Alaska, Friends

This Alaska

This Alaska place.

I have had a real strong love/hate relationship with it the past year or so. I love Alaska. I love Ketchikan. I love the rain and the beautiful sunny days and the busy summers and quiet winters. I do. But standing by as friends come and go never gets easy. Being stuck on an Island, a million and one miles away from the people you want to hang out with is a challenge in and of itself. You may only be a few thousand miles away -but it doesn’t matter. You are separated by oceans and lands and miles.

Making new friends has never been a strong suite of mine…so being stuck on an island while your friends move in and out of your life is, well, challenging.

I haven’t done much traveling this year, so being ‘stuck’ on the island has taken its toll.

Yes, I love Alaska. But sometimes…

When it takes you 30 minutes to make a 5 minute drive. When you have to stop and go a million times. When tourist literally jump out in front of your car and give you a brief heart attack. When you just want to go into a shop and not see a billion and one faces -many of who you know and many of who you don’t. When you just want a moment of peace -yet there is none to be found…

And then you go for a hike. Into the vast wilderness. The great unknown. The peaceful calmness of the mountains, the silence. The cool wind and the beautiful scenery. The friends.

When you stand in the mountains of Alaska…you feel so small. You realize just how big this world is and just how small you are. You realize just how small your town is, and the problems in it. You realize there is so much beauty -even in the smallness. You are reminded.

This place? This Alaska?

Is quite simply amazing.

Taking in a deep breath of fresh mountain air is sometimes the remedy that can make everything better again.

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Spider – 1 Me – 0

I have a confession to make, although it’s not so much a confession as it is a statement: I hate spiders.

Awhile ago I tried to understand just what it was about them that made me hate them so much -going with the theory that if I understood them more, perhaps I wouldn’t hate them. I couldn’t do it. Everything about them -everything that they are, all their legs, eyes, walking style -it creeps me out.

The fact that they hide out in weird places -such as the bathroom, or shower -does nothing to improve my opinion of them. Spiders are creepy.

I have tried staring at them, learning about them, looking at pictures of them -and it all ends the same way -with me wigging out.

I also happen to have a theory that if I find a spider inside and kill him -his family will see me killing him and come for me in the night. As a result, I have found myself transporting many-a-spider outside, alive and well.

This all came to an end yesterday morning.

I was laying in bed, minding my own business -sleeping, when I felt something drop into my ear. I brushed it off, assuming it was just my hair…until…

I heard noises and felt something moving around INSIDE my ear.

Yep. Something had dropped into my ear canal and was now attempting to kill me from inside. Or get out. Or something. It didn’t matter. Because one cannot simply swat it away as I quickly realized. I ran around screaming slapping the side of my head to no avail. The scratching (which was VERY loud, seeing how it was in my ear) and flapping was more than enough to panic me. I remained calm by telling myself it was just a fly -and somehow, managed to flip it out with my finger. Which is when I saw this:

It was a spider. It might not look like much -but he was IN MY EAR. I don’t like spiders looking at me from a distance -this one crossed the line.

A spider. In my ear. Dropping in my ear while I was in bed.

I no longer care where they hail from or what they save the world from. Needless to say while he was alive when he came out of my ear (GAH!) he didn’t survive long…and any family members that attempt to take revenge will be in the same situations.

In the meantime, I have my peppermint oil diffuser going full time. I’ve sprinkled the surrounding areas of my bed with peppermint oil and even considered wearing ear muffs to bed with a bug net over my face.

 

Alaska

Long Island

Perks to having pilot friends?  Seeing random islands from your childhood.

A few months ago my parents mentioned to one of my pilot friends that I was born on a little island not far from here.  Long Island, to be exact. (Alaska that is, not New York!)

Some 25 odd years ago, we left that little island and moved to Ketchikan for what I am told was going to be a “short stay.”  Yet here we are.  I don’t have many memories of the place -seeings how we left when I was around two, but a few days ago I got a text from my friend with these gems attached:

I’m told that’s where we flew into hundreds of times.  The place of my childhood.  Where my life began.  If you look closely you might even see the beach where we fished…just kidding.  I recognize none of it -but it was still pretty cool, you know – seeing that it does exist and all!

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Today

Today I turned 27.

Normally – I hate my birthday.  Not so much the fact that I am having another birthday -but the whole spotlight on me -sort of makes me uncomfortable.  Getting older, being old -the whole package.  But today?  Today was pretty epic.

It was one of those all-around amazing days that left my heart feeling full and happy.  An almost guilty type happy -because the day has been that great.  The kind of day that fills you up with all the happy, bubbly feelings that leave you smiling.  A kind of day I wish I could bottle up so tightly and pull it out on grey days.

Mom went all out -as she does, to make me feel special.  With cake, balloons, presents and flowers.  We had lunch together -and rounded the afternoon out with a free coffee from Starbucks.  Nothing beats free!

There was a special package in the mail from my friend, a number of special messages and of course -a few Starbucks gift cards from mom and Amanda and co.

The evening was finished up with a free (yes, free!) steak dinner at a restaurant with a small group of good friends, mom and dad.  I can’t remember the last time I was out for my birthday with friends.  It’s always nice to spend time with family -but adding some really good friends to the mix made my heart happy.

It was a…wonderful day.

I didn’t win a million dollars -but cashed out in the friends and family department.

A big thank you to everyone who made my day special.  I really, really enjoyed it.

I’d say 27 is off to a good start.

England - 2017

England Highlights

So, about a month ago, I caught wind of some cheap tickets to go to England.  I was wanting to take a trip but really hadn’t considered it.  Having other commitments already on the burner I didn’t think I would be going anywhere until the fall or winter.  But the cheap tickets (under $600) were more than I could handle….and so I bought the tickets.

Unlike my normal travel stunts where I go for extended periods of time -this trip was just going to be a short one of two weeks, as opposed to a few months.  It was a trip that I could just squeeze in between dog sitting and other odd jobs…which is how I found myself in England a week and ½ ago.

Here are a few of the highlights.

Igtham mote:

Bodiam Castle:

My tour guide.  Since they had just been there a few weeks prior, he had great fun showing me around.

And then of course, the sun came out and spring officially came to England.