Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunny Day Picnic in Juneau, Alaska



The rains have come to the Juneau-Douglas area now. I am so grateful that I took advantage of our few sunny days to have fun with my 90 year old father and 82 year old mother.

My visit has been hard and I am deeply exhausted. I only have a few more days on my beloved Douglas Island before I take an Alaska Airlines flight out on Tuesday and head back to my 'other' home in Salem, Oregon.

I have spent three challenging but worthwhile weeks here. I have celebrated my mother's birthday, visited with my four younger brothers and their wives, and all of my wonderful nieces and nephews and even helped with a sweet grandog.

I have cleaned and organized and safely re-arranged until there were no hours left in my day that went unused. I worked on two Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative quiltlets in honor of my mom and I re-read "The Thorn Birds" for the third time (one of my mother's absolute favorites, and mine, as well.)

We drove to the end of Thane Rd. on the Juneau side and to the end of the North Douglas Road (pictured above) on the Douglas side. I drove my father's car on all of these jaunts...that's a big deal, trust me ;)

On this beautiful day, pictured above, we drove to Outer Point on Douglas Island. Pictured here is a view point right before the end of the road...before Outer Point. We watched the kayaking class in progress. It was like watching Tai Chi or Chi Kung. It was a thing of beauty to the eyes and a melody to the ears as the commands chanted out for the use of the paddles. The kayaks glistened on the sunny beach all in a row.... just waiting for the instructions to merge with their use.

We opened my dad's sunroof and the sun poured in as we ate the lunch I had packed us. Tuna and egg salad sandwiches, chips,cheetos,grapes, cookies and pop. Even without a cookie, my diabetic, but very happy mama exclaimed again..."Another good day!"

And then, again..."now, what can we do to give you more good memories tomorrow?"
Ah, mom, each and every day is a good memory...sunshine, car ride, picnic or not.....

shown:
Kayaking class, Douglas Island
Mendenhall Glacier as seen from across the Gastineau Channel
the front of a house on N. Douglas Rd (made totally of old skis)
Mendenhall Glacier, Gastineau Channel

3 comments:

  1. More breathtaking scenery. I'm sure your mother will treasure those memories forever, and your father appreciates getting a chance to get the things done around the house that he has been putting off.

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  2. I love your little quiltlet; it is so pretty and creative and reflective of the love that went into making it. And such love reflected in the care for and joy in being with your parents as they walk this difficult path called Alzheimers. Oh my! A very dear friend of ours on the east coast who has suffered for a number of years with Alz. has just had a massive stroke. Not good prognosis. Her sole caregiver/husband now needing to release her. My heart breaks for them. His love for her in caring for her has been so great, just as is your Dad's--except your Dad has the added challenge of more advanced age. Savor your last days there with them. Thank you for sharing more beautiful Alaska pix.
    Blessings,
    Linda

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  3. love this rainbow photo ....I had to enlarge to discover they are skis...beauty wherever you glance.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.