Spending a day with me in Sitka

May 13, 2017–

This week has been a busy one with two cruise ships arriving on Wednesday and Thursday. That means we had about 4,000 extra folks around town over those two days.   Smaller ships are coming in and out at various times as well as those coming to visit on their own.  Lots of visitors make the days go by very fast.  It does feel a bit strange at times.  I walk to work about 7:00 a.m., before the visitors arrive.  Then I look out at 8:30 and they are everywhere!  Then around 2:30 – 3:00 they disappear.  It’s a bit like an episode of the old tv show Twilight Zone.  Now you see them, then you don’t!

The big white boat arrived this week. She is “GLORIA”. Nice one.


Tours, Tours and more Tours!!! Everyone wants to see the Russian Bishop House.

Entrance to the Russian Bishop House

For those folks who love Gardening and Plants . . . here are pictures of the Sitka Rose and a local plant named Devils Club.

Devils Club

Devils Club (aka Oplopanax horridus) is an important medicinal and spiritual plant in this area.  Be careful of it as it’s stem is full of tiny thorns.  When the Russian Bishop House was restored by the National Park Service, they found several dried sticks of it that had been placed in the crawl space underneath.  It is believed to have a spiritual importance in protecting loved ones.

The Sitka Rose

The Sitka Rose are Rugosa roses.  They grow as tall, shrubby, sprawling, multi-branched, plants that need room to spread out. They really smell nice.



This is St. Peter’s by the sea, the local Episcopal Church.  Thought you might find the story of the front stained glass window informative.  The church was built in 1899 and the windows were ordered from a company in New York.  It seems a Jewish synagogue ordered their special stained glass at the same time from the same company.  After a long and arduous journey to Sitka, the window arrived, and it was the wrong one.  It seems our window went to the Jewish Synagogue and theirs came to us.  Because of the long journey and the time and expense of making these changes, it was agreed that they would each keep and display the windows they received.  Hence, we have the Star of David in the beautiful stained glass window of St. Peters.


Well, enough educating.  Now let’s talk about me!  I have continued to embroider this past week and am making great progress on my Christmas present list.  I’ve also continued my daily reading schedule.  One of my morning reads is a Christian daily booklet entitled “Forward Day by Day” which seems to always give me something to ponder about life and faith. Some days the message hits close to home and provides me with a deeper look inside myself.  Sometimes too they are messages which I probably would have liked to ignore a little longer.  But, I suppose a higher plan was in place for me.  That happened this past Friday morning. The reading was as follows:

Friday, May 12 –Wisdom 6:17. The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction, and concern for instruction is love of her.

Every family has a shorthand language – phrases and words that give deeper meaning to the stories and jokes that make up family lore. As soon as she could talk, my baby sister Judea was adding her own phrases into our family lexicon, including my personal favorites: “I hold my own hand” and “Mybyself.”

“I hold my own hand!” everytime we crossed a street, exited a car, cimbed stairs, or took a walk downtown. She would tug her hand away from whichever sibling or parent had reached for her, actually attempting to hold her own hand as we proceeded forward, as we tried to grab an elbow or jacket hood or whatever part we could snag to keep her from running into danger. “Mybyself” was her first rallying cry against control, her first declaration that she was going to go her own way, to earn the hard way.

To grow in wisdom requires us all to humbly offer ourselves up to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit and our communities fo faith and family. It requires us to honestly confess that we need help.  


What a great story we can all relate to in some fashion or another.  I must  admit that I am stubborn.  I also admit that I am determined to do all that I can by myself.  In my head I hear those words “I hold my own hand” or “I can do this by myself” ALL the time.  Finding the will and grace and trust to ask and allow help has been the most challenging steps for me in this life.  Maybe, at 68 years old, I am finally getting some grains of wisdom.

Today is Mother’s Day Eve. So many people in my life to remember on this very special day as I am sure there are in yours too. Our birth mothers, adoptive mothers, sisters and aunts who were like mothers, people of no relation who took us under their wings and nurtured us in some motherly way . . . just so many different ways of mothering someone.

Then, there are those of us who are mothers. We mother our children (regardless of their age), we mother our 4-legged children, we mother our mothers if we are fortunate to have them still with us here on earth, and we are the surrogate mothers to those we meet and pull under our wings.

Tomorrow will be a very special day. I’m happy to say that while my mother has passed on, I miss her so much. And while they were many days she was here with us that I failed to appreciate her kindnesses and wisdom, I know them now and thank her every day for being MY mom. I would not be who I am today without her.

And to my very own daughters, I say thank you for giving me your unconditional love;  your grace when I am not graceful;  your gratitude when I deserve it and, more importantly, when I haven’t earned it, and your support when I need to lean on someone without anyone else noticing. You have grown into two beautiful people who are generous and kind and incredible mothers to my grandchildren. I could not ask for more.


Happy Mother’s Day to all. May your day be blessed with “moments” to last a lifetime.

Love & Blessings,




P.S.  Here’s a group of videos for you to watch if you are interested.  No promises on their worth.  I’m learning!