on December 12, 2013
I am reading and enjoying Ms. Lende's second book "Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs." Heather Lende has such a great outlook on life with all the problems she has had. Every thing in her life was going so well, she had many plans. Her first book was being published, she was doing some home remodeling, she planned a book tour. Then the accident. One day, while riding her bike, she was run over by a truck. The truck rolled over her body breaking many bones, she is lucky to be alive. She had to be flown to Seattle, there was no way to treat her with so many injuries, even in Anchorage. She was hospitalized, then three weeks in a nursing home, then ten weeks in bed, wheelchair, cane, then a long time recuperating. A year after her accident, she had to go home to New York. Her mother was dying, Heather was still recuperating
Each chapter of her book is headed by passages from the Bible, and some from the Book of Common Prayer. Ms Lande is Episcopalian, but respects, admires and is comfortable with other religions and beliefs.
This woman has an enormous zest for living. She loves her family, her home, her animals, her town, she likes doing housework, cooking, cleaning, loves to garden. Great attitude, she is not a complainer, she is a worker, not a shirker. Ms Lende is so involved in the life of her town, volunteers in so much that is going on, knows all of Haines citizens, she writes a little about the history of her part of Alaska where she lives. She is a lover of life, a lover of people. She is involved in the lives of the Tlingits, has helped, one in a huge group of many,to set a totem into the ground that was carved by a Tlingit friend. I have visited Alaska and liked seeing the totems. I bought several miniature totems, tourist gifts. These small totems have attached tags telling their stories. Ms Lende writes of Indian village life. While I was in Alaska, I visited a small Indian village, tourist related and saw a small part of Indian ways of working. There is the ceremony of releasing bald eagles, eagles that have been wounded then rehabilitated and set free. Heather's husband, Chip, has become a clan brother with a Tlingit friend. She attended the ceremony and writes much of these people and what fun they are. When in Haines, I visited the Hammer Museum. One Hammer that stood out for me is a large rock from thousands of years ago that was used to kill an enemy.
I enjoy reading about Heather talking to God. She invites readers into her world, her thoughts, her life. Readers are introduced to her many friends, many of these people have moved from the lower fortyeight. These people love nature, love winter, are very competent in building, creating, doing, just as Heather is.
I am taking my timereading this book. It so enjoyable, no complaining, good outlook on life. There is so much angst in much writing. This book is a breath of fresh air. The short time I was in Haines, I passed a store advertising a book by our local Haines author. Many readers write that there is too much death in Ms Lande's books. But death is part of life. Ms Lende has come to terms with death.
This book is coming to an end. Someone tells Heather she should forgive Kevin for accidentally running her over. She has never held it against him, long been forgotten. So she goes into his store, hugs him, then feels much better. She feels she has changed much for the better since her accident. Sigh of relief, matter closed.
It is surprising how many plays and musicals aare presented in Haines. These people must make their own entertainment and learn to sing, dance, act. Ms Lende has always loved music since early childhood. Many talented people live in Alaska.
Good reading, just as good as the first book. Inspiring. The part of the country where I live, the Dallas/Fort Worth area, has just had much unwanted ice and snow. Everything is closed down, cancelled, frozen streets, hard to get around. These sturdy Alaskans don't seem to let such mundane occurances phase them, but like the snow and cold, the beauty of winter.