Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More from Heather Lende

Haines author Heather Lende has just released a follow-up to her very successful book If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: news from small-town Alaska.  Just before the publication of that first book, just as she was about to launch her book tour, just as her daughter was about to graduate from college, she was hit by a truck and medevaced to Seattle.
Her second book - Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: family, friendships and faith in small-town Alaska - deals with the aftermath of that tragedy.  She looks back at all the ways that her friends and neighbors helped her through that difficult period and what it means to live in a small community where tragedies and success are not anonymous; events affect real people with names your know and faces you recognize.
We can understand that in Ketchikan, even though we're about 5x bigger than Lende's hometown of Haines.  We see the donation cans in grocery stores and restaurants, helping out someone who's been diagnosed with cancer.  We hold spaghetti feeds to raise money for people who have been burned out of their home.  We donate money to kids whose father died in a boating accident. 
It's one of the things I think about when tourists ask "Do you live here all year long?"

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