Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just a Normal Day at Rachel's

"Don't flatter yourself. Your family is no crazier than any other
American nuclear unit. Believe me."

"Oh yeah? What would you say to a father who at 58 years old quits his
job and buys a Buffalo ranch in South Dakota?"

"I'd say I would not be surprised if he had a daughter who was a
bush pilot in the wilds of Alaska."

- Joel and Maggie, Northern Exposure

Well, they've been streaming through my door in shifts since "MIKE!!!!" arrived. He's got them filing in one by one, shoes by the door, jackets by the laundry room and then you round the corner. Color-ers to the table, dress uppers in the the spare (Mike's) room except for the occasional 'walk thru' to show off one's most recent attire (be careful not to catch on fire while rounding the candle), half the kitchen is reserved for playdough-ers and the other half for Mike and the real cookie makers, the arctic entry has the tent-ers and 'fresh air-ers' that are too warm, while Ani sits shaking on the couch wondering when all the kids will leave. In the middle of it all I am working on IEPs. There is simply no such thing as normal. At least I've never experienced it, which leads me to believe there is no such thing. Though my reasoning is often flawed so feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong. But I will definitely argue my point. I believe I have earned the right to claim normalcy a myth. As children we (my brothers and I) thought parkay dishes and a set of collected plastic cups we got at church when we brought our age worth of pennies on our birthday to deposit in the little plastic offering church piggy bank while everyone else counted to determine our age (glad I don't have to do that anymore) were fine china, no place mats for us (no matter how uncivilized Gram said we were), one of us scaling the kitchen counter to retrieve whatever food or dish item we needed was done without even a bat of an eye. Macaroni and rice were only eaten with butter and salt. And a real fancy meal was a Pat's Special pizza from Border Bar (it still is trust me, treat yourself to one if you ever pass through International Falls). We painted our skin with watercolors and roller skated around the house in our underwear (we don't do that anymore, at least I don't, I guess I can't speak for my brothers). Through the hole in the floor of our rusted out family station wagon (we called the gravy train) we learned to count, ticking off the yellow lines as they zinged by under our feet. Coincidentally, our new old station wagon caught on fire several times, that's another whole story. We raised tadpoles into frogs in our entry with mom's pots and pans. And first hand understood 'multiply like rabbits' when Dad brought home 2 rabbits which quickly became 52 rabbits within 4 months. Dad 'let them go in the woods' or shot them, nobody really wants to know for sure. We lived on deer meat which mom tried to tell us was 'hamburger' (in spite of her poor 'masking' job). And for a good time we drove the 'aquatic' 6 wheeler through the stalk pond or flew along the zip line rigged up behind the house. So I don't mind that the 'normal' form of transportation in Quinhagak is a four wheeler. I don't think it abnormal to scan the cupboard for the perfect sized tupperware from which to eat my rice with butter. So when the kids come over by the dozens and imagine up all kinds of things to do, play and eat. I laugh and am reminded of us 'normal', and as you can see Mike is no exception to the rule. He tells them they have to think of an animal to say instead of the word "please" so I hear "Tiger may I have a treat." Or "Monkey may I have a glass of juice." LOL.

It is still cold in Quinhagak-Kitchen sink pipes froze again today, for what seems like the 1000th time this winter.

And we made the chilly hike down to the Bering last night. Enjoy the jaunt.

"Point your kids in the right direction—
when they're old they won't be lost (even in the tundra)."
Proverbs 22:6


  1. I am such a bad girl - have ignored reading your blogs. Partly it's because I was having trouble with IE, so I downloaded Google Chrome and that works great. I also purchased a Droid recently which has kept me busy. Our warm weather continues - today could once again be near 80 degrees! We have had no snow all month of March. We need rain - fire danger is high. One of our neighbors began field work yesterday. My husband is in Boston this week helping our son with remodeling on their home. They have had over 10 inches of rain in the month of March. This weekend all of our kids and grandkids will be here, plus much of our Farley family, and some of my Onstad family. Many of us will be in church Sunday and then we will have a big meal together at noon. So excited!!!!Happy Easter - God's blessing!!!

  2. I have loaded several cities on my Droid on the weather channel, so I can see in one spot the temp in many places - including where you are. I ordered the Country magazine that has Eric's article in it. Jackie told me about the article and then asked if I had read it. I finally found out which issue it was and ordered the copy through the MORE system. I read it last night. The other article on Alaska was also good. Well, time to clean bedrooms.

  3. Just so you know - the Eagles are back, Black bears are out with their cubs, Robins are busy - it is such neat to hear the birds singing. A volunteer at our library said he saw a dozen eagles on a lake north of here which still had some ice on it last weekend - Lea Lake I believe. Creeks and streams are back in their banks. Flooding was minimal here. Water levels are still high in the LaCrosse area and then south of there.

  4. I am so impressed with your love for these kids and letting them in like you do. I am such a - "I want my alone time" person. I enjoy being around people to a point, but then I want my alone time. In the article Eric wrote that one day he walked a girl home following a wind storm - actually during a wind storm, because she lived off a road ; apparently not where he could drive the school van. Do some families live off roads? The town seems so small, I can't imagine it would take long to get anywhere. How many streets are there?

  5. Hi Kris, Thanks for the Wisconsin up date:) We haven't see the likes of 80 degrees here since I'm not sure when. But I'm thrilled you all are enjoying it. Pretty much everyone lives on part of the 5 gravel roads totaling 15 miles altogether. But some houses are a mile or more from the school and oddly enough that can seem very far in nasty weather. During winter storms some of the roads easily end up impassable w/o a snow go. Oh, don't get me wrong I need my alone time as well. This week is extra busy with my friend Mike who I taught with at LCO for the last 8 years, he is loving to visit with the kids, so they are over everyday this week but that is not a normal occurrence. I usually have them over 2 times a week and maybe once or twice on the weekend. Anyway, say hello to WI for me.