Reading and Writing

A “Taste of Home”. The man in the mural is Danny Lytton. He once came to my old farm to help round up a couple Belgian horses I was boarding for horse loggers. The Belgians didn’t want to leave. Danny was so good with horses, he managed to coax them to the trailer.

I’m sitting in my fave little local cafe (there are only two – one we call “The Dry Place” because the food is too dry for our liking and the coffee always tastes burnt, and this one my family and I call “Taste”, short for “Taste Of Home”, because we kept forgetting its real name years ago, which first was “One Another, A Coffee House”; then it was “Bicycle Tree”; and now it’s “Rise & Grind Coffee Shop”, but one of my sons calls it “the kaif”, phonetically pronouncing cafe that way because he plays with words like his mom does).

Ah, it sounds like Jim Croce (whom my son might call Jim Croas phonetically) singing over the speakers right now, something about a Georgia girl he hopes will take him back. Now Gordon Lightfoot is singing about how it would be if his love could read his mind.

While I sip a soy cafe au lait, I have been reading a book, the latest one I’ve bought. It’s a slow process because so many things I read in it remind me of points from my own Alaskan past, so I go make notes in my manuscript documents. That, and I make penciled notes in the book itself.

Here is a page from the abovementioned book, which is called “Alaska in the Wake of the North Star”. Having looked at the publisher’s website (Hancock House), I feel I should contact them about my book, as it seems to fit with a lot of what they have published.

I would love to know if anyone reading this also makes notes in the books they read. 🙂

A Positive Spin

mt timothy road

A photo that has nothing to do with the blog entry: a road near home, as seen from the passenger seat of our truck

Looking back at my recent blog entries, I realize there have been mostly negative ones. Me complaining. Me whining. Me seemingly teetering on the precipice between life and death, or at least that’s how it feels to me when I’m there. Me, me, me…

The thing is, the times I feel most like blogging are when I’m struggling, feeling alone, and needing a place to vent. During buoyant times, I’m too busy enjoying the moments to do more than imagine how I’d write about them.  Thinking about this, I do consider that maybe I should include a few more happy posts. Maybe that will happen.

Although it must look like all I do is complain, more often than not I don’t blog about my struggles. I keep them to myself, or I talk to the One who already knows about them while the song “Where Could I Go But To The Lord” wafts through my mind.

I appreciate the writing of others in their angst, showing a heartbeat to the person behind the text. Maybe there are people who appreciate mine. Like validation. The “I hear ya, bruh” type thing that we sometimes need.

So, there’s a bit of a positive spin on my negativity.

I’ll leave you with my favorite version of the song I mentioned above – Where Could I Go But To The Lord as recorded by Emmylou Harris. This is how it runs through my head, ever since I bought the cassette tape in Petersburg, Alaska’s hardware section of Hammer & Wikan in the early 1990s.

Canada Geese On Thin Ice

These are just a couple of Canada geese on the ice at a little lake near my home. Oops, one of them “had to go”.

This couple – and I’ve heard that Canada geese mate for life – were walking around on the thin ice of Watson Lake in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. How lovely it’d be to have a better quality camera to capture their beauty!

It’s always a joy for me to see the Canada geese. Their return each spring gives me comfort.

I had friends back in the Alaskan wilderness who raised some Canada geese. They’d had domestic geese, and someone found some wild Canada goose eggs. They gave them to the domestics, who laid on them till they hatched out. Those Canada geese were the best guard-geese. They’d honk and hiss at us whenever we approached the property.

I’m not sure if it is legal to take Canada goose eggs, so if you read this and get the idea to try it at home, please look into it for yourself first.

That same lake a month ago was frozen so thick, snowmobiles rode all over it

Alaskan Wilderness Living

There seems to be a growing interest in the idea of living in the wilderness.

“Off-grid”, as it’s been oft-dubbed, and, in particular, living off the grid in Alaska, has become fascinating. There are books to read about it, documentaries to watch, and movies to see, though when I started my journey to get there, I found very little to prepare me.

For most of the 1990s, I lived in the wilderness of Alaska, far from neighbours. The hand-written journals I kept are the basis for books I am writing to share the adventure.

Did you note my Canadian spelling of “neighbours”? Yes, I’m Canadian – born and raised in British Columbia, where I live again, yet somehow I got temporarily transplanted to a life outside of civilization.

British Columbia has just as much beauty and ruggedness as Alaska, yet its mention doesn’t elicit the questions and awe that come when one says they lived in Alaska. I wonder why that is.

It is a slow process getting the book finished, though. Being the mother of seven children who currently range in age from 10 to 26, with varying levels of needing my attention, I don’t get a lot of time to focus on bringing the memories to life in the form of written words. Blogging helps get the creative wording flowing, though, so you might see more of me around while I’ve got my computer on for the book project.

I didn’t have a great camera back then, so I hope my writing will describe things sufficiently.

Remember Bligh Reef

On March 24, 1989, thirty years and two days ago, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

It was that tragic event, with its devastating effects on the water, the ocean life, the land and its wildlife, and the people of the region, that brought me to Alaska.

I was but a caretaker for a science lab anchored in a protected bay off of the very remote Knight Island. The closest town, Cordova, was an hour’s float-plane flight away, or eight hours by boat. Had the marine biologists returned to the lab, which was a six bedroom house built onto a barge, before spring melted the bay enough for them to get in by boat, I would have also been their cook.

If I’d had more camera film during the five winter months I spent so far from civilization, I might not be writing a book that details it and the adventures involved.

There’s a lot of information online about the 30-year anniversary of that worst oil spill in history. I will leave you with one link for an article about it, and a video from twenty years ago:

Article: 30 Years Since Bligh Reef Disaster

Video: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 10 Year Update from 20 Years Ago

Exxon Valdez – Remember

On March 24, 1989, thirty years and two days ago, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

It was that tragic event, with its devastating effects on the water, the ocean life, the land and its wildlife, and the people of the region, that brought me to Alaska.

I was but a caretaker for a science lab anchored in a protected bay off of the very remote Knight Island. The closest town, Cordova, was an hour’s float-plane flight away, or eight hours by boat. Had the marine biologists returned to the lab, which was a six bedroom house built onto a barge, before spring melted the bay enough for them to get in by boat, I would have also been their cook.

If I’d had more camera film during the five winter months I spent so far from civilization, I might not be writing a book that details it and the adventures involved.

There’s a lot of information online about the 30-year anniversary of that worst oil spill in history. I will leave you with one link for an article about it, and a video from twenty years ago:

Article: 30 Years Since Bligh Reef Disaster

Video: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 10 Year Update from 20 Years Ago

Sorry for so much blogging

For those who get notifications when I put up a new blog post, I apologize for the recent abundance of them. I myself don’t know why I have been posting so much. At least in part I think it is because I am not feeling well. Fibromyalgia drags me down worse on some days, and then on other days I almost don’t know there’s anything amiss with my health.

It is easier to sit and write on my book project and in my blog than to do the myriad other things I need to do.

Annnnd seeing the above thoughts, I am convicted of my laziness, so I will leave the written word alone for now and go tackle the endlessly growing to-do list despite my pain and stiffness. Slow progress is better than no progress.