Jr Heads North Soon (Taking it easy here for a few days)

with Jr, photo by Randy Caparoso

Jr, me, photo courtesy of Randy Caparoso

Jr heads North for the summer, as has been our family tradition from the beginning, in a week and a half. School closes for the year, then a few days later she is off to Alaska to commercial fish for salmon and spend time with my family. It’s a multi-generational migration integral to our lives.

I’m the only one not still commercial fishing all summer–I started at 9, became a business owner at 13, and sold it at 23. My sisters, their families, my parents all still fish together. The experience shaped my entire constitution. For more than a decade after leaving the industry, I still had spontaneous experiences in summers of boat-rocking while sitting on dry land. My skin starts aching for salt water. My feelings turn to gush. I become emotive and overly energetic as my body still recalibrates to the expectation of intensive physical exertion on lack of sleep. Last year I channeled that extra energy into three intensive months on the road interviewing people in wine. This year my plans are still in formation.

My family history rises from the land of Bristol Bay on the Western coast of Alaska. I’ve written before, here and elsewhere, of how conception of self and tribe for Indigenous people is rooted in the land itself. It is where we are from that makes our lives possible. This is true of anyone, but it is definitive of what it is to be aboriginal. So, though I return now only sporadically, I send my daughter back every year. She too is of the place from which we come.

Until mid-June, then, I’m slowing down a touch on the frequency of my posting here. I’ll be sharing some work but only a couple times a week rather than the usual three to four. Things will pick up again after June 16.


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6 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Here’s to a prosperous and edifying summer for everyone! May the flies be small and few, the fish big and plentiful.

    • TOM! If the flies of remote Alaska are small that surely means something bad bad bad environmentally. SO I have to hope the black flies are biting ferociously and the fish are plentiful. Otherwise, I’m wishing against my people, and their livelihood. I think you understand.

  2. I enjoyed reading this.
    Complete opposite of my reality.
    As a second generation American, connection is to the place that was adopted after the true nightmares of where my relatives came from.
    So to me, how Jewish immigrants brought chunks of yiddish culture and pieces of Poland and Russia in their minds and layered it on the Lower East Side and the South and West Bronx is my sense of cultural nostalgia.
    Have a great week.

    • Hi Arnold,

      Yes! What powerful imagery, and powerful heritage. When I was still in Montreal I was lucky enough to work on a resilience project that looked primarily at cultural ancestry. Your example is such a powerful, multi-generational one. Thank you.

      I hope to get back to NYC this summer or Fall too. Looking forward to seeing you there.

  3. Another summer of adventure begins for both mamma and jr.

    Love this post, Hawk Wakawaka, and am looking forward to what your summer brings.

    If wine and wine blogging are to be a healthy part of family life, then family life needs to be a healthy part of wine blogging and wine… I’m with you all the way…

    Happy summer! :)

    • Dear Jeremy,

      Amen. You’ve been such an important part of how I got here, and why I share things online. Your family inspires me. Your love for family inspires me even more. Deeply grateful. Warm hearts, and lots of love to you.

      Looking forward to family-wine time with all of you in person. Send my best to Mrs. Tracie P!

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