November Tulips

As the calendar nudged into November, I dug through nearly two inches of frozen dirt to plant tulip bulbs. I felt compelled to finish this task before I left on a flight to visit my parents in Portland. They are reaching an age when health issues are taking their toll and I was traveling to…

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Adventures in Puppies

My grandchildren’s summer adventure will be to watch seven wriggling Labrador retriever puppies grow from birth to eight weeks, when they will go to live in their new people’s homes. My son’s family owns their mother, Rhubarb, who is the daughter of my dog, L.C.  So, L.C. and I now boast seven new grand-puppies. The…

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A Book as Old as Dirt

Years ago, at Powell’s Book Store in Portland, I happened upon a used book called The Wise Garden Encyclopedia. Its weight was substantial but not unwieldy and it felt good the way some books do, to hold in my hands. In small type on glossy paper, with a smattering of excellent pen and ink illustrations…

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Dream Builder: Willis Crafts Sleds to Go the Distance

  Bernie Willis runs his hands along the runners of a dog sled perched on a workshop table at his Arctic Arrow Farm in Wasilla, Alaska. He inspects the stanchions, the hardware and straps. In a few days, the sled will be traveling the punishing 1,049 mile trail between Anchorage to Nome. The sled needs…

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Valentine #24: A Memory

When we first stepped off the plane in Alaska nearly thirty years ago, the headline of the Anchorage Daily News announced “BUTCHER FINALLY WINS IT!” It was the first year Susan Butcher won the Iditarod (’86) and we were immediately caught up in the excitement of the world’s longest sled dog race. When my son,…

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