Grandma Summer! 2014

I do love seven year olds! I forgot how much fun they can be, smart enough to think for themselves and old enough to be creative and generally good-natured. This has turned out to be my best summer ever with Janek, I’m glad he’s here. This is his third, and last, summer with me. What a delightful kid! Our camping trip was great, in fact every day is good. What a wonderful chance for us to have bonding time with each other. He even brings in firewood for the house and loaded some in the truck for our camping trip. Before long he’ll be a teenager and hopefully will have good memories of summers with grandma in Alaska.

The surveyor came this week and flagged my property corners, also marked the whole line in the rear, so I can see where to put in the driveway to my adjoining ten acres. I will take his advice about not going anywhere through the lot, just right along the lot line. It means more road to build, but will leave the buyers of my house more privacy. I was a little surprised to learn that the electric transformer pole is already on my other property, so I should get an electric hookup easily although it’s usually expensive. I saved some cabin-type things in the storage trailer — a really good propane (or gas) heater that should work fine for a cabin, a little cook stove, and some other stuff. They’ve been stored for 25 years but should be okay.  Heaven knows, my 125-year-old wood cookstove still works just fine — and I’ll be sad to leave it in the house when I sell it.

When Peter does come home it’s late at night and then he leaves after only a few hours of sleep. Yesterday was our parade, festival, rodeo, and then car races, all in one day, and of course The Kid wanted to do it all!  I was exhausted!  Then this morning Peter got Janek up about 5 a.m. and they’ve gone out on the boat for a couple days.  It’s strange to have only myself to think about again.  But I packed up eight boxes of books today, even though it’s painful to give away piles of brand new hiking and trail guides.  I have to accept that I’m too old to see all those great places and nobody else in my family will store the books.  Besides, everybody just figures they can google information when they want it.  I sort of miss the days when we would read about places, study the maps, dream for a while then plan our adventures.  It was at least half the fun!  I’ve also taken three carloads of clothes to the charity shop, and I’m feeling lighter already.  Next I’ll start working on tools, and then furniture.

It was fun to have Norbert and Martina come to visit, after we met in Mexico last spring!  Their huge overland RV rig from Germany is impressive, and it was really nice that they could speak German using Janek as my interpreter.  Good thing this is a small town, since they ended up at my mail service shop, wondering how to find me and everyone knows me there… that was a hilarious phone call!  They’re driving all the way across Canada to Halifax to ship everything back to Europe.  This week my friends Candy and Jim will stop here for a couple of hours, we met in Mexico in the previous year and have also gotten together a couple times since.  They are with an Alaskan RV tour group that’s passing through, in fact there are so many RV caravans here this year that our summer tourist traffic has been unbelievable!  There seem to be a lot of salmon for everyone.  It makes us appreciate the rest of the year when it’s quiet.

P1010782 FishermenP1010755 Soldotna playground P1010797 Moose and JanekP1010791 Janek and Cheyenne P1010809 llama 2P1010776 Soldotna Creek  P1020007 Janek fishingP1020055 race P1020082 rodeo chase 2P1010987 Janek camp P1010998 best morning sleep-inP1010938 Norbert and Martina P1010957 Ns RV Rig

2014 Janek Helicopter

Janek asked if he could go see the Alaska Forestry office where Smokey the Bear works, so we went down there and it was an amazing experience!  They gave him a complete personal tour of the shop, as well as an explanation of how the helicopter drops firefighters in to wildfires and put him right in the pilot’s seat!  Then I was surprised when Smokey showed up for a personal visit!

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