Thursday, September 20, 2007

Out My Window

*When I write my blog or read your blogs or e-mail or do anything else on my computer, I sit in a window alcove with a bookcase and a computer table. And the Hooligans take up positions to watch me: Pippin close to my left foot, Merry at the head of the stairs. They are friendly company, and the view out my window is often spectacular. In 2000, when Maya was three and a half and the cat watching me was Missy from her station on the foot of my bed, I wrote about my window for Maya.

Sometimes Granny looks out her window and she sees people coming up the hill with their dogs to go for a walk in Last Chance Basin (which is where Granny takes walks almost every day, and it starts only three minutes from her front door). Sometimes she sees barges in the channel.

In the summer, the hills on Douglas Island are all green, and the trees on Basin Road are all green. Then, Granny may see tour buses taking tourists out Basin Road so that they can walk in Last Chance Basin or go gold panning or visit the mining museum or climb Perseverance Trail to Ebner Falls. She can see cruise ships at the dock from her window. At night, the ships are all lighted up and she can see them leave town, going down the channel towards Admiralty Island, and the lights are so festive and beautiful it makes her feel very good. On sunny days in the summer, sometimes she can see sail boats sailing in the channel and hang gliders gliding about the channel. Sometimes she sees float planes and helicopters in the sky. One day, when they were building the Mt. Roberts Tram, she watched several helicopters carry loads of steel girders up to the top of Mt. Roberts.

In the spring, Granny watches crows building their nests in nearby trees. One day in June, she watched a dozen crows mob an eagle. "Oh, my," said Granny, "that eagle must have thought baby crow would be a good dinner for her baby eagle. The crows don't agree. How wise of the crows to get together in a mob and chase the eagle away. Good for the crows." And then she thought about how the eagle needs to feed her babies, just like the crows need to protect their babies, and she thought, "That eagle needs to go fishing. Salmon never mob eagles. They don't have the good sense."

For many months, Granny looked out of her window and she saw snorts on her hill. Sometimes they were working on the road, but often in the evening, which is when Granny is usually working on her computer writing stories for Maya or reading e-mail from Maya's Mama or her Ma, they would just be parked on the top of the hill. There was a backhoe, and a dump truck, and a grader, and a pay loader. Once, after Typhoon Tom had visited Juneau, and the heavy rains had washed out the trails along Last Chance Basin, Granny watched a goose-neck trailer haul a bulldozer up the hill. The bulldozer was used to put dirt back on the roads and big sections of trail so the part of Basin Road beyond the houses and in the basin could be used again.

For two weeks, Granny could look out her window and see her neighbor painting his house. She can often see him and his wife working in their garden (and in the summer, when her window is open, Granny can hear the wind chimes that hang in his yard).

In the winter, Douglas Island and Admiralty Island are covered in snow and so are white instead of green. The leaves have fallen off the trees, and so Granny's hill isn't green either. Sometimes in winter there is snow in Juneau, and then her hill is white. Sometimes there is rain, and then it is brown. There are no tour buses. Things are very quiet on her hill in the winter. People come up with their dogs to walk in Last Chance Basin. An eagle or a raven fly by. Crows fly by. The barges are the only boats Granny sees in the channel. All of the excitement in the winter comes from the rain or snow and the wind. In the winter, the Taku winds blow. Sometimes they blow very, very, very hard. Sometimes they blow garbage cans down the hill. Once they blew the neighbors picket fence away. When the Takus blow, Granny doesn't open her alcove window, but she can still hear the wind howl as she writes stories for Maya. Granny loves the sound of the wind.

* This picture was taken in the early 90s -- since then, I've upgraded to a flat screen, a new computer and printer and speakers. And I've had to close off all of those wires so the Hooligans can't chew them. The alcove, the computer desk, and the window seat are the same, however.


Tabor said...

I like the idea of writing for your grandchild about your life. Maybe I will borrow that isea for my little ones!

Joy Des Jardins said...

I've seen quite a few of my blogging friends' work spaces through pictures when I visit. I love seeing their little areas where they spend as much time as I do every day. Yours is wonderful J. Nice post.

Maya's Granny said...

Maya has always liked getting stories about what I do. Somehow it is more interesting written as a story than as a letter.

Thank you. I like my space. And these days I have three peices of art on the wall above the desk, all focusing on eagles.

Chancy said...

Your work space with the window on your world is delightful.