Monday, January 2, 2012

Days Of Auld Lang Syne

Well, maybe not so long since.

Let me take this time right here and now to say for anyone who doesn't already know, I DO NOT MAKE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS and I don't often keep track of my life in increments from January 1st to Dec. 31st, so naturally, I don't think I've ever spoken or written, or caused to be spoken or written, any semblance of "the year in retrospect." Usually for me, the occurance of certain remarkable events tend to order my memories and relfections until the whole lot of them become so jumbled in the passing of time, I often don't even remember how old I am. Sometimes, periods that I call various seasons of me or seasons of some aspect or other of me, can take quite some time to fade into days of "old long since."

For example, I moved to Alaska smack dab in the middle of...last summer was it? and that event has been lasting until now, which is this winter. This, though, I so cleverly began to call my Season of This is Big. And it keeps getting bigger. 

Howsomever, on the 1st day of 2012 in the Year of Our Lord, here I am indulging in a look back at the previous year! Oh well, another thing those who know me know is that I succumb to at least a few contradictions of thought, expression and behavior.

First thing that comes to mind is the first road trip of 2011 when my kids (kid and kid-in-law) accompanied my mother and me on a trip from Ogden, UT to Roswell, NM via Ft. Collins, CO. My mother had come up to visit children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as she sometimes does. My brother drove to her home in NM and the two of them had their own road trip up to Ogden, but that's their story and I can't tell it, not having been there. I can imagine it, as we take that trip a lot, but I think mother and son had some unusual alone time that they really enjoyed. When it was time for her to go back, the three of us took her home, stopping at another of her children's home in CO.

Katy and Jon with Mom on her porch in Roswell, NM

Not the first New Mexico road trip for any of us.  And certainly, Katy and I have travelled --well, --- plenty, I must say. 
Then, because of a very ugly, mean, appalling, damaging and did I say mean? political upheaval at work, I began looking for a new job.  Now I have this job.  In a whirl, Katy, Jon and I were on the road again, trekking across Canada for another almost week-long road trip to Anchorage, AK.  You've seen those posts too.  In Canada, I met up with a friend I hadn't seen since the early 1980s, if we're going to count in years, and I did manage to spend at least a couple of weeks in Helena, MT where I used to work summers, but won't be able to do that anymore, for a while.

I have imagined myself living/working/being changed in a number of regions of the country, maybe even in another country, such as Korea again, but somehow Alaska never really entered the picture.  When Katy would talk about wanting to travel to Alaska, I could let myself imagine how fun that might be -- for her.  When people would tell me how much they enjoyed Alaskan cruises, I thought it was great -- for them.

Also, living in Ogden, I was beginning to feel settled, rooted, if you will, for about the second time in my life as an adult, the first being our decade stint in San Francisco before another out-of-the-blue event sent us wheeling across Nevada headed for Utah.

Having experienced not just a few significant events in my life, facing many unexpected changes, challenges and pounding-on-the-door types of opportunities, it must speak volumes, as they say, that this coming-to-Alaska season is the one I choose to call "This is Big."   Maybe one reason is that I'm not as young as I used to be when I relished and felt strong and capable enough to handle the interjection of surprising and demanding changes in my life, and another reason could be that I don't think I was all that sure about leaving my only-child daughter so far away, however grown and happily married she may be. Still not overly thrilled with the separation, to be honest.  I do not remember a time in our lives together that I wished for her to hurry and grow up and leave me rattling and echoing around in that proverbial empty nest.

Other loved ones are also a lot further away, and if you'll notice, I spent the holidays away from family this year!

Part of this job now is to travel to rural, bush, village Alaska to provide low-vision services across the state, and you can read in previous posts about the other road trips and air trips I have taken so far.  I've taken other trips, too, just on my own to make sure I get to see something I think I want to see. 

What I would really like to be able to do in this blog is write about people I meet, but because of professional confidentiality, I can't so that so much. 

This month I am headed out to the Eastern Aleutian Islands--Sand Point, King Cove, Dutch Harbor and Unalaska.  Maybe I'll even be able to tour the Peter Pan Cannery.  Take some pictures, maybe get weathered-in and have to spend some extra time.  I've been told that it is not uncommon for people to not be able to get out of the area once they make it in.  Wind.  It has a tendency to make and keep flying unpredictable.  They have cautioned me to take some books to read, just in case.

Sometime "this year," I will also take a trip to the Pribilofs (used to be called Northern Fur Seal Islands.) 

I think I am going shopping for a warmer coat and maybe some other warmer articles of clothing, although last night at the New Year's downtown celebration, standing in the cold on the snow watching the fireworks, the only part of my body that didn't stay warm was my face. (Well, and my knuckles because I couldn't take pictures with my mittens on.)  A ski mask?

All in the name of having experiences.

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