Last Night in Vail

Tonight ended with people gathering at the girls' condo and relaxing with a plate full of yummy food. It was neat to see Galena/GILA staff chillin' out together, before all the business of school days begin in August. August seems far away when you're in a beautiful area, eating great food, and have the freedom to visit with folks.


Day 3 and 4 in Vail

Skating in Beaver Creek, an upscale resort version of Vail, "wow," we shopped here...for ice cream and chocolate treats.

Being 6'4'', Jay appeared pretty fluid, I didn't see him fall...he would've wiped out several unfortunate kids...

After swimming, Ethan gets ready to enjoy his root beer float, we pampered ourselves with room service and settled in with episodes of the Simpsons.

Hurry Up and Wait

Jenna joined us in Fairbanks on our way to Colorado, she's a great gal with lots of potential, only a 9th grader. Computer games helped make the time pass, world class travelers, they took all the traveling so well...

Taken June 21, 2008...grey hair status--light approaching moderate, noticable from 20 feet, spotting grey hair in the beard (wife of this man doesn't really care)... :)

Vail, Colorado

Arrived...Couldn't check into hotel right away...just got off a red eye flight and 2 hr. van ride into Vail...trying to enjoy the sights and STAY AWAKE...

Ethan and Romay met some kids to mingle with in the pool, our camera can take pictures underwater up to 33 ft, although I'm not quite willing to test that theory yet.

Marriott allows you to check out a Volvo for 4 hours and since teachers are on a tight budget, it helps that it's free...prices for food and entertainment and everything else in Vail are resort type prices...so we found a supermarket and did lunch and snack shopping, another words, saved some bucks.

Going" home" with pizza, starving kids awaiting...


GQ Ethan

Now we're in Anchorage, getting ready to board the red eye flight to Denver. Ethan always wants to dress a little snazzy, I just love it, and get a kick out of his style. So, we'll update you all after we arrive in the Rocky Mountain State.


Green Laundry

I was slightly backed up with laundry and had to get it done, especially since we leave tomorrow for Vail, CO. One thing I learned, to keep up with laundry on a daily basis, 4 people (mostly our two kids) create enough dirty clothing to fabricate a small landmark, or mountain. So, Jay, put up some lines for me today, notice we forgot to hang the underwear in the back. Grandma Slwooko always made sure mine were hidden in the posterior of our clothes line, she understood what kind of humility I'd feel if friends wandered by, good thing they dry pretty fast.

Sarah and Romay had my favorite rendition of agutak, easy to make and simple. We had to substitute blackberries for blueberries, then with the left over blackberries, they put the juice in water and made plain tasting water with a black color.

We live in the upper left hand corner apartment.


Moving Boxes, Again

Jay and I bid on a small shed to house our extra belongings that just can't seem to make it into the tiny apartment. I don't do to well with clutter, easier to clean in my opinion and well, it gives me a good excuse that "we just don't have to room to be able to bring that into the apartment." What makes it a special sort of kind of novelty is that some of our former students helped build it, former Koyuk kids attending GILA. Although it doesn't sound exciting no matter how I pitch it, we consolidated boxes today, making more room for storage. I wore about two layers of deep woods perfume (Cutter brand, not that expensive, about 10.00 a bottle, ha!) while doing this, listened to music and got something accomplished off my "to do list." Oh, a griz was spotted today in town, so, everyone is making sure our kids are watched and with an adult when going places.


Another Full Day

Today started with Myra getting out of bed and me refusing for some time to move... "Maybe if I just keep my eyes closed and fake that I'm still asleep, I won't have to start the day yet..." The problem was that there was sourdough that she had going and good French Press coffee sitting out on the kitchen counter and I don't care how strong a man's resolve is, there is no fighting the super natural strenth of Myra's sourdough and good black coffee.

After a heavenly breakfast, the day got rolling and just would not slow down enough to be able to sit down. We took care of some business at the District Office, rode out to the post office on the other side of town, then to where our boxes are stored at the air base... three long bed truck loads later and we had most of our worldly belongings out in our driveway... had signs been posted I am sure people would have stopped for a yard sale. We drove the truck back out to the base, picked up our Honda and got back just in time to meet the loader that was dropping off our new shed (thanks guys).

Our pile of cra... treasure was about fifteen yards from the shed and so we moved it one more time. Those boxes have been handled so many times and are starting to take on the consistency of cooling oatmeal. Inside for a late lunch (3 o'clock), quick call from Dad, off to softball practice with the kids and planting in the community garden with Genny Brown for Myra and I.

We came back and had a dinner that tasted like a feast to me. Myra took Romay and Kemper for a bike ride and I crashed on the bed (the middle of our living room floor). Where did the day go? Work was truly a joy today and my cup runneth over. Myra and I are both at the point where our bodies are happily tired and ready to sleep the deep sleep of contenment.

Again, thanks Genny, and all of the Galena people who have made Myra, our kids, and I feel so at home already.


Just Ordinary Folks

Here's to those ordinary, notice I didn't say boring, people that find appeasement in...everyday, simple things; email, singing songs, the pile of laundry, drying on the table. I'm waiting for Jay to put up a clothes line, since I don't have an energy efficient dryer, anyways, I'd still load up the basket with a handful of pins and maybe sport a bandana like grandma used to.

A modern looking child, phone and email in the same instance, Ethan loves getting those cyber letters; like we all do.

Ethan wanted to take a picture, Jay looks like he needs to run to the bathroom to take care of business. That's it, I just had to say it.

Happy Father's Day, Jason. A nice leather wallet to replace his nearly neolithic piece of cowhide.

What a dude! Well, Kenton (Ethan and Romay's softball coach; family friend) is impressing Jason with his skinning techniques. His son (I wanna say, 7 or 8 years old), shot a beaver and here Kenton is taking care of the hide. Both Jason and Kenton sum up part of their manhood by taking part in the Bush Alaskan sport of trapping. More pictures for sure with this upcoming season!

Family Bonding...

Our family joined the Kortas' for a delicious meal of enchiladas, they have 3 wonderful children that kept Ethan and Romay on their toes, which allowed the parents the time to chit chat. As you can see, John is building quite the abode, behind this is a lot of about 30 dogs. He's completed the Iditarod, twice, and his son is nicknamed "musher" by the softball coaches, which he responds to, not surprisingly. We've also shared a meal with the Moos family and unfortunately, I forgot my camera that day. I just wanted to share a little of the open arms that have graciously extended our way, thank you, we're grateful!


Chlorine in Galena? Softball Tourney...

So today we wrapped up our time in the 70+ degree weather as the kids played for the gold in the Softball Tournament. The gold won the gold, it's almost 10 and I think Romay is still wearing her medal, I'll check for the line mark around the back of her neck tomorrow morning. Jason helped umpire, I took pictures and chatted with the other moms, and we all worked on our tans, or lack of a tan. We're impressed with the coaches, Kenton and Ryan, they put in a long day, but still had smiles by the time it was all done. Afterwards, as if enough energy wasn't already expedited, the kids got to put on their bathing suits and hang around the pool. I'm pinching myself, ouch, yes, it's all really real, what a great community for families.

Softball Tourney

Jay visiting with Sidney Huntington, looking forward to more chats with him!



More pictures to come, tomorrow...


Day 13 in Galena

Remember kerosene lamps, part of my childhood involved watching Papa light the glass lamps anytime the power went out in Unalakleet during the long winter months. Then...I can distinctly hear his voice begin, "my daddy...." and a story or two would roll off his memory and it was always strange to hear him say such boyish sounding words as his face was lined with wrinkles and head was short of a full head of hair. So when Jay came home with a lamp from Unalakleet last year, the particular smells of oil evaporating as it burns and memories flooded my mind. I appreciate simple pleasures of childhood.

Power didn't go out, plenty of light, just couldn't help ourselves in firing up the lamp and visiting with each other.

Change of topic and scenery here, notice Jason smiling and Chris concentrating, working. Part of today's enjoyment was driving Jason around to move our freezer and snowmachine to our apartment. Any Chevy or Ford made in the 70's-90's grabs my attention, again, familiarity of those formulative years in growing up, the older trucks, yeah, just another simple pleasure. Chris has been incredibly helpful from day one, he's also the principal and has been over to sip french pressed coffee with Jay and I quite a bit, a good way, quite possibly the perfect way, to get to know people!


Welcome...New Home...

The transition to Galena has been a blessing made possible by the people here. We've had dinners at friends homes, attend a GREAT church, and the kids are fitting right in!

*Sigh* I miss our dishwasher in Koyuk, the table has seen 2 or 3 monopoly games already. I'm dubbed the evil landlord as I won the very first game, ha! It's hard to erase a reputation, especially when Romay gives me "dirty" looks anytime I get a property, (hee hee).

Yes, that is a tapestry as a wall decoration. Made in America, surprised? I was, I'm so used to "Made in China" by now, it's a brand name.

Sarah, Romay and Ethan...too bad you couldn't smell the bug spray on 'em!

Pitter Patter, the sound of my heart as I watched the kids play with the privileged leashed dogs in the field outside our apartment. Darn cute things!

On the way home from softball practice, a young black bear scooted down a path near town. No worries, Harriette!! People in town, including Fish and Wildlife, are monitoring the situation and will take care of it should it become a hazard.

Koyuk Mug, Kevin! We posted this just for you! :) Although we don't need it, it's nice to enhance the conversation with a glass of Chardonnay, or Alaskan Amber.

99741...New Site

Road trip, Anchroage to Fairbanks. Can you see how upset Jason is? The dog just gave him a rope burn, chasing a rabbit running across the tundra.

Front yard, nice birch and poplar, nice place for Kemper to explore, darn mosquitoes.

A view, a sorry looking view of the kitchen, living room area.