Kathleen Menke says she feels “ honored” to have two of her photographs published in the 2023 Tidal Echoes, Southeast Alaska’s literary and arts journal, celebrating connection and community this year. She is especially pleased to showcase her “two favorite eco-systems, Chilkat and Chilkoot.” The photo “Misty Chilkat” shows the river flats and cottonwoods in the fog and “Cub Grabs a Share” depicts a sow and cub eating a salmon on the Chilkoot River.

Joe Aultman-Moore’s essay “Conversations with Salmon” is also featured in Tidal Echoes. “It’s a personal essay about the interaction between a fisherman and a hunter and the tools they use,” Joe says. The title comes from Arctic Dreams author Barry Lopez who wrote that the relationship between the hunted and prey is “the conversation of death.” “It sounds macabre, but it’s not,” Joe says.

The sun came out and the windows of the Chilkat Center Lobby overlooking the inlet and the mountains were the perfect backdrop for a spring piano recital Friday evening. Teacher Stojanka Lynch says that the fifteen students, ranging in age from six to sixteen, chose their pieces, and “I’m super proud of them.” She thanked their families for all their support. Stojanka is a former student of Nancy Nash and has been teaching private music lessons since 2015. She will be the K-4 school music teacher next year. Stojanka says recitals are an “opportunity for the students to hear and see other kids play and that inspires them and gives them confidence.”

Patti Carlson came up from Juneau to see granddaughter Piper perform in the recital and to attend a baby shower for daughter Ramie Carlson Saturday afternoon at the Chilkat Inlet Retreat. Friends Fran DalyRachelle Galinski, and Lynzee Swinton hosted the festive event. The theme was “Here Comes the Son,” which Ramie says is “significant” in part because she and her husband Kyle Clayton walked down the aisle at the same location to that Beatles tune.

Retired Haines High teacher Ron Smith and former clinic nurse Jean Smith are grateful to be home in Haines after missing their seasonal shift from Sun City AZ last year for health reasons. “We will celebrate our 66th anniversary in August and hope to have the big party we couldn’t have last year for our 65th,” Jean said. They took the Bellingham ferry with 150 high schoolers from Seattle headed to Skagway. “They were delightful but it was a lot of activity,” Jean said. This winter they enjoyed a reunion with Ron’s entire family and visits from Norm and Suzanne Smith (no relation) and Luann Brittenham and her children. They are looking forward to gardening, fishing, golfing, and catching up with old friends this summer.

Mandy Ramsey says she is “extremely grateful” to be walking and dancing again ten months after tearing her Achilles tendon playing pickleball. Mandy, their husband Scott, and daughter Lily spent the winter in Florida where she says “walking barefoot on the beach,” physical therapy, Chi Gong classes, and tree house yoga helped her heal. Highlights for the Ramseys’ time Outside included visiting family and friends, a Rising Appalachia concert, volunteering on a farm and for a turtle organization, and touring botanical gardens, museums, and NASA. For Lily’s 12th birthday and her grandmother’s 74th, they took a trip to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Homeschooler Lily wrote and published her first book, and is currently working on two more to be published this fall.

Mandy resumes her popular in-person yoga classes and begins a seven-class series next week on Monday and Friday at noon in the Chilkat Center Lobby. She says “All levels are welcome and please bring a mat if you have one.”

There are a plethora of yoga opportunities these days. Yogi Melina Shields is teaching a spring class in the Chilkat Center dance studio on Saturday mornings at 9 am through May 2Oth. Sierra Clark’s new yoga class, in which beginners are especially welcome, is Sunday mornings at 11 in the dance studio. Natalie Benassi leads yoga at the Mosquito Lake Community Center a couple of evenings a week, so check the MLCC webpage for her schedule and all the happenings at the center as the Victory Garden gears up for the season.

Regulars have been enjoying yoga sequences with Sarah Elliott since November. There are only two more weeks of warm power yoga left before the pool closes for maintenance from May 1- July 1. The class is on Fridays from 11:30 to 12:30 on the balcony of the pool. Yogis pay for their pool entry, which includes the class, a swim, a sauna, and a shower. Sarah’s Sunday afternoon class is at the Main Street Dance studio at 3 pm. She will move her Friday class there once the pool closes. For more information follow her at sarah_salutations on Instagram.

Sarah also invites you to a Big Brothers Big Sisters free doughnut and coffee recruitment party at the Chilkat Restaurant and Bakery this Saturday, April 22 from 9-11 am. Former and current Bigs and Littles are encouraged to attend. “Stop by and learn more about volunteering at BBBS as a Big or enrolling as a Little,” Sarah says. Visit http://www.bbbsak.org for more information about the mentorship organization or email [email protected]