Boats on the water in Southeast Alaska can bring joy and frustration, sometimes on the same day. With unlimited sun and warm temperatures, we have joy today but Aki expresses frustration at the time it is taking us to get to the picnic spot. She whines quietly and paces back and forth across the three foot width of the canoe as her paddlers fight a stiff headwind blowing off the Mendenhall Glacier. We land safely on an exfoliated granite point which reminds us of Sweden.
On this Memorial Day weekend we remember the beauty of Swedish archipelagos and our friends there. I remember family and friends who have passed, some in service to their country but most after just living good, useful lives. My now dead father would have love this place like he would have loved Aki and his never-met granddaughter. He would have laughed at me and and my fishing buddy when yesterday we yelled at a seal lion after it snatched away a 20 pound king salmon that my friend had hooked fairly.
We should remember our war dead this weekend but save time and energy for the deceased, like my father, who taught us to love.