It’s Melanie’s Birthday. Melanie also drinks wine. Happy Birthday, Melanie.


It’s my sister, Melanie‘s birthday today. She is old. We all are.

Native kids in the 1970s

us Native kids in the 1970s (she’s on the left. I’m in front. Paula on the right.)

Gratefully, she is old in that “I know how to love life better, and appreciate simple pleasure for the joy it truly is” sense of old.

Last July we met up in Willamette Valley for IPNC and she missed her flight from Portland back to Alaska because we were too busy eating oysters and drinking Egly Ouriet champagne. That seems an appropriate use of age to me–wise enough to know that moment was enough. The flight would come, even if later. It’s not the only time she’s visited and then missed her flight because lunch got in the way. Let it not be the last.

Happy Birthday, Melanie. You are my sister.

To read Melanie’s sum-up of her own very good year:


p.s. for anyone unsure: our great-grandfather retired from commercial fishing for salmon at the age of 84. He lived well into his 90s. In my book, life doesn’t really get going till you’re almost 40, and being old is a good damn compliment. Happy Birthday, old woman! -Your sister

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