It’s good to be home on Prince of Wales Island again. Soft, gentle rain greeted me here a couple days ago, and now we're enjoying rare, glorious sunshine.
We drove down to Hydaburg on Friday to check out the new seafood plant they're launching there (Haida Alaska Seafoods). It's a beautiful facility, and I love to fish in that vicinity, and I really love Hydaburg, so I was happy to do this on my first full day back.
On the drive down, we saw two beautiful black bears, and there are countless deer roaming around, including one that just cruised through our yard, and decided to plop down underneath one of our trees for a rest.
Speaking of our yard, we have a fantastic storage container that now holds all the boxes I mailed myself, as well as gear for our boat. Our eventual plan now is to someday move the trailer out, and build a structure under the very well-built pole barn that currently shelters the trailer. We'll also extend a building perpendicular to the pole barn structure.
Right now, we're just getting some basics done at the place. We don't want to spend too much money fixing up the trailer, since we plan to build something a little more substantial in the future. We have a hose for water, and we can heat water up with our camp stove, just like we do on our boat. We also have have electricity, which is really neat-o. We can charge cell-phones and things like that.
We have a campfire ring, which is really great during nice weather, and helps keep the bugs down a bit.
We devoted yesterday to preparing our boat for its return to water scheduled for Tuesday. Itsuro now has a new coat of bottom paint (thanks, Dave!) and new zincs, after a good power washing. She has wintered well.
We also have my little C-Dory boat (Tonie's Taxi), which we took out into Klawock inlet shortly after I landed. It's perfect for checking crab traps and impromptu sunset cruises. It's also great for when we want to go a little faster than 6 knots.
Congratulations to Santa Cruz High School's Class of 2017! Thank you to my dear students for helping me learn and grow with you. Friday night was my last night in Santa Cruz, after living there for 32 years. We have packed and shipped most of our household stuff to Hawaii and Alaska. I have loaded my currently needed essentials into my trusty truck, while I tie my final loose ends in California.
Successive summers of boat living have helped me adapt to a more transient lifestyle. Yet I still have to rummage through the truck just to find my socks. Once I'm on my boat in a few days, I'll repeat the packing and organizing process until I can efficiently find things again.
I have been whirling from one place to another over the past few days. Thank you, Brent, for the kind words and presentation of my beautiful "SC" letter. Thank you Lauren for the beautiful framing of that letter. It's already packed in my suitcase. Thank you Kathy, Steve, and Michelle for taking such good care of us at school in more ways than anyone can imagine. Thank you, Iver, for the beautiful Cardinal mug I have been wanting ever since I first came to SCHS.
Thank you to my friends at the SCHS World Language Department for the Bookshop SC gift card. I will have fun using it next time I come to Santa Cruz! Thank you, Michelle, Peter, Sophia, and Riley for hosting my send-off with my World Language "familia/famille," and for letting me camp out at your place that wonderful evening. It was the perfect transition to my new lifestyle.
I have lived in California for 40 years. Now I'm leaving. it's going to take me awhile to reflect and express my gratitude for all the blessings I have reaped while living here.
In the mean time, much aloha to all of you! I will miss you. I won't miss the traffic, nor some of the other craziness. But I will miss everyone I know here. So please take us up on our offer to come visit.
Last night was Shawn's last night in Santa Cruz, after living here for 32 years. Yesterday afternoon, luck and circumstance took us back to our old neighborhood, where we reconnected with our friends there. That was followed by sopes at Palomar and a movie downtown. We had been holding movie certificates for quite a while. Last night was our deadline to use those movie passes. I think it had been about six years since we had gone to a movie. While we waited for the movie, we were treated to music from our wonderful local marimba band. The whole scene was also being recorded by happy Buddhist monks. It was a quintessential Santa Cruz experience.
This morning we had breakfast with our friends at Zachary's, which opened the same year we arrived here. I had my usual sourdough waffle. After lots of procrastination, Shawn finally got on the road. He's headed to Placerville, where he will pick up our C-Dory, repack our stuff in the truck and boat, and finally make his way north toward the June 10 Bellingham ferry to Ketchikan.
Meanwhile I spent this afternoon cleaning out my classroom at Santa Cruz High, and I completed my final preparation of lesson plans and final exams.
This evening I wandered about downtown for some dinner, as I no longer have a kitchen in Santa Cruz in which to cook. It's a good excuse to go to all of my favorite old haunts, and quietly complete my checklist of places I want to visit before I leave. This will be my week of farewells to this town that has been so good to us.
For 32 years, Santa Cruz bore witness to some of our lives' most significant events. We got married here. We bought and sold two homes here. We launched and concluded our careers in education here. We cared for my mother and she died here. We also survived an earthquake that forever helped us keep "stuff" in perspective.
I'm going to enjoy this final week, as I transition from being a resident to becoming a visitor. I'm staying close to downtown, and I will quietly reminisce about the good here.
I look forward to graduation with Santa Cruz High on Friday. So I won't say goodbye just yet.
A few things I'm passionate about: