It’s been rather strange to be at home in Alaska again. I’ve been gone before, and I guess it’s always required a period of readjustment. Two of those times I actually returned to an empty house and had to unpack piles of boxes to move back in again. I don’t think it was easy, for sure it wasn’t. I went away sailing in my 40s, then lived in Port Townsend and was gone for a total of five years; in my 50s I worked in Barrow but had housemates and everything was still as usual when I retired and came back a couple of years later; in my 60s I was gone nearly three years in the Peace Corps in Romania, and moved back in to a house damaged by the tenants. Those were the longest times I went away, but I never have settled back into my house while leaving an alternate “home” someplace else. Instead of being completely present I feel torn, as if part of me is far away. It’s only been a few days but the feeling persists and I feel more displaced than ever.
The great joy is that everything seems fine, the freezers are running, the furnace works great, my personal treasures are all in place and I still enjoy them. But spring has vanished and it’s 20 degrees with deep snow on the ground, ice on the lake, even the rhubarb hasn’t been brave enough to poke up through the frozen ground yet. For the first time I’m feeling bored here. My projects are close by — the sewing room, my carving workshop, books and magazines to read, friends to visit — but I don’t feel like doing any of them. I want to put on my shorts like I have every morning for the past two and a half months and go for a walk with my dog.
It was lovely that my RVing friend Shar came over from Seward on Monday and spent the night with her rowdy little puppy Sitka, she created a sort of bridge between my traveling life and this one. The sun was shining and it was warm enough outside for us to sit on the deck let our dogs go while we could talk.