joolee's forty

forty days. forty stories.

Alaska haiku

by Carey Steele

Toksook Bay, where the

black berries rise on muddy

tundra hills we run.

Yupik ladies at a dance festival, Kasigluk, AK

{Joolee and I first met during a cross-country meet in Toksook Bay, discovering that we lived only 3 miles away from each other.  It was because of her that I tried running and kept it up (for a while at least); before that I didn’t think I could do it.}

The men tap their drums,

while the women bounce their knees

and make us “laugh hard.”

Young dancers, Kasigluk, AK

{Akula Elitnaurviat, where Joolee taught when I knew her, hosted a “Yurraq” Yup’ik dance festival.  Often times the songs are funny and dancers make silly faces to get the crowd laughing.  I remember a child starting to cry and Joolee scooped him into her motherly embrace and took him to mend his ails.}

Tundra Triangle

dinners every week make mun-

dane life interesting.

{There isn’t a lot to do in villages outside of teaching and seldom community activities.  So, Thursday dinners was something our Akula-Akiuk-Nunapitchuk clan looked forward to doing.}

Basketball rivals

dribble down courts that have three-

point lines cross’ center.


{Another mode of entertainment for us, and many people who live in villages, was playing basketball.  We’d take over one of the school’s gyms on Sunday afternoons.  Joolee probably gave us this idea too.  Some gyms are so small, like Akiuk, that the three-point lines cross over the center line.}

I love you, Joolee! 

}{appy 40th birthday.

Can’t believe it’s here!


~ Carey ~

3 comments on “Alaska haiku

  1. joolee
    March 21, 2012

    It’s not…quite yet…I still have a few weeks to revel in my 39ism!
    CAREY STEELE! I love your style! Eeesh, Toksook Bay seems so long ago!
    Even your glacier visit is sliding back into the cozy memory past…you should come again this year! A visit with you is like a Christmas tree with infinite little ornaments tucked everywhere–so much to take in…from your classroom with delightful student projects on every surface, to your bookshelf (you introduced me to graphic novels), to your kitchen with yummy teas, to the steam out back, to the snowmachine riding, to your compassion for people near, and people far, to your veggie box! :O) Thanks for enhancing my life…I miss you! Let’s catch up soon!

  2. Carey
    March 23, 2012

    “Here” has one syllable; I couldn’t put “almost here.” ^_^ It’s true, we haven’t had enough adventures together. I will be in Anc. for a derby boot camp mid-June (15-17). So, taking a car up there is possible!!

    • joolee
      March 23, 2012

      Cool! It’s a busy month at the glacier, but likely one of us will be there at any given time :O). Yay!…did you say derby boot camp?!?! We went to the derby in ANC last year…you still didn’t tell me what you wear!?

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This entry was posted on March 21, 2012 by in stories.

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March 2012

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