Saturday, September 22, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Hi Everyone again,
I forgot to tell you about a new land development here that has some of the sisters alarmed. We developed a big split across the road about 8" wide now that goes up the side of the mountain. They filled it up, but it opened again. They were calling it a ground slump. It is wherte a mass of land slips and shifts from the top, then upswells at the bottom. This has gone on for a couple of weeks now. There are also sink holes appearing in the area. One house was evacuated. It is affecting about a 4 mile area. The latest is that they found an old man-hold and it is full of water and evidentally filling from somewhere and washing down the mountain. Guess we'll see what happens there. On the other side of town from us.
Friday, February 3, 2012
I haven’t written for a long time and I apologize. Life is so “the same.” There is little to write. Dad shovels snow, fixes tires, chops wood (I carry wood). I watch him work or visit with the sisters. I am getting really good at visiting. I think that fills a need. When people live alone, they get lonely, they don’t get to reminisce, or talk, or just have a good sounding board. So I think they enjoy the visits, and I certainly do. Sometimes one just needs to talk. Men don’t seem to have this need so much. Weird. I do genealogy, prepare lessons for Relief Society, bake cookies for people and try not to eat them before I get them given away. Pretty much I keep house, wash, and cook (which I still dislike by the way). Everyone loves dad. They will really miss him when he leaves. A couple of the sisters call and love to visit with him when he answers the phone. The little branch here definitely needs our “youth?” It is a blessing to be able to work hard, and the sisters have really needed some help this winter which is worse than normal.
We had a fun relief society enrichment meeting last week. We did Yoga for seniors, soaked our feet in minty Epson salts, exfoliated them, creamed them, and it felt lovely; then we had a lecture on personal hygiene, and lunch. We only had six of us there but we had a good time. It reminded me of having a pretty spell at home. One lady wants me to do yoga for the senior citizen center. I hope the lady calls me; it would be fun.
Last week we were literally snowed in for a couple of days. When it snows here, once it begins, it just keeps on steadily all day. We got around 4 feet of new snow. It can lay down 1-2 inches of snow an hour. This week we shoveled everyone out just before we got wind and rain. Wind has blown all day at about 60 mph. One hundred foot trees are swaying 5 feet to either side of their trunks giving a 10 foot swipe. I keep checking to see if any have broken off. This has to be the only place where you check for fallen trees or bear scat when you go outside. It rains like it snows—buckets of it all day. The nice thing is it is warmer, and it has melted 2-3 feet of snow, so now I can see out my window a little better. When the temperature drops, all this water will freeze, and it will be icy and slick. We will have to wear our snow tires (things that attach to your shoes with studs in them to keep you from falling down). We probably have another couple of months of winter. People say when the snow melts, it is a real mess for awhile. I will probably have to break down and get some water boots. Many people here wear those green boots we call pipe-moving boots. They have some that are slightly better looking at Wal-Mart that are black rubber with colored polka-dots or flowers for the ladies. (of course, you have to get to a Wal-mart in Juneau or Whitehorse ) At first, I thought these boots must be for kids, but guess not. I am afraid my long skirts will be rather water soaked, but I don’t want to shorten them for one wet spring. My Merrill boots are ok but are heavy, and I probably don’t want them to be so warm.
We finally saw some moose. Here again animals are larger than the same species at home. (can’t find my moose pictures—I think I didn’t have my camera) These were along the road, but I understand sometimes they come right into town. The snow has been so deep that it is causing them to move down.
Now I am feeling inclined to talk about the birds here. The Tlingit Native Americans in this area have totems of the Eagle, Raven, fish, and Bears primarily. In Whitehorse, they had the Raven, and the Wolf. Anyway, the ravens are almost as fun to watch as the eagles. They are huge and love to play in the wind gusts. They also come in flocks to peck around the parking lot by the store. I caught some of them at the service station. They hardly move when you drive through them.
Eagles are always wonderful. It makes me feel so awesome to catch them on camera. There is something special about actually taking the picture yourself. I love this eagle who is warming his wings in the sun. It is almost like the eagles pose for their pictures. They also roost in the tops on the trees and never in the pine trees. They like to be in the open areas. Maybe it is because they need the space for their wings to land. The eagles always seem to roost in the same spots and the same trees. Many times there will be 4 or more eagles in the same tree. I have a few pictures of eagles in flight, but they are hard to catch.
We recently found four swans that seem to have forgotten to migrate. They are simply beautiful. There are also huge seagulls, a different variety than the ones we have. Buzzards are cool. Here again the nature here is just so beautiful I can hardly get enough of it.
Here in Haines, there is only one main road, so people say, “ Just go out the road.” I thought that was so dumb until I realized that there is literally only one main road. If you go “out “the road, it isn’t hard to find most places. They will say, “He lives at 35 mile.” And you know it is just out the road. When it snows though it is a bit difficult to find the mile markers, let alone the little lane openings that have been plowed. Oh they have a new term here “the burm.” The burm is where piles of snow are in front of your drive way or along the side of the road that the snow plow has plowed up. We hate the burm because we always have to shovel it away for everyone to get out of their drives.
Well I think that is about all I have to say for now. We sure love to hear from you and know how your life is going. Hope you have a good day tomorrow.
Love you tons, Mom
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Dec. 10, 2011
Dear Family and friends,
We too are really missing our kids. We've been out almost a year and still have a year to go. What were we thinking! If the next year goes as fast as this one has, we'll still be home in no time at all. I can't believe how fast the weeks and months fly by! We have also talked about how sad it would be if our kids got so used to being without us they won't care when we get home, and they will be so involved with their friends and family they won't have time for us. We want to visit them in the spring after we get home on our way to Florida for our "Old Family" reunion! I think it will be really fun! Of course, we're not thinking about that right now, but will be next year at this time!
We do have time to reflect and read quite a lot, though we have been pretty busy this past week with a funeral on Friday, (the guy who was flown south, died of an aneurysm) getting the church ready for meetings on Saturday, conducting and holding meetings on Sunday (The branch president is still gone for a couple of more weeks), then spending Monday and Tuesday sawing up and splitting a second tree that blew down in the parking lot of the church. We hauled it over to a widow's house that heats with wood and now between this one and the one last month she has enough wood for the winter. She really appreciates it. I hope they are about done blowing over, though. When I was young it didn't take three days afterwards to recover! We had to split them all with a maul and wedges and it still feels like work! Then we stacked it on her porch so it will be out of the snow.
Wednesday we did the family history center in the morning, visited in the afternoon, and in the evening I helped teach the community woodworking class at the high school that I've been doing. Next week is the last night, but they asked if I could help again starting in January. It has given us a great opportunity to get to know fanatics. We have the blessing of our mission president to do so. Of course I'm doing it as community service and not getting paid for it. The guy I teach with (the official teacher) attends the Baha’i church with his wife, and the other shop teacher doesn't go to church, but we found out his wife who lives in Montana is a member. She came to visit him for Thanksgiving, and we picked her up for church. She is a recent convert, and will be moving up next fall. We asked Darwin if he'd like to learn about what is wife believes and he said he's not ready yet, but will let us know when he is. Anyway, Thursday was our “P” day for washing, shopping and cleaning the house with Family History in the evening again, yesterday we helped a lady work out some problems with her home loan and insurance company, today we went to 33 mile with a young couple for hamburgers (the only place in the area for good ones), then came home and helped decorate the Christmas tree over at the church, then went and watched the “Snow Dragon” in the Community Christmas Parade. Also visited some less actives and made arrangements to pick them up for church tomorrow. So goes our weeks!
The weather here changes from month to month. Today's paper said we got 11 feet (135.8") topping the previous November record of 68". On December first it turned warmer and windy, thus the trees blowing down, as well as power lines. Weather has been into the 40s, we've also gotten about 10" of rain, so the snow level has dropped to about 18", and most of the roads are nearly clear. I'm really glad, I've been getting really tired of blowing the walks clear of snow every day, often with 2' of new snow. Today was cooler, about 32F, but crystal clear and sunny. The sun rises about 8:45, goes down by 3:15, but hey, any little bit helps! At noon it was barely above the mountains on the Southern horizon, goes down fast. When it does cool off in the evenings the roads get really slick, but at least we don't have to shovel it! We are warm and cozy in our little cottage, we have baseboard heaters heated by water from the church. Like heated floors, baseboards take a long time to respond, so we pretty much set it and leave it the same all the time. Sometimes it feels a little cool when it's windy, when it's nice it's a little warm, but we're definitely not complaining! The church system is heated with oil which is really expensive, but electricity is even more so, and they don't have natural gas available here. Many people spend $600-1200/month just for heating oil. We're really glad it's included with our cabin!
We are planning our branch Christmas party tomorrow; we'll have a dinner at the church, play a couple of games, and exchange "white elephant" gifts. The people seem to really like doing things, even though they are older. We changed it from next Saturday to Friday so one of the part member-less-active families could come, but the dad got a new job so he can't come anyway. His wife and two youngsters will be there. We are really hoping to teach him as we get to know him better. He works as a mechanic in a garage, but works half days Saturday and all day Sundays. Maybe pretty soon he can trade some weeks with others who work there.
Some of our dear friends from Whitehorse called and want us to come have Christmas dinner with them. We'd really love to, but can't unless President Lehman gets back from Washington and is feeling well enough to do without us. We won't know for another week or so. If all goes well, they should be back on the 20th or 21st. I hate to be gone the first week he gets back. We're still trying to find out what the Sunday schedule is for New Years this year. Is New Years Day going to also be Fast Sunday? What are they planning over there?
Well, I guess I'd better be going. I still need to do the paper program for church tomorrow; it's our primary program for our one kid in primary. He just turned 11 two weeks ago, so unless we get some more kids coming next year we'll have to cancel primary and start up a young men's program!
Hope things are going well for you. Did you have a good Thanksgiving? What are you doing for Christmas? We have loved getting family letters from some of you, especially with the pictures!
Love, Elder & Sister Powell
Monday, November 28, 2011
We got another 2 feet of snow last night. It brings our November total to 133". Right now it's raining, we hope it stays warm enough so it doesn't snow more tonight! I spent four hours shoveling and plowing this morning, then this afternoon the snow slid off the roof. I'm attaching a couple of pictures of our "partly cloudy."
Hope it's better tomorrow as we leave for Juneau! Love ya. Dad.