Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maya & Mama Come To Juneau

In July of 1999, just in time for Auntie Kathy's birthday, Maya and Mama came to Juneau. This was when Maya discovered that Granny didn't live at the Oakland Airport; that it was a step on the journey between Maya's house and Granny's apartment. It was a very long trip on the plane, and although Mama had brought gum for Maya to chew so her ears wouldn't hurt, she was too young to understand and swallowed it all and then there was none. By the time they got to Juneau, Maya's ears were aching terribly and she was crying. But, by the time they got to Granny's place, her ears didn't hurt any more and Auntie Kathy took her out with sidewalk chalk and she had a good time. That night when she called her Dado, she said, "It's so pretty here!"

Every day while they were in Juneau, Uncle Richard and Auntie Kathy and Granny had things planned that they could do as a family. They went to the Mendenhall Glacier, where they saw trees that had been chewed by beavers and all sorts of birds and salmon running in the stream, and of course, the glacier itself. And Maya found three different places to throw rocks in the water. That was Maya's favorite part of the Mendenhall Glacier.

One day they went up the tram to the top of Mount Roberts and ate and took a long walk and enjoyed the wonderful view of the mountains and channel and woods. And on their way down the tram, they were looking out the window, and they saw a whale in the channel. Everyone was so excited! And later, Maya threw rocks in the channel.

One day they went over to Douglas Island and ate at the Douglas Inn and explored trails around the old gold mine buildings. There were lots of little streams, and Maya threw rocks in all of them. Then they went on the beach, and Maya threw rocks in the ocean. Finally, they drove up near Eaglecrest, where people ski in the winter, and picked wild blueberries and Maya found three creeks to throw rocks in there, as well.

One day they went to the public library, where Auntie Kathy works, for story time and Maya heard a delightful story and made paper puppets. (She gave her puppets to Granny, and Granny had them on her refrigerator door for seven years, until the Hooligan cats tore them off and up.) And as they were walking back to Uncle Richard and Auntie Kathy's house from the library, Maya and Granny were walking a little behind Mama and Auntie Kathy and Uncle Richard and Maya said, "Let's hurry Granny and catch up to our family."

One day they took a walk up the hill from Granny's place and into the Silverbow Basin. All along the walk, they were on the side of a mountain -- first Mount Roberts and then Mount Juneau, and between the two mountains, was Gold Creek. There were several places where Maya threw rocks in the water. Because Maya was only three and a half, she found many interesting things in the woods. Pine cones. Spruce needles. Rocks. Indeed, this walk was so interesting that they took 45 minutes to get a quarter mile. And no one minded, because Maya was enjoying exploring the world and her family were enjoying watching Maya explore the world.

One day Uncle Richard had to work, and Mama and Auntie Kathy went fishing and Maya stayed with Granny. Maya and Granny read and talked and played games, and Auntie Kathy and Mama caught two salmon. When Uncle Richard got home, he grilled the salmon and for desert they had the monkey bread that Auntie Kathy and Maya had made.

One day they all went to the Dipac salmon hatchery and watched the salmon swim up the fish ladder. And there were so many fish that they couldn't swim without touching each other, and this was the one place where Maya didn't throw rocks, because she didn't want to hit a fish.

And whenever they went to Granny's house, Maya would pet Missy. But, she liked it better at Uncle Richard and Auntie Kathy's house, because they had Hobbes. And Missy was a very old cat who didn't play any longer, but Hobbes was a very young cat and he played all the time. At first Maya called him "Pobbes" but she soon got his name right. None of the grownups knew exactly how they felt about that, because they wanted her to talk correctly but Pobbes sounded so cute. Hobbes come running when he heard Maya coming and he would lay on his back and Maya would pile soft, light things like string and feathers and cat toys on him, and he would let her. She would pull a string over him and he would bat at it and she would say, "I went fishing and I caught a cat." Oh, Hobbes and Maya became very good friends, and for months after she had gone home, when Granny would go visit Auntie Kathy and Uncle Richard, Hobbes would hear her on the stairs from the street and come running and then be so disappointed that Maya wasn't there; it was just that old Granny, who just wasn't as much fun.


J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Ha! What a great remembering post. I especially love the picture of Richard and Maya, because when you click it and see it full size, it's just so THEM.

The only thing you forgot to mention is what we were doing in the picture of you and Maya...playing catch with Baby, her beloved plastic baby sister (who has since been renamed "Kendra", but at that point I think was still Baby or maybe Samanda, her second name) while we waited for our table at a yummy Thai place.

Starshine said...

Awwww. Maya will be so glad to have these stories!

Godwhacker said...

Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I love this story J. What wonderful pictures of all of you. Maya...sweet baby...she's beautiful.

Fun Girls said...

A small world story...I came to your blog through some of my favorite feminist academics and have been delighted and moved by its content!

Ms. Mamma said...

These are such cool photos! I love the one of Maya with the leaf.