On the last day of Spring Break, my folks picked me up for an airport delivery, but my Mom came along this time! How fun! We had a long travel day – overnighting in Anchorage before Camai in Bethel and a fun bush plane ride to Tuluksak (for classroom cleanup! Womp).
During the week Mom was great at being an involved observer: fielding a million questions (e.g. What’s the farthest trip you’ve ever been on? What was your mascot? You ever had fry bread?), keeping me sane (if even just with sympathetic facial expressions as ridiculous situations rolled to greet us), and helping where she saw fit.
I was SUPER proud that she was invited to, and participated in a steam bath. I’ve written about the experience briefly here, and have steamed three times now. There are many gussucks living here full-time who have never shown an interest in, or been invited to, or by some combination of the preceeding just didn’t occasion to steam, but Mom did and she LOVED it.
The thing she’ll be most remembered for here in the village was her introduction of Rainbow Loom bracelets and bracelet-making. She taught the middle school how to make them, and soon every child under the age of 16 was sporting one (along with their moms, siblings, teachers…). Even as I drove back from the airstrip tonight in the driver-doorless school truck, a first-grader flagged me down and ran to the side of the vehicle. He yanked his sleeve back, revealing a purple and green bracelet. “Have you seen one of THESE?!”
Love ya, Maw!