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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Turning The Page

A forgotten shoe. A backpack stuffed with treasured plastic toys that couldn't be packed. Mountains of brown cardboard and dim yellow lights. We've been in this house eleven months and seven days, hardly long enough to leave an impression or build a home some would say.

I would disagree.

A life is made of a moments. A home is built out of choices and chances. A word here, a look there, tiny things building something bigger.

Often you don't even know what's being built until you stop and look back. Sometimes what you set out to make isn't there. Sometimes you have a disaster on your hands. Sometimes a work of art.

I'm not sure what I created in Kansas. We're leaving behind good friends and good schools. I never fell in love with the weather, but there's a solid, quiet sort of beauty in the Midwest. I understand why people love it even if I wasn't persuaded to buy a retirement home here.

Our next move will be into a hotel. Something I found thrilling at five lost its splendor over the past twenty-odd years of living. Bad mattresses, stiff pillows, and not being able to find a snack at 3am all take the magic out of transient living. We'll survive. There are worse things than cheap hotels. At least we aren't trying our luck camping this time of year. And, when you get right down to it, a roof is a roof. Being dry, warm, and safe make up for everything else.

After the hotels it's on to the wild frontier of Alaska. From Pensacola with the forts and pirate history to the Great North and cities almost three decades old! I don't know what to think. I don't know the area or the wildlife. I can't instantly name six edible plants to forage in any given month in Alaska. My kids are trained in winter survival. When's tsunami season? I don't know!

Let's be honest, for someone who prefers being over-prepared this is a little bit scary. Not zombies-breaking-the-windows scary, but unnerving. It's an adventure. I'm turning the page, closing a chapter, and I don't know what happens next. I can't peek at the last page and make sure this has a happy ending. All I can do is build a happy life, one choice at a time, and hope the life I create will look as beautiful in Alaska as it would with a warmer climate.

Here's to adventure, my lovelies! May the next plot twist always be the best.


  1. While I don't think you'll fall in love with winter Alaska, you might fall in love with summer Alaska. You will have a new experience and stories to tell your grandchildren. And I think you will find life in the North to be as beautiful, interesting, enchanting, and involving as life anyplace else. And who knows, this might turn out to be one of your favourite places to tell stories about. So, while you have to suffer through hotels for a while until you get settled, try and enjoy the start of the adventure and learn what you can about your new home state.

    And while I'm at it, I'll wish that polar bears are not part of your life's plot twists. Or at least not close encounters with them. :)

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  3. While I detect a bit of negativity in your post. I sense you are struggling, especially since your not sure what your getting into, Just be happy for this, We are at the point the days are getting longer, Six months from now when it is daylight 24/7 you may reconsider that. I went to Alaska in the summer of 64, I was 16 and did my first four lane driving on the Al-Can which was 1300+ miles of gravel back then, I lived overseas ten years of my life, but one adventure I have never forgotten or never regretted is that trip to Alaska. Just remember to dress appropriately for the weather and enjoy it. Your about to share something with your children that none of you will ever forget.

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