Civilization, A Story or Two

Relaxing. Everyone thinks it's too easy for your food to come ready on a plate in exchange for a few dollars, better lay down and rest.

Kemper, exhausted, probably because he thinks every tree, person, and car needs to be greeted properly by his standards. This was in Anchorage and he realized he was "behind," missed too many opportunities and looks depressed. Bringing a yellow lab from the open fields in Koyuk to the bustling city of Anchorage gives you sore shoulders and a slight twist in the nerves, there outta be a pill at the drugstore that can relieve stress from a personality like Kemper's when he goes into overdrive and stays there for a couple of hours.


Last Duck Hunt, KKA

Hoppe's is a familiar smell to all the kids, myself, the dog. The decoy bag never looses its luster in the eyes of a bird hunter, now hunters. Ethan shot one down, in the air, 20 guage. Dad shot the other 2, while Kemper volunteers to get wet. The hunting ground on the tundra is as familiar as an old childhood playground, like a friend, it shall be missed!


Subtle Changes

So, let's start with a quiz... what do you notice being different in this photo?

Was came over to pick up the coffee shop that he and Gene bought from us earlier this week with a little help from the local Cat loader and operator, Vince. It was cool to be able to work with both of the guys as it gave me an excuse to hang out with them one last time... my comment to Was was, "Boys never really grow up, their toys just get bigger." Man, I felt like I was playing in the sandbox again with Brian and Tim.

So, Vince drove the loader up onto the deck... which just happens to have been laid down when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, and the massive machinery crawled up and then immediately broke through... considering the tires cost around $5000 a piece and we were looking for an excuse to see what kind of cool damage to the deck we could do with something that has the strength of Godzilla, we began tearing it up with the help of the forks. Would be nice to have some video or stills of the carnage in action, but alas, I am home alone without a camera (the photo I did get is with the computer's built in camera). Put in some boyish sandbox sound effects and pull out your lincoln logs and tonka trucks and you can kind of re-enact it on your own. Tera, you'll just have to borrow some of Matt's or Reuben's. Doug, go pick up some new ones and we'll play when I get to Anchorage in a couple of days.

Well, now the deck is torn up and piled "neatly" to the side where the bssd guys can come clean it up as they were going to pull out the deck this summer anyway. The coffee shop still needs to move. After an thirty minutes, which my wife knows from living with me is actually an hour, and about four different approaches, Vince gets a good hold of the shop on the forks. It is at this point where I know I was not cut out to be a heavy equipment operator. Vince drives that Cat like it is some kind of delicate ballet he is performing in (one that Tim Taylor would be proud of). My nerves were about fried as he drove up the steep incline that is our drive with the coffee shop balanced just perfectly. At any moment, I was afraid that it would lose balance, twist and become a pile of matchsticks in the middle of the road. Not so, Gene is now happy to be able to see her new very well built shed standing outside of her window. I am happy that her well built shed withstood the parade around town.

Good night.


Auto Self Clean, Hotdogs for Lunch

Part of the reality of moving is the to get the oven to look as if it's brand new, the range wasn't a problem, but the petrified food in the oven was. Darn, so in the middle of packing boxes, running errands, and making sure Gram was comfortable, I decided to start the 5 hour time block needed to get it cleaned. Not long after, Romay decided that hot dogs, marshmellows, and pop would be the perfect diet and we'd better go outside so we wouldn't get contact high from the food that was now turning into fumes. It really smelled like a glorified steak house with oven burnt crispys mixed together, good thing I remembered to let the dog out too after shuffling people outside. So, Gram is shown, being wrapped up like a burrito in the 36 degree weather and not to mention that it was Jason's last work day in the BSSD, so it sort of turned into a mini celebration of some sorts, if you can say cheese dogs and cheetos are appropriate for such an occasion.

Granny, inside later on, taking in the view and then....going to make our family's all time favorite breakfast food...sourdough pancakes!!!!!! I just mixed a batch tonight for her to try my recipe. She's always made them for me, us, our family, so I'm curious about her upcoming opinion.


Latest Photos


When Jay and I moved to Koyuk 5 years ago, these students were in 8th grade, with the exception of those who moved here later. With Koyuk having a population over 300, we celebrated it's largest graduating class ever, seven. History in the making and as I was writing that earlier comment, my mind reminded me of Koyuk only having one graduate three years ago.

Traditionally, during graduation, all the mothers in Koyuk sing a song, "Precious Memories." The bleachers pretty much empty out :) I've gotten to sing it twice now, sniff sniff, makes me think of my grandma and that's an instant happy tear for me!


Highlights from that day:
Teacher water skips across the river with one of the graduates!
Students tell of risky curious experimentation with Clorox.
High school student is committed to attending Alaska Christian College!


I'm not 10, I'm 12

Kevin (our principal who really knew Ethan was 12), kept wishing Ethan a Happy 10th birthday, that's what "uncles" do, right? They lovingly give you a hard time and meanwhile, a good chuckle is had, usually by the adults. Ethan had a small gathering, it worked out perfectly, I almost want this birthday repeated over and over for future parties. What I mean, the games had so much more focus and we laughed a lot since kids weren't nervous of the larger crowd or disruptions from too many kids going in different directions. It was quite managable with the crazy season of school and getting ready to move, laid back, just what we all needed.


Nonsensical Jibberish

I remember coming back to the village. From Spokane, Washington to Elim and Koyuk, Alaska. The English language, or part of it, at it's most, confusing. Let me add more breadth to that statement with a few one liners straight from the "vil!"

From Koyuk:
"Hubs man, real cheap" (Hubs is short for Hubber* ...this is a common expression in which hubs can be translated as cheap)

"Man, this chair is bony." (After a gal sat on a chair, looked to be in deep thought for a moment, then was dissatisfied with the hard chair)

"Dad went up river and PRETTY SOON he saw a flock of cranes....." (pretty soon is understood to be a length of time, depending on the context of the story, it can be minutes or days)

"Not too pretty good" (not good)

From Elim:
(Myra in class) "First, let's review some of the highlights from yesterday's reading on the Reconstruction Period."
(Kids in class) "Ten Bucks" (which always meant, nah, or make me)

"RRRRRRREEEEEEAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL" (The more you can pronounce each letter and extend it, the more convincing you can be!)

"You come?" (After returning from summer break, not being in the village for a couple months, simple greetings after a hug and smiles...pretty standard in other villages)

In conclusion, I can write a short explanation of my thoughts on moving.

5 years ago, I moved from Unalakleet to Koyuk...and pretty soon, Jason and I got jobs in Galena. Hubs, had to pack lotsa boxes. Jason and I took our Honda to the post office and the roads were not too pretty good, rrrreeeeeaaaaalllll bony seat I was sitting on. Jay wanted me to carry in boxes, even with my weak knee and I replied, "ten bucks." We saw our post master and she said, "you come?"