Caveat: Yáahl

Yáahl

Yáahl uu st'igáalaan, hal st'i'áwyaagaan.
'Wáadluu xíl hal tlaahláayaan.
Gut'iláa k'íit k'uts hal ts'asláangaan.
'Wáadluu sáng kwáan hal néilaan gyaan hal 'lagáalaan
Asgáayst hal xitgwáangaan táawk uu hal diyáangaan.
'Wáadluu, chíin kwáan gándlaay aa hal táagaan.
Hal sk'ísdlaayaan gyaan xitgáay aa hal jagíyaayaan.
'Wáadluu hingáan an sáanjuudaayaan.
Ahljíihl uu tl' hlgúujuu jahlíis gám 'láa'anggang.

This story is in the Haida language, which is the native language of Prince of Wales Island, where my uncle's home is and where I will be moving. Here is a translation from the same website where I found the story.

Raven

Raven got sick, he was very sick.
Then he made some medicine.
He boiled different kinds of tree roots.
Then he drank it for many days and got well.
Then he flew around looking for food.
Then he ate a lot of fish in a creek.
He got full and couldn't fly.
So, then, he just rested.
That is why it doesn't pay to be too greedy.

by Erma Lawrence
Original version published in: Xaadas Gyaahláang (1974), Society for the Preservation of Haida Language and Literature.

[daily log: walking, 3km]

Caveat: nothing a little money won’t solve

I have been spending some time arranging logistics. I have to order a way to deliver my household goods from my storage in Minnesota to Alaska. So far, as my uncle Arthur would say, "Ain't nothing a little money won't solve." It's coming together well. But yes, it's pretty expensive to move from Minnesota to Alaska.

I don't have much else to say. Feeling busy. I fly to Minneapolis tomorrow night. Tomorrow morning we have a very long appointment at the VA hospitals, with the neuropsychologist, working on sorting out where things stand on the cognitive aspects of Arthur's recovery.

[daily log: walking, 4.5km]

Caveat: Some Very Old Photos

We drove down from Olympia back to Forest Grove today. I don't have anything really prepared to post on this blog, but I spent time going through some old photos, and decided to post a few.

This is a picture of me in 1972.

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This is a picture of me an my sister dressed up for Halloween in 1974.

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This is a picture of me dressed up as a mummy for Halloween in 1976. As some of you know, that is not the last time I ended up dressed as a mummy.

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Finally, my favorite picture of my sister, on a horse, in 1976.

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So that's pretty interesting, maybe.

[daily log: walking, 3km]

Caveat: gatherings

When I was a young child, every year around Thanksgiving, my family and various friends would travel from Humboldt down to the Bay Area to stay with other friends in a little town called La Honda. At that time, La Honda was quite rural, nestled up among the redwoods at the center of the South Peninsula, and felt quite remote from Palo Alto, just down the hill. Nowadays, of course, La Honda is fully overtaken by Silicon Valley bazillionaires and quite uninhabitable by air-breathing folk. But the tradition, back then, was to have a kind of extended, hippyish get-together with lots of guitars and good food and hanging out. It wasn't always just Thanksgiving – there were summer reunions, too.

Well, that tradition has drifted around, geographically, over the intervening decades. Mostly, I haven't made it to these reunions. A few times I made it at Thanksgiving, because it was typically hosted at Juli and Keith's in Oregon. But the summer gatherings were not something I ever made it to. Many of these have been hosted at the Hohstadt's property in southern Humboldt, but as the generations have shifted the location has relocated north to Olympia, where Sherry and Greg live.

Anyway, all these years later (I guess, about 40 years later relative to the last time I was part of this), it's still happening. It ends up a very nostalgic time for me. The oldest generation are often people I knew who were young adults when I was a child – people like Juli and Keith, David (who is now with Vivian), Pat and Steve. They remember me as a 10 year old boy. Subsequent generations are not so well-known to me. I know about them but in many cases have never met them before. Anyway… 

Here's a picture of Pat and Steve. Bear in mind that I remember these as a young adult couple, parents to a boy a year older than me who I often played with. They're maybe a few years younger than my parents. I remember them playing guitars and singing old folk songs, back then. And they still are, all these years later.

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Arthur attended these gatherings too – much more than I have, over the years. So having him come has been good for him, I think. It ties into old memories, he knows most of the people, and he can feel comfortable in a larger social setting. I tried to get a picture of him – this picture is a bit low-resolution, because it was dark, but he's there.

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When we drove up, we didn't go through Portland. Instead, we went up west of Portland and crossed the Columbia River at Kelso. Arthur managed to figure out how to take a picture of the rather old-style, very high bridge with my phone, while I was driving.

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[daily log: walking, 2km]

Caveat: Poem #727

A yellow moon rose
over Olympia's firs,
out by Rainier to the east.
Aging hippies 
and their kids 
and grandkids
and a few great-grandkids
sat in a circle 
composed of memories
and regrets
and the sweep of time
singing old Bob Dylan songs.
The moon's light grew bold
and enjoined the night to listen.

Caveat: Still Capable of Occasional Happiness

I caught my uncle smiling.

He hasn't been doing that much, these days, so I felt very lucky. I don't even know what I'd said in that moment – something about replicating the custom of photographing food. We were having a dinner out at the King's Pub – the restaurant that my cousin owns in Forest Grove. It was a pretty good dinner, anyway. And Arthur smiled – the photo was pure luck, since I didn't realize he was smiling until I was looking at the photo I took later.

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Today, we're driving up to Olympia for the weekend, to visit old friends as a sort of large gathering up there. I may see some people I haven't seen since I was a child. It will be interesting. I think Arthur's up to it – he gets tired easily especially in social situations, but he'll be able to just stop interacting if it gets to be too much, I reckon.

[daily log: walking, 4km]

Caveat: Student Goodbyes, Part 3

The last two days have been busy with various medical appointments for Arthur, my uncle, but I took some time to get the last of my "student goodbyes" organized. These are just scans of papers they made for me – unlike with the "yearbook" I posted in the last set, these were done at my request, which I felt more-or-less okay about doing with the younger students.

The youngest just made pictures. The next older cohorts made messages, often in Korean, while the oldest would sometimes write in English.

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[daily log: walking, 4km; driving, 70km]

Caveat: A Daily Trip to the Tree Farm

In the mornings, before it gets too hot, Arthur makes a walk up to the "tree farm," which is basically the end of the road out here in Cherry Grove. It's all uphill walking up the road, and it's therefore all downhill walking back. It's good exercise. The road continues after the top of the hill, but he stops at the top. Perhaps oddly, there don't seem to be many trees on the tree farm – that's because, as a tree farm, the trees have been harvested and there are only very young trees growing for now.

I walked up there this morning with him. When we paused at the top, he took a picture of me.

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There are many wild blackberries growing in this part of Oregon.

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Here is the gate to the tree farm, with a sign on it. The gate is always open.

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[daily log: walking, 5km]

Caveat: Student Goodbyes, Part 2

Here are some more goodbye messages I have received from students. It being currently 4 AM in Oregon, and feeling wide awake from jetlag, I decided to make this post.

Firstly, my student Jun Hui, 7th grade, gave me this painting. She painted it from a photo on my blog, here.

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My coworker Grace created this "yearbook" with her students. It's quite amazing and beautiful. Grace managed to do this without me being aware that it was being worked on – she was good at getting all the kids to keep the secret of its creation.

On the front cover is "See you later alligator" and on the back cover is "In a while crocodile." 

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There were many envelopes and other goodbyes handed to me, too. I've put these into the yearbook.

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My student Shelley created some paper flowers. Inside, was a secret note that explained how all the students were making letters for me. She had to keep the secret, see, but she had to tell, so she made a note and put it in the flowers which she would give to me.

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My heart is touched.

I have some scans of some other goodbyes papers I'll post later, in a part 3.

Caveat: The Flight To Oregon

The flights from Seoul to Seattle and then Portland presented some good "airplane window photo" opportunities.

Here is downtown Seattle, iconically recognizable.

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Here is the volcano Mount Saint Helens, just north of Portland, as we came in to land we went right over.

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Juli and Arthur picked me up at the airport, and we drove back to Forest Grove by an alternate route, avoiding a downtown traffic jam.

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Caveat: Tune in next time…

I am now in Forest Grove, Oregon. I have arrived.

I wanted to post some pictures from my trip but I'm too tired: I didn't sleep before I left and now I"m jetlagged too. So I'll post more detail tomorrow.

[daily log: walking, 4km (mostly in airports)]