Six months ago I was flying out of Alaska. By pure happenstance my flight was on the summer solstice, and I have vivid memories of waiting to board my redeye at a little past midnight. The Ted Stevens Airport was fully lit by the sun, which then was only just starting to head toward the horizon. I was trying to read a book but was pretty distracted, as overall it had been one of those trips that was a mixed bag; I was back in Alaska for my grandmother’s interment, which was sad, but she led a great life and I got to see all of my Alaskan relatives, which was good. Funerals and funeral-like gatherings are strange that way, I guess.
Now, six months later, it’s the other solstice—the shortest day of the year, not the longest. Usually I really look forward to this event, because I really don’t like the short days, but 2019 hasn’t been too bad. I think Leah and I have been plenty occupied with a new house, new projects, me with writing, her with progressing through the different facets of being a dietitian, and coaching tennis has kept me busy. My parents are going to come to North Carolina shortly, so that should be fun, and in any case, I don’t have a grand metaphor about the solstices and day length and anything else.
It’s just weird to be left without any grandparents, and the other day I met someone with a grandfather approaching 100. Amazing! As Christmas approaches, and as I get older, I will appreciate and am appreciating relatives more and more.
–Jeff and Leah (post from six months ago here)