Usually, when I start to see geese or crane flying North, I know the fiddleheads are almost ready. These are the early unfurled ferns that like to grow in moist areas, such as near creeks or by the bay. In their raw form, fiddleheads have a toxin that can be removed by boiling the cleaned greens for five minutes then rinsing well before cooking or pickling. I like to pickle mine with a easy to remember solution of 3/4 water 3/4 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp salt along with pickling spices. Soon Devils club shoots and masu are what is harvested the same time as fiddleheads. Dandelion jelly is batter up and spruce tip syrup. I love harvesting goodness from this area!
Seal skin, beaver and calf skin design.
There is something about the first breath you take in when you step outside in the morning. I question myself “am I smelling spring?” Soon the sweet smell of flower blossoms will mix in with one of my favorite smells, right up there with baby’s first breath, is fresh greens. The smell of new life, it is intoxicating.
I look forward to harvesting fiddleheads and pickling them. I look forward to the mud! Why mud? Even though it may seem messy and a chore to clean up, mud represents the changing of the seasons. Spring or fall, times and seasons change and each season should be looked forward to. Different seasons give us different opportunities. Take each opportunity with a smile on your face because surely a new season is upon us!
Have you ever been driving down the street and stop to let an ambulance pass? First thought? I lift up the people being tended to in prayer, I pray for the EMTs going to the crisis. Do not for one second, doubt the power of prayer. Each and every single prayer makes a difference in this chaos we call life. Where two are more are in agreement, He is there! Do you ever meet a stranger through a simple hello? Not knowing a single detail about their life, do you lift up their life in prayer? Always ending in “Your will be done?” A few months ago I saw something beautiful, not in person, but online. It was a picture of one million children in India praying for world peace. It touched my heart, what would your reaction be? I joined them in prayer. The children took the initiative to pray for sometime that this world desperately needs. This is prayer week for Alaska and He will hear our prayers. A chain link of seven for each day of the week. We lift each other up in prayer and believe it makes a difference because it truly does. Amen!
It was the first day of spring in Alaska. The sun was shining like it does everyday. This day there were no clouds in the sky to cast any shadows. The snow was still blanketing the earth, melting in the heat of the rays of the sun. My cheeks felt the kiss of the sun. A brisk gentle wind caressed both cheeks, creating a smile on my face. The feeling of the sun and the wind made the spring in my heart overflow with joy. It was if they both cared for me and my happiness this day. Is it possible? For the sun and the wind to care so? Anything is possible and I imagined so. The wind will assist in shaping the sands of the earth. Each granule of sand plays its part, together they form the land and shape of the desert, this changes ever so slightly each day, other days drastically. The snow is temporary cover for the earth and the wind will also direct where the snow stays or blows. The sunshine melts the snow where it may, day by day as it pleases. Until one day it is all melted away. The sun rays and the wind are directed by our creator, God the Father. So I imagine the sweet caress of the wind and the gentle kiss of the sun rays are for all to enjoy and receive. Enjoy everything life has to offer. I know with all my heart that each and every single person I know has an amazing life. How do I know this? You are alive!
One summer in middle school a family from Nome brought their horses to Unalakleet. This was the first time I saw a horse in real life. I was in love with horses and they were beautiful. They fed along the coastal beach grazing on grass and could not be more picturesk. Nena was the name of the female horse. I was dared to ride her bareback when me and some friends drove out to the old dump site. I was up first, being assured my friends would hold the reigns and with the help of my sister and friends hopped on Nenas back. They started walking her and she took off full speed and I held on for about 30 seconds before she came to a complete stop and turned to her side almost as if to say “this ride is over.” I tumbled in the grass and did not get hurt. My knees were covered in grass stains, a small price to pay for my first horse ride. Then a younger friend was next, she got on, held on and was taken very far up the beach. We had to go get help because the horse did not stop for her, it just kept going.
The second time I rode a horse was in Fairbanks when I went to Rural Alaskas Honors Institute. We got to pick the horse that we wanted. I chose a male horse named Jessup. He was amazing and while all the other riders stayed on a slow pace, Jessup would stop to graze and then do a sprint to the group when they got a good distance from us. I got to go fast if only for a few seconds, I was in heaven and he did this the entire journey.
The third and last time I rode a horse was at the Cincinnati Horse Derby. My ex husbands Grandma owned horses she raced in Cincinnati, Ohio. She had a beautiful male white stallion. For exercise they tied them up to a rod with a leash that goes in a circle. I was able to ride him for a couple of minutes. We went round and round in a circle, posed for some pictures and that day her horse won at the races. We got to pose for pictures with the Jockey and her horse along with the blanket of flowers for the horse as well. It was all a splendid memory.
Someday I hope to own my very own horse. That would be amazing and the kind of work needed to take care of them, I’m willing.