For anyone who follows this journal, I’m sorry that I neglected writing this summer. For the first two months at home in Alaska I didn’t think anything happened that was very interesting, but then after my son Peter and grandson Janek arrived from Germany, I was too busy to even think about writing or spending time on the computer. In fact, this is the first day I have had completely to myself since they got here! I have often expressed my reluctance to spend a fourth summer in a row taking care of my grandson, and about my determination to sell my house as soon as possible. But now I’m happy I have had such a great time being friends with my wonderful grandson, and am enormously relieved that I still had a house for all of us to share. This is a beautiful home and I love it, so it was a fabulous experience to enjoy it as a family retreat again, at least for a while. I haven’t even been trying to sell, who cares if I have to stay broke and budget every dollar for another year? (Friends who know me well are shocked to hear this change of heart, but timing really is everything.)
I’ve been cooking, cleaning, mending, shopping, laundering, running errands, reading aloud and helping with homework all day, every day. The weather has been mostly cloudy and drizzly, with short bursts of sunshine. But we’ve been taking walks almost daily, which the dog, the kid, and the grandma all enjoy. Peter’s commercial salmon fishing season has been slow, but likely will become overwhelming soon. And next week my older son Grey will arrive to visit for ten days, and to attend his 30th high school reunion. My daughter Dara is also coming with her husband and two younger children for a couple of days before their driving trip up north .
It’s been fun to have RV friends come by on their Alaskan adventure trips, we’ve had BBQs and potlucks together at my lakefront place, far from our usual meetups in the American Southwest. I had already sorted my possessions last year, packed up and stored away the things I will keep for a future small cabin here or “nest” somewhere else, but refuse to open any of the boxes or EVER do that enormous chore again! So it’s been funny to use just a few cooking pans saved out for last, or pick up things from the thrift store to get by, feeling like it’s “camping” to be in my own house with empty shelves and little furniture. Thankfully I didn’t pack up the vacuum cleaner, so at least I can keep up with the dog hair and other leavings from busy people coming in and going out.
Thanks to the dear friends who have kept in touch over the months and miles, your emails and distant hugs mean a lot! In fact, it feels like a lifeline to my “real” life on the road. I don’t know when I’ll leave again to pick up my motor home and car that are stored in Arizona, but it will be good to be traveling again this winter. Thanks to Jo, Gloria, Theresa, and others who write to me almost every day!
I took my grandson Janek last weekend and we drove five hours up to Talkeetna to spend a few days with my Aunt Pat, who owns the hostel there. I love that quaint little town, and it was great to share the place and my fascinating and wonderful Aunt with my grandson. Pat and Uncle Guy came with their kids to Anchorage in 1948, four years before my own family arrived in Alaska. She has been a long-time pilot, was a founding member in 1954 of the Alaska Ninety-Nines women pilots organization. Since my father Loren died in a plane crash in 1970, and my mother some years later, his sister Pat and their brother Ed are my only family “elders”. I love her so much and treasure every day that I can spend with her! It was so great to get a few days’ runaway, so I feel refreshed and ready for the rest of this busy summer.
We took lots of pictures in Talkeetna, and they are fun to share –
at Talkeetna Lodge with view of Denali (aka Mt. McKinley) –
the German-Alaskan boy –
The last weeks of June and earlier weeks in July were also busy –
from my living room window — and from my bedroom at night