Happy Birthday

rollie baby for postHappy Birthday hon. I am trying to makes this a day of remembering all the good we have had together and not allowing the sometimes overwhelming sorrow to rule the day.

Given the actual date of your birth I doubt I will ever be able to ‘skip by’ your birthday but I am going to do my best from here out to not allow it to be a day of mourning.

We have accomplished the needed paperwork to start the march toward ‘closing out’ the legal part of your life, although as you well know your imprint on the region and my life will never leave. It was not easy and took its emotional toll later that evening, but that was between me and the darkness.

I keep hearing  that I get ‘a pass’ when those days crop up that seem ever so impossible to go on, but as you well know…it doesn’t work that way. I will pay, if not immediately but eventually if I do not at least take care of the pressing things, each and every day. Living where we do there is almost always too much to get done for the time allotted and pushing most things off ends up either expensive or downright dangerous.

You taught me well.

Hopefully you can keep a watch out for me, passing some of your seemingly never ending energy and determination when I need it. You know that will be much more often than it would be if I were spurring you on. Especially give me some of your bullheadedness when dealing with those who will continue to mean me harm, despite the smiles, hugs and hollow words they utter. We both don’t need to name them but they are well known….which they have yet to realize 😏

I know there is a part of you that is surprised, although I am not always sure why, that I am as determined as I am to continue. Things will proceed slower and probably differently than if you were here along side me, but I will give it my best efforts. My vision is bound to change but I am sure the core of what we both loved and wanted will be there. (You might be surprised that I got a ‘speech’ from a trusted quarter about how I am not bound to anything or anyone, in a way ‘a whole new life’, and I could chuck it all…….still trying to process that one for a variety of reasons.)

For many it might be hard to understand this way of life.  It is filled with danger and to many seems very remote but what most don’t get…. also so filled with many great things.  You shared that we could have a life, not just vacation times, filled with great wonders and adventures, even in the simplest of ways. The sunrises we have seen when flying before dawn. The time hunting for the trail home in the pouring rain and pitch black on a frozen lake. The boat trips filled with wildlife, blowing rain and spinning around enough to make BB and I almost lose our meal. Running the skiffs home from the lakes at full speed in the moonlight….all with me just knowing enough to follow your wake.

Thank you for believing in me and weaving my dreams and hopes into yours. Of knowing that together we could accomplish just about anything we put our heads and hearts into. For understanding me enough to know I still needed to head into ‘true’ city, put on a dress, go to some event with you and be ‘like all the rest of them’ occasionally. Letting me show you how you could actually come to love our kitties and have patience with our stubborn Neon.

I have to keep, in my heart, the last time we just jumped in the plane to deliver fish, get a great relaxing dinner and a beautiful sunset to fly home with…even the looking for the darn airstrip,in the dark again….giggling when the kitties heard their dinner plane and turned on the bathroom light so we could have a reference point to help. One of so many simple and special times.

The ordinary things we turned into a special times by just being together.

Give our BB and Neon a hug and scratch from me. Hugs for your parents. If you can find my gran introduce yourself, she will love you. Enjoy your big brother and share all the adventures you, the man, had and he missed out on. Something tells me you will continue to bring much joy to each other and your parents.  Hopefully you have gotten BB and Flap to settle who will be ‘in charge’. Mostly be at peace, I will forever love you for choosing to share your life with me.

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Dealing With Business Needs

Believe it or not the needs of any business, at least for us, that happens in the spring through early fall, has almost as much work happening when there are chilling temperatures outside. Most farmers, many fishermen, and for sure seafood processors know this is true, if you want things to run smoothly you do  lots of off-season planning.

I have put off digging deeply into the needs of our various businesses these past few months, partly as there have not been overly pressing needs, but also as I knew any decisions made would probably not be sound. I am also well aware that there are a lot of pieces that need to come together to make it successful, even on the short term and unless I fit things together well things will fall apart quickly.

(Off-thread…woke up in the wee hours this morning wondering if I had checked the oil on our generator lately. I got up, bundled up, grabbed the headlamp and headed down to the generator shed in wind and dark to shut the engine off. Remembered in the middle of writing this post I had not checked the ‘gen’, after letting it cool down and the oil to drain down. Off again to the generator shed to check. Glad I did as the level was much too low. I think we have a “safety” on it to switch it off if it gets too low, but I am not sure. I now need to get back into the habit of checking on a set day each week, like I used to do on my car when I lived in the city.)

While I work on gathering a crew for our fishing operation I must also finish up our planting schedule for the farming operation. On top of that comes pulling our spring fuel order together. We get our fuel in via a tug & barge, usually only once a year and we must have the entire year’s need calculated not only for our operation but for those of our customers.

This is the portion of the businesses we run that I am the most “nervous” about.  Lots of planning as to amounts, putting what fuel in what tanks, double checking the on hand amounts,  working out our prices, etc. Since our goal with this business is to drive traffic and support the area businesses we keep our prices very competitive. We also sell a small amount of heating fuel to area villagers which means I need to second guess their needs. It is not anywhere near the bulk of our business, nor was it set up to be, we still find it to be important for some residents in the area.

Unfortunately, at least in our area, we have seen fuel needs for residents and businesses being used as a ‘tool’ to hurt at times. We have seen a city run their own fuel needs (putting heating and power needs for the entire city in jeopardy) so low just to make it hard for a business to conduct their business. Don’t think this is a racist, or even a small city thing…it happens with tribes too.. as we have seen it happen within families.

It is a control and jealousy thing that happens and in these closely related villages….sadly. It is common in the tiny village we live in for a group go out of their way to not include some residents in plans to buy bulk fuel or to help each other, thus we now carry fuel for locals so no one has to stop living out here due to the lack of access to reasonably priced fuel.

We are not ‘white knights’ but are people have seen much to much crap happen to good people and where we can make a difference, we do our best to do so.

So these next few weeks I must battle the desire to ignore the calendar and instead plow into the tank charts, spreadsheets and customer lists to deal with keeping this portion of our, now my, income up and working.