at the moment since the back curtains aren't fully open. What a problem--too warm here in Juneau! I love it!
     Currently, I'm the only one on Kyrie. We got a kayak yesterday and Levi has taken to it like a fish in the water. Yes, we found an incentive to get him to buckle down and finish his school work. No taking the kayak until he's done with school. He finished everything by the time we were halfway done with grocery shopping today, so I hope this continues. He's been out in that kayak nearly all afternoon. I think he's going to find himself gaining some arm strength that will help him out in swimming quite a bit. In the meantime, Joe came home from work and lowered the dinghy to go for a cruise around the harbor. The girls decided they wanted to go along, and Levi took off in the kayak with them. A quiet 20 minutes to myself to enjoy the sun out on the bow? Nothing wrong with that! Although I'm beginning to think we may have to get another kayak if anyone else wants to be able to paddle around...
     In other news, we will be celebrating a birthday this week. Levi will be 10 on Wednesday! When I think of all that has happened since that boy made Joe and me parents... Wow, we've seen a lot of craziness in our lives. I can honestly say that 10 years ago, as I stared at my enormously pregnant belly, trying in vain to see my toes, I did not contemplate even the idea of living on a sailboat with not just the child I was carrying, but also two more! But you know something? I wouldn't change anything. Especially when I can be kicked on the bow of my dream boat, soaking up some April sun, here in Southeast Alaska. Right now, I really truly believe there are few moments that could top this.

Levi trying his skills in the new kayak.

Joe and the girls cruising in the dinghy.
Most of Kyrie's crew out enjoying the sunny day!