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Posts Tagged ‘Alaska Life’

May 7, 2016

It has been raining for many, many days. I’ve lost count of how many. Today the clouds were empty for about 3 hours. Thinking this was day with promise, Tim and I went to the Yakutat Lodge out at the airport for breakfast. We put the windows down in the car and enjoyed the clear air.

The waiter wore a ball cap, his long hair in a ponytail and a fuzzy beard. Pure Alaskan stereotype. We were served water in a glass not much bigger than a shot glass and only because we asked for some. He grabbed the pitcher that had been sitting at a table that he had been wiping down after the previous guests and poured our cups full with that. (Can you see me, wide-eyed, biting my lips?) There was no escaping the two T.V.’s that were visible no matter where you sat in the whole room. They were playing a show where home videos of people who randomly got hurt were replayed for laughs. They were funny and very distracting. I tried very hard to look at my plate and try and think of what I wanted to say. This was supposed to be a date after all. We left soon after eating and I was disappointed that we didn’t have a good conversation over the meal as usual. To make up for it, we decided to take the kids out to the beach and enjoy the mostly cloudy, not rainy weather. I imagined shovels and beach blankets, laughter and running. Today we would forget the chores and responsibilities of indoor Saturday life to bbq our food on an open fire on the beach. YES!

However, the dump run came first. (Tim takes the trash out on Saturdays because it’s closed by the time he gets home during the week… and we really need him to do this! …bears are attracted to garbage)

Wouldn’t you know it, by the time he got back it had begun raining again. This whole week has been like this. Rain, sun, rain. A continual battle of the perfect timing of a no-fail plan against the fickle weather. I plan to take pictures of the wild berry bushes that are in full bloom growing behind our shop and around the edges of our house. I plan to visit with my neighbor over a cup of hot carmel macchiato on a front porch swing. My plans need good weather. Or a good overhanging roof.

I like planning. I enjoy goal setting…  I plan. Unsuccessfully.

This was not an usual occurrence before we moved here. In fact, since moving here I have begun to realize that planning requires more and more from me in every occasion. I can’t forget one detail. The I’m-not-worried-about-it approach that a lot of locals exude is becoming more and more favorable to me than stressing because I forgot to buy safety pins and/or clothes pins while I was in Juneau and no one has any to use for the Gender Reveal Party I hosted. Oh! And none of the stores in town carry them! (Thankfully, tape was ready at hand and was used after a little person suggested it…now why didn’t I think of that?) *Remember to breathe*

It has taken me until today to figure out something very important and that will be useful to me in everyday Yakutat life. Don’t make plans. Seize the day! Or in this case, the moment. Every day is a gift and it’s so important not to misuse or abuse the gift. Even a rainy day is special to God. Spend it doing what matters. With others who matter.

I guess I’ll make some cookies and invite my children to play a board game at the table with me… Wait. Just as I typed those last couple of sentences the sun popped out! Better take advantage and hit the beach! No plans here. I’m seizing the day!

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Looking forward to my second trip to Juneau with Ann! That’s coming up next week. I will get to see my baby for the first time on ultrasound and hear the heartbeat. I am meeting with my current direct-entry midwife and also a CNM. My day is going to be pretty full. I don’t know how I’ll squeeze in any shopping. I am anticipating being worn out completely…

Our first appointments were a blast! We stayed in a comfy hotel, watched “Fixer-Upper” on cable, ordered room service, and did a lot of shopping! I felt like a teenager and even jumped on the bed (which wasn’t as springy as I had anticipated)!

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Being silly with my sis!

 

This time I plan to get a pedicure. All the chlorinated water has dried out my skin and my feet are scratchy (GROSS)…So you know, I can justify that expenditure! It’s for my health! ;P

Next week is also Spring Break. So… Our 6 kids will be holding down the fort while both parents are gone for the day. Tim will be home for lunch to check on them. He’s confident that they will do fine. I agree, as long as they watch TV or go to the park.

I am planning to have a little party with them when I get back. They deserve a celebration day. I’m not sure what we’ll do yet. Maybe go to the beach? Blow up some balloons. Root beer floats. Cake. It would be so cool if Yakutat had a bowling alley… sigh. Oh well. We make our own fun!

 

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Part 4 – Welcome to Alaska

Upon arriving in Anchorage for our short layover we found our next gate quickly then grabbed a bite to eat from the in-airport McDonalds. The kids ran about and stretched their legs. During the long (4 hours, if I remember correctly) flight it was a challenge to keep Lottie contained. She was a good girl though and didn’t cry as much as she had while waiting in the security line. I had been able to give her a little something for her cough and she went to sleep the last half hour of the flight. We welcomed the break and didn’t try too hard to keep the kids sitting.

When I turned on my cell phone I received a text from my sister. Her husband had found us a house! I was blown away by the Lord’s timing and provision. “…never too little with too late.” rang in my ears.

Our arrival in Yakutat was joyous and rainy! It was dark and pouring down rain like nothing we would ever see in Ephrata, Washington. There were huge puddles everywhere and we had to walk from the plane to the airport completely exposed to the weather. I suddenly became aware that none of us were prepared with proper foot attire. All the kids trailed through the same deep puddle and I grabbed Lottie before she was able to follow suit. I am sure it would have come up far above the tops of her fancy little boots. The airport was well lit and warm inside. Holding a few employees and the happy faces of my sweet sister and her entire family.

Nick and Ann have 5 children. They are around the same ages as my kids and the youngest 2 are twins. All girls except one! (Just like us)

We talked excitedly and waited for our luggage. I didn’t feel tired anymore. A surge of adrenaline pumped through my tired body. I kept looking around to make sure I had every head accounted for. Seeing Tim talking excitedly and laughing I began to wonder what the plan was. What was the next step? Tim repeated that only 15 pieces of luggage came through. I assumed he would take care of it and I began ushering children through another door to the where 3 vehicles were waiting to take us “home”. We split up into the 3 trucks, pairing my kids with excited cousins and helpful friends. Not a sad face was seen…and then, Lottie was poopy. We held our noses the entire drive into town. I had the presence of mind to put her in a pull-up for the trip. I didn’t suppose either of us would remember to take her potty before it was too late and it saved us from carrying around wet clothing in the diaper bag.

The tiny cabin was warm and we were informed that one of the brothers had been there that morning to build a fire in the woodstove and had kept it roaring all day. It was so pleasant to know how much everyone cared. The guys unloaded all three truck-fulls of luggage and I scurried around looking for the one with Lottie’s belongings inside. It quickly became obvious that I wasn’t finding what I needed. Ann suggested I use some of hers at her house… Back into the crowded trucks!

A hospitable host, Ann served us deep fried fresh halibut over rice. It was the most delicious food we had tasted in days! Except for the last dinner with my parents, our recent menu for the last week and a half had consisted mostly of donuts, frozen pizza, hot pockets, and McDonalds. The food was well appreciated.

All eleven children enjoyed playing together until it was time to go. Then outside to the slushy ground and pouring rain weather we trudged once again, feeling the warmth of being very welcome indeed.

 

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