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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sea Ice in Kotzebue

Kotzebue in October: The Chukchi Sea is on the left


Ice defines Alaska. It is white and sometimes blue and sometimes black. It is always cold and hard and, to my mind, unforgiving. In this picture below, the ice meets the sky and it all seems to be one. Soon people will be traveling on it. Where do you get your bearings when there is so much of it?
Chukchi Sea Ice

 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted Today!


I felt good when I voted early this morning before going to work. It was still dark before 8am and big drops of rain pelted the street. The church where my polling place is was lit and inside, the familiar red and white striped curtains were hanging to give every voter the privacy to vote for candidates and propositions and judges. What a system we have! I knew almost all of the election workers, and when I signed in, I recognized about half of the names on the page. I was PK - that means "Personally Known." That is one of the virtues of living in a small town. I took my paper ballot and pulled back the stiff curtain and there, on the metal stand, was a pen to fill in the ovals. Once I had finished voting, I put my precious ballot in the cardstock cover that again guarantees my privacy. I brought it to the machine that sucks ballots into its locked box. One of the election workers handed me an “I Voted Today!” sticker and I could go back into the rain, quietly satisfied that I was doing the same thing as millions of other Americans,  protected from those who might force or bribe me to vote a certain way. I don't take it for granted, knowing that women had to fight for the right to vote. I treasure every bit of it.