When last I wrote you, we were still waiting on salmon runs, the Red Sox were coming on strong, and the country seemed a little less insane than it does now. Sadly, too many of us are still waiting on the fish to come or have been shut down because of depressed returns. The Red Sox are first in the league and breaking their own records every week, and for this I am grateful. I've spent a few days wearing rain gear — not to keep dry, but to keep the mosquitoes from sending me to town for a blood transfusion. Company has come to visit in waves, and this place doesn't ever get old. It's nice when they figure out "What time is it?" isn't relevant. It's "What tide is it?" that matters when you live on the water.
A neighbor built a shed on a float. It's for visitors who forget that talking politics at a family reunion gets you a different and somewhat more isolated accommodation than you bargained for.
Though I have missed our weekly chats here in the pages of the Anchorage Daily News, I haven't missed feeling I should read every political story I can in order to bring you a column. This summer has been the first break I've taken from politics in more than half my life. I get why so many unplug and just forget where the socket is. Trying to keep up with the whiplash of who is fake and who is lying — well, it will make you sick. Take it from me: Get the shingles vaccination, because they hurt bad enough that you might dream a bear has a hold of you or a four-foot-tall magpie is flying you back to her nest to feed her giant baby birds. That may just be me, but it hurts.
I'm plugging back in. This causes me no great pleasure, but for the love of God and all that is holy, if we don't pay attention, we may find Alaska has been given back to Russia in trade for the incineration of some salacious kompromat.
Maybe you've tuned out too, so I won't give you the long list of why we have to do this together. OK, it'll be a shorter list. The bottom line is, our elected representatives are more interested in their careers and friends who pay money to keep them in power than they are in us. Stop thinking they will wake up, read the Constitution, remember they took an oath to uphold it, and protect our democracy from enemies foreign and domestic. They aren't going to. They aren't like us. Our governor? Well, the best thing I can say about him is that Sean Parnell lost his job. That's great, but we can do better. State house and senate seats? Those people get to boss your life around for years at a time. Find out who they are, put up a sign and break into your last bit of summer to show up for the primary vote.
Instead of just reading social media bits and being a thumbs-up slacktivist, find a campaign coming up in the next couple months and volunteer. It is so much better than reading what others think of the news,and campaign headquarters become strange and wonderful clubhouses that usually have snacks and like minded neighbors for you to meet. Single? Oh, really? Well, it's also a great way to meet sweethearts. I just visited with a friend who met, fell in love and married the woman of his dreams because Scott McAdams ran for office. Come for the democracy, stay for the true love. There are ballot initiatives to help with. You only get one vote, but you can phone bank a lot more.
The fireweed have passed the halfway mark. The bird poop on the porch is now purple; it's a reminder to pick blueberries and wild currants soon before they are all eaten up. That funny little rattle on the top of the canner seems pretty constant, putting up all the salmon I will need over the winter. The blade on the new log splitter (What? Your pop didn't give you a log splitter for your birthday?) should be duller soon. All the prep for winter months is at the top of the list — but it's all for naught if we don't get ourselves back in the game to win midterms.
Oh, and I missed you too.
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