Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Side of the Tundra

"I fly." "What? You're a stewardess? I mean, I'm sorry - flight attendant. Which airline?" "I own my *own* plane. I'm a pilot."
- Maggie and Joel, Northern Exposure

Home and Welcomed As I began this post I got up to have snack and peeked out the kitchen window to catch one last glimpse of the unexpected but immensely appreciated dose of sunlight we received this evening when the clouds momentarily thinned enough for the fading rays to trickle through. Across the connected back yards of tundra I can see a handful of kids wringing these precious few hours without rain for all they're worth and bouncing away on a trampoline. I have to smile. They've been knocking on the door since I arrived..."Could we visit???" Yes, yes I am as excited as they are to catch up and reconnect! But when Joshua and Bob (our excellent maintenance men/water delivery guys every Monday) pulled up the other morning to fill my trough I'd be lying if I said I didn't put my pillow over my head and tried to ignore the unreasonably early knocking thinking it was way too eager young visitors. Oops, I apologized as I stumbled out of bed unlocking the deadbolts when Bob revved the engine of the 1962 vintage water hauling tank to signal to me they would leave me waterless if I didn't wake up and open the door! "Morning Joshua." I groggily offered hair flying every which way squinting into the rainy morning, "Sorry, I thought you guys were the kids...come on in and filler up;)" "It's okay." he laughed. "Welcome home." "Thanks." I chuckled, turned and headed back to my cozy, warm bed to gather a few more of zzzzs before the real kids started knocking:) Welcome Home:)
On and Weighing
While back in Bethel for training my dear friend Kathy who just started in the district and has been having some hilarious adventures of her own (check out her blog) was shocked when the the ticket agent at one of the airline companies
requested her weight. Kathy couldn't fathom why on earth this woman who had only moments before weighed both of her bags and checked them in, called out to her as she walked away "Ma'am what do you weigh?" Kathy, without missing a beat threw out her numbers, shrugged and kept walking. As she relayed this odd experience to Anya and I we both had a good laugh. "It seems some things become second nature. See most of the time the ticket agent actually makes you stand on the luggage scale. You don't even think anything of it. Those bush planes are touchy." "Oh," Kathy nodded,"I figured she must have some good reason for it." Up and Flying
Well, our chartered flights both into and out of Bethel for the 2nd Annual District Inservice were a treat. It was in fact the cute junk plane pilot from last year manning our ship. All my sneaky teacher friends took their seats leaving only the copilot seat forcing me to be front and center. Real nonchalant, right. Keep in mind I intentionally avoid that locale as I prefer not to stare at the bazillion buttons and gauges that one must maneuver to keep us air born. So I was already nervous. It was a scenic flight lol. So comfortable was I that on our return, I invited myself to sit shotgun and was even offered the headphones so I could hear all the air trafficers giving directions and speaking in code then I got to talk the pilot's ear off. Pretty positive the unsure passengers behind were willing me to shut up and let the man focus on matters at hand such as flying the plane. Little did they know I was flying the plane. Naaaaa, just kidding I turned down the opportunity in spite of his attempt to convince me that "ahhh, its easy. You wanna land it?" Hum, nope, I choose life.
This is actually a pic flying from Minneapolis to Anchorage.
Off and Running
So tonight Animosh and I laced up our running shoes and headed to the Bering! Like I said, we had a tinsy tiny bit o sun today so everyone was outside. It was wild to be back out on ye ol gravel road looking far across the tundra in every direction: to the distant mountains, the receded tide, the village and the flatland. So familiar, like we had never left. It was as if we never spent the last 2 and a half months surrounded by towering pines. Time and place sure are weird things aren't they? I remember thinking just a few short weeks ago that I'd be back up in Quin in no time and be having a hard time thinking I was ever home. It's true, here we are back home in Quinhagak, Alaska catching up with family and friends on this side of the tundra;)

Shout Out To:
Cathy and your hubby for the great surprise at school today in my mailbox! Quyana for the beautiful tshirt and note. It makes me smile knowing you were here and this verse is perfect for the return to Quin and start of a new year. Thank you dear friend.

"So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith."
Galations 6:9


  1. Glad to hear that you and Ani are back in Alaska and the trip went okay. It was great to see you this summer.
    Con mucha amor!

  2. Geez Girl! No kidding. I wish you could come up here. How was the big 30th b-day party?! It was so good to see you. Thank you for coming to visit:) I'll be in touch asap:)