Memorial Weekend

Ready or not, here it comes! With Memorial Weekend here, that means that summer is just around the corner. How did we get here so fast? Does that feeling have something to do with the last three weeks? How could it not.....Here at Heston's, we all are feeling like a number of calendar days disappeared. Many years ago, I got a chuckle out of Cousin Myrl losing track of one week when he was trying to finish a project and head back to Arizona. Now I know what it feels like.

Immediately after our return, Greg continued with the brush clearing that he had started literally moments before boarding the bus to drive out of here on May 10. He had seen firsthand, up at the end of the Trail, how the clearing of brush and dead branches from larger trees could make the difference in the way a fire burns through an area. For the next several days, we all piled the small trees and brush that he had cut down, and it will be hauled away to the brush pit once it is re-opened. The view is a little clearer around here in some areas, but it means that our buildings and land are in a much better position should another forest fire come through. This is a photo of the brush-clearing party last Saturday, in the snow.

The Firewise program, for the last several years, has been distributing information on ways to make property more defensible in the case of wildfire. Clearing brush from around the buildings and in between larger trees is one way. Metal roofs on buildings are another. Stacks of firewood against buildings are a no-no. These are just a few examples. When the fire was burning on the Canadian side and we were in the process of evacuating, Greg cut down some trees that were very near to buildings, including a white pine in front of the screen porch. For years, he has been planting little trees each spring, and he has worked hard to nurture the white pines that were evident in the early days after the blowdown. Though it must have been difficult for him, he felt it was necessary to cut that large white pine, if by doing so it would help to protect the lodge. Fortunately, we have a batch of new little tree seedlings safely stored in a cool spot, just waiting to be planted.
We've also been busy with getting things opened up and ready for summer rentals. Boats and motors are on the beach, we've been tackling the window washing and other cleaning, all the docks are in the water---it feels like it's getting back to a regular routine. Once again, I hesitate to use the word normal......

Robert has flown back to Alaska, arriving in Fairbanks early this morning. He called a little while ago and told me that after his plane landed at about 1:15 a.m., and his roommate brought him home, they stayed up until 3 a.m. Why? I asked. Because it never got dark last night, he answered. In the two weeks that he had been gone, the sun kept creeping higher, so that they are once again experiencing nearly round-the-clock daylight. This is a first for Robert to see. He arrived in Fairbanks in September, when things were starting to get dark. He made it through the winter darkness and now gets to have the benefit of so much light. I hope to see that one day.

He got home in time to go back to the airport this evening to pick up his sister, Addie, when she flies in. Once again, she is spending six weeks in Eagle, with Grandma Sharlene and Jim. She will be doing some tour-guiding for the Eagle Historical Society, and visiting with her friends up there. Two weeks ago, she wasn't sure that it would all work out for her to take the trip. We're all very happy that it did.

So far the weekend has been cool, and a bit rainy. We don't mind. The forecast ahead contains some sunshine and warmer days, and that is good, too. It's time to be putting in a garden, to once again have fresh lettuce and other veggies to enjoy throughout the summer. Things are growing all around us---the wildflowers are starting to pop up, fiddleheads and ferns are everywhere. We've even been seeing bright green grasses in the areas that were burned over. Green is a lovely color right about now.
With the end of the Trail re-opened, it feels like we're all geared up here, hoping for a good summer. Come on up, if you can, to see for yourself that things are doing just fine. A few views have temporarily changed, but soon those, too, will be covered in green. It's all part of nature's way, and I, for one, am interested in seeing what the next sights are on this path.