Juneau Fourth of July

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We Americans expect sunshine, warm temperatures, and lots of red, white, and blue bunting on the Fourth of July. In Juneau, we accept that rain often replaces sunshine., dives down the temperature and soaks our patriotic bunting. This morning, while Aki recovered from firework produced stress, I watched the annual birthday parade. People cheered the visiting Northwest Canadian Mounted Police, Shriners (big men in toy cars), rainbow flags, Veterans for Peace, and trucks full of Tlingit veterans wearing clear raingear over their wool blanket regalia. Kids scrambled for candy thrown from fire trucks and floats. Rain splattered on the handcrafted amor of men fighting with swords and maces.1

I enjoyed the parade but was more than happy to take Aki out to North Douglas for a walk through the rain-soaked woods. Empty of other people or dogs but full of bird song, the forest is a peaceful place. Almost ripe blueberries rise above clusters of leaves. I know I should wait for a week before sampling them but pluck a few into my mouth, find them almost summer sweet with a sharp aftertaste. Soon the sun will return to ramp up their sugar content and turn them into soft sacks of juice.3

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