June in Alaska

I’m going to go back to Alaska.

I need Chris to see what it’s like. Now that he is legally bound to me by marraige, I guess it’s safe to show him where I grew up.


I tell you, I have learned to consider by upbringing to make me an american citizen immigrant. The task I’ve had to take on to assimilate to life stateside is monumental. I just kinda have to think of myself as F.O.B.

What’s equal parts cute and infuriating is when people tell me, “But you seem fine.”

Sure, I don’t have a thick accent. And I have learned to manuever obvious social situations. ‘Thank you’ and ‘please’ are part of my daily vocabulary.


But the fact is, I can never take these pillars of civilized, democratic freedoms for granted. I see them in a way the stateside born do not. It’s kinda like seeing your own nose. I see it here, and everyone else is going “What? What do you mean?”

The uninterrupted continuance of water, electricity, roads and fast food restaraunts are not a given. The willingness of ‘the government’ to act–for good or ill–should not be assumed.

There are good sides and bad sides to population density. It’s nice that a whole bunch of people can sustain a municipal symphony. It’s not so great that traffic keeps us all going 20 miles an hour on the freeway.


So I’ll be going back to Alask in June. A short visit, just long enough to show my husband the house I grew up in, and Denali. Swing by Juneau on the way out, then back to solid civilized ground again.

 People have asked, “Will you see animals in Denali?”

“Maybe. Probably.”

“Will you see bears?”

God, I hope not. It’s a bad thing when you see a bear. Bears are things that want to chew you. Avoid bears. If you see fresh signs of bear, LEAVE. Turn around and skate in the opposite skating direction.

Bears should be left alone.

I do expect we will see Mooses and Caribouses. That will be fine.

Mom wanted to hear about the trip. “Tell me about it. I want to live vicariously through your adventure.”

She moved to Alaska. She isn’t from there and still doesn’t count as a native, in my opinion. It was always exotic to her. She always saw the nose on it’s face.

I tell her where we will be staying.


“We have friends you could probably stay with,” she suggests. I know she is trying to save us the cost of a hotel.

But a hotel is worth the price for me.

“I am actually hoping to not see anyone I know on this trip,” I tell her.

“Oh…but they love you.” SHe is disappointed.

Yes, I am sure ‘they’ have fond memories of me. But love stretches my credulity. In the more than 20 years since I left, I would expect love to stay a little bit in touch.

What I want to see is the forest. I want to look at the birch and willow trees. I want to see the streams and the lakes. I want to show Chris how to approach a swamp.

He did not grow up around any kind of swamp.

I want him to know the fireweed and the devil’s club and if they are there in June,I want him to see the salmon swimming.

The land, that’s what he should see.

That’s the point.




Sunday’s coming

In my church, this sunday is palm sunday.


That means that the Sunday after is Easter.

There are a lot of things that have to be done for Easter. In fact, there are a lot of services all the week before that get in the way of the lots of things to do.

So I have a plan. I planned to get the flowers ready the week before. The sanctuary needs to be all decorated with flowers for the celebration. But with services kinda solid right up to the Easter service, it’s hard to fit in the flower purchasing and arranging.


So, I ordered some flowers. I need to go pick them up. Then I will take them to the church, and I arranged for the girls to help me arrange the flowers. We will keep the flowers in the side kitchen area until Saturday night.

I looked into it, and tried to order flowers that will keep fresh for a week.

But now that I think about it, I am not sure where the palms for palm sunday are coming from.


It takes some forethought sometimes.