Monday, April 29, 2013

If you don't like the weather in Alaska . . .

Wait five minutes!  It WILL change!  as the saying goes.  I was weathered out and unable to get to the village, so I spent the day in Bethel, working on new referrals there.  Trying again Wednesday to get to the islands and get my work done.

In the meantime:

The weather continued to escalate and while some days the warmth of the sun would beat through the plexi windshields of the airplanes, the air outside was indescribably cold with winds that cut through clothing like a knife blade.  Being in that climate is just plain painful.  Your legs, feet and hands hurt and it becomes difficult maneuvering limbs or gripping anything.  Holding on to grip bars on the snowmobiles becomes more and more difficult.   I often noticed large burns on the children’s cheeks.  When I asked one pixie looking student what had happened to his face, he matter of factly said “frostbite”.  I tried so hard to mask my horror.  As time passed, I saw more and more children with burn like marks on their cheeks.
Climbing in or out of the planes required caution:  one slip and falling on the ice would be very painful.  Sometimes the winds moved the planes while people were in them, but the propeller wasn’t moving, the plane being pushed by gales that indicated flight was hazardous, but it was the only way to get to where you were going. 
The streets in Bethel built up thick layers of ice.  They were rutted and difficult to navigate.  Large graters periodically came through and chiseled off the topmost layers to level the thick ice and also to provide some texture to the ice for traction.  Without that remedy, the streets looked like they were covered with a thick layer of glass that was more than slippery, it was downright treacherous. 
            Sewage pipes froze, even though they were heated, and that prevented school from convening.  Water pipes burst in a couple of the schools, leaving a soggy mess in hallways, tiles coming up off the floors and everything was saturated with water that then froze on the floors.  There was no way to shower or wash clothing, let alone find sufficient water for cooking or cleaning up after.  Day after day was a new challenge.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Back from Chevak

It was a great week filled with lots of things to do.  I promised some pictures.  These are from the plane headed out to Chevak:

This is again from the plane, a great shot of the tundra still frozen.

The edge of Scammon Bay (another village).  Look at that sky!

From inside of the plane.  As you can see, it is intimate!

Me in my gear!

Another installment from the book:

About mid way through winter, Susana decided to close down her bed and breakfast.  I was left with finding new accommodations.  The weather had become too harsh even for a seasoned transplant and she closed shop and headed for more palatable weather.  Finally, a new room was located, however, it wasn’t particularly clean, the water disgustingly orange/brown with a smell I found especially nauseating and the heat and hot water sometimes didn’t work.  I had kitchen privileges and shared a bathroom with several other women.  There were laundry facilities there also, however, soon my clothes all took on an orange tinge that wouldn’t leave and the smell clung to every fiber.  I found myself constantly seeking something to drink.
There had been a kind of insulation at Susana’s.  Most of the people who stayed there were somehow connected to the schools, as I was.  But this was not the case at the new house.  There were women there from all walks of life.  Their stories were frequently dubious and I spent more and more time in my room.  One Native woman was there, having left her small children in Idaho.  She missed the Bethel culture.  Another was transplanted from Baltimore, stating very loudly she was fed up with America and decided to leave it so she came to Alaska. 

I'd love to hear from you, if you are out there, reading.  Take care and enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting Sick in the Bush

Is never a good idea.  I'm staying actually in the school this week.  And I managed to get a monster migraine.  No place to lay down in quiet and nurse my head.  But I'm better today and managed to get some work completed.  It's my last trip to this village for the school year.  I have pictures and will post over the weekend.  In the meantime, here's a taste from the book:

As the weather continued to escalate, I found it harder and harder to get out to the local villages.  Even the ice roads seemed dangerous with temperatures and winds making it a very frigid prospect to head out.  Winds gusted in February up to 55 miles per hour and with temperatures sometimes in the negative numbers, wind chills fell even lower.  I was faced with constant frustration knowing I had students to work with, yet I was unable to reach them. 
People back home in Ohio didn’t seem to understand just how marooned this region is.  Weather had not permitted flights into Bethel, so the grocery stores were quickly running out of things taken for granted in the lower 48.  Fresh bread, milk and fresh produce and meat were vanishing from the shelves.  I couldn’t even imagine the condition of supplies out in the villages.  I didn’t want to think about it.  Shopping in a village store was a depressing experience even with regular deliveries of foodstuffs.
            My first trip to a village store was shocking to me.  I was stranded in a village and without food for the night or morning (preparation for the trip was lax at best).  I trudged over to the location I was informed was the store.  It was a dark dirty warehouse with meager offerings of produce that appeared wilted and bruised, some canned goods and of course a large array of packaged junk foods.  After selecting a microwaveable single serving ravioli, a small bag of ginger snaps that were expired and a one-liter Pepsi, I paid $17 and felt grateful that I’d gotten what I had.
Leaving the village store, clutching my purchases, I stopped for a moment to look at my surroundings.  It wasn’t quite dark, yet it wasn’t light.  And all I could see for miles and miles was clean white snow.  It looked almost blue, reflecting the slight blue tint of the sky.  There was nothing to break the vastness of it.  The snow met the sky uninterrupted by houses, trees or buildings for as far as I could see.  There were no sounds as I stood there and I was overwhelmed by the loneliness of my being. 
Each day I wondered if I was up to the physical challenge.  The rigors of hauling equipment, hoisting myself up in one of the tiny planes, battling the cold all took its toll.  I joked about my bottom waving in the face of every pilot on the tundra, but I was often grateful for the offer of a hand to pull myself up into a seat or help with my gear.  I was often too proud, though to accept the help.  I figured it was the same for all of us, and we were all on survival mode. 
But it was the children who kept me going.  Each day I looked forward to meeting a new student.  I was in awe of their response to their own circumstance.  Their matter of fact acceptance of a way of life that is each day a harsh reality was something I found strength and courage in.   
I found myself constantly questioning what I was doing here?  I looked at the students and realized that this generation was living a life markedly different than their grandparents did.  Each day in a school shaved a tiny layer of cultural experience away and put distance between them and those who lived previous.  Yet, as American citizens, they were entitled to a free and appropriate education.  I thought about the homes I’d visited that failed to have plumbing but had satellite television service.
As the year progressed, a cellular telephone company had completed construction of towers in the region making cell phones affordable for almost anyone.  Back in Ohio I was used to seeing teenagers with a cell in one hand either blatantly talking or furtively texting.  Not so in Alaska.  However, by springtime teenaged hands that had previously been empty now were busily texting or looking at pictures on camera phones.  The technology had penetrated with a vengeance.
Sometimes I would see Native teenagers in oversized, baggy black and white jackets and pants, ball caps cocked at odd angles, imitating the “gansta” look of urban youth.  All that was missing were the sparkling white athletic shoes that usually rounded out the look.  They even emulated the swagger of urban kids.  Occasionally I’d see the complicated handshakes that also was common in the lower 48 among urban kids, those signals that indicated who belonged and who didn’t.  Where did they see this?  Why was it now part of the teen culture here? 
            The cultural divide between the teens and grandparents was an enormous gap separating a “subsistence existence” and the desire to look like they belonged to a different world.  I feel like part of the chisel making the gap wider.  I desired to serve the children, yet not ripple waters that stood still for centuries.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Holy Cannoli!

I'm headed out to Chevak tomorrow for a week.  Chevak is a small village north west of Bethel.  It is primarily inhabited by members of the Cup'ik tribe.  Known as the "Beautiful People", the Cup'ik are dwindling in numbers.  There are about 950 in Chevak, about 150 or so in Mekoryuk and a handful scattered here and there.

Last year for this springtime trip, one of the teachers contacted me asking if I'd bring up cannoli with me.  I was able to accomodate her and the local bakery in New Jersey packed the pastries with special care.  They were delivered with much excitement, but the Native Alaskans looked at the delicate shells and creamy filling with caution.  Finally encouraging them to taste, they still didn't find the cannoli to their liking.  I don't think they ever did get what my friend and I were so excited about.

Anyway,  I must start adding in some pictures.  I will try to do so as time passes.

In the interim, here's another installment:

As winter headed into full swing, I saw trucks and cars tethered to posts in the ground.  Upon closer inspection, I realized the tethers were actually electrical lines and they were plugged into outlets sticking out of the ground.  I chuckled to myself thinking they looked like umbilical cords providing lifelines to vehicles. 
During the most dreadful of times, the weather kept vehicles from starting. Then it meant walking if you wanted to be someplace.  My face was frequently pink with windburn, and the skin on my legs dried and cracked, no matter how much lotion and oil I put on them.
            Prior to the advent of snow and freezing temperatures, the trips from the airstrips to the schools usually happened on four wheelers/ATV’s.  Even before the temperatures dropped, the wind blowing in my face was stinging.  Now that it was very cold with the ground frozen, which meant the rivers were frozen, I would be picked up on snowmobiles sometimes pulling sleds.  I had neglected to get snow pants and often arrived at the schools with wet jeans and my face virtually burning from the cold.  My skin would turn blood red as a natural reaction to increase circulation in order to avoid frostbite and maintain temperature.
            I found it easier not to look at where I was going, especially once I realized I was heading on an ice road.  Rivers freeze over and they are treated like a highway.  There was so much snow everywhere, the only clue it was a river was the lack of vegetation poking up through the snow.  After that, I found it best to pull my hood down and simply not look.  That turned out to be a good choice because the bitter cold air blowing was painful against my eyes and the surrounding skin.
Working with the children, I was immediately struck by the sheer beauty of them.  Lovely dark eyes, coal black hair and an exotic look that was so foreign to my traditional European influenced experiences.  When speaking with the kids, I was haunted by their isolation and survival instincts.  It is my habit to chat with kids prior to beginning my work with them.  In past experience working in urban or Appalachian settings, upon asking students what they did afterschool, the typical responses were “Gameboy” or other electronic gaming system.  Here, the responses were, “hunting, fishing” or more commonly, “pack water”.  I then realized that it was often the children’s job to haul water from the only source in a village for the family’s needs.  They were responsible for providing water for cooking, drinking or for the family’s dogs.  I mused about children I’d worked with previously, wondering how they would respond to such responsibility.
I later learned that hunting, fishing and trapping were the entertainment.  Kids looked forward to running trap lines or hunting.  For the boys, it signaled a rite of passage.  Girls, on the other hand, were tied to more domestic chores.  Boys seemed to experience a more charmed life, not having significant demands put upon them, whereas girls had more consistent duties and responsibilities.  The boys frequently responded that packing water was their only domestic chore.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

More about Alaska, the First Year

There aren't any jobs out in the villages to speak of except with the school.  The schools are the centers of the villages.  Typically they are the only facility with running water.  So, everyone can come in to shower, do laundry and fill water jugs for home use.  Some villages ration water.  I'm also getting the sense that the schools, in some instances, may be the only facility with electricity.
One of the villages on a bay is putting up some sort of fish packing plant so that might actually generate some jobs.  But the local population has been without work for generations.  Prior to the white invasion, work meant getting through to the next day.  You had to hunt or gather fuel or fish for survival.  Now, all of that has been taken away and you get a check just for living on the tundra.  There are a lot of school absences when those checks are issued.  Resources are limited, so heading off to Anchorage for fun and shopping is a yearly event.  For a few weeks after, I often saw HD TV’s being transported by bush plane passengers, among other high dollar items that typically would be over priced or unavailable in the villages.

            Weather is always unpredictable.  As it proceeded toward winter, the temperatures dropped sharply, so much quicker than in my own southern Ohio.  When speaking casually to a couple of native women, I commented, “I don’t know how y’all stand it, I mean it’s only November.  I can’t imagine how it’s going to be in January.”  The two women both looked at me and said, “did you REALLY say ‘y’all’?”  Without skipping a beat, I replied, “I’m a southern Ohio hillbilly, of course I did!”  I have found my slightly southern lilt and country expressions charm most of the Alaska native people. 
The travel is always a challenge.  Travel arrangements just prior to Christmas had been made in a way not to my liking.  I ended up taking three days getting back to Ohio for Christmas.  It didn’t look like I would make it back in time to open presents.  I called my son explaining that my next connection in Seattle was impossible due to an unexpected snowstorm; he asked if I had my passport (which, ironically I did have) he made the interesting suggestion of routing through Tokyo.  After pulling up a map on line, I suddenly learned that I was indeed closer to Japan than the lower 48.  While I did make it back in time to enjoy the holidays, I didn’t have to detour through Tokyo.   I will say, however, that there is nothing like sleeping in an airport to remind you how old you really are.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Back to Alaska Tales

          Before you get into a bush plane, not only is your luggage weighed, but you are.  And when you are returning from the village, the pilots ask from the front of the plane how much you weigh.  I had to get over being shy about that early on.  The last thing I wanted was for the plane to crash because I was vain.  While I don't think that's how it works, it seemed like that at the time.

           Getting out to the schools was an event.  Climbing into the tiny planes, carrying forty or fifty pounds of gear, navigating getting from the airstrip to the building itself all proved a new challenge.  Once in the villages, I discovered I had to redefine squalor yet again.  Shacks masqueraded as homes.  Most didn’t have plumbing.  Often out in the villages, only the school buildings were plumbed.

            The schools are the hub of each village.   It is also the gathering place for people who have no place else to be.  People have their own stories.  One of the more amazing stories was that one village has a self appointed greeter.  I was duly greeted by a remarkable older woman who appeared to be mentally challenged.  She introduced herself and asked my name.  I smiled brightly after telling her my name, shaking her hand and graciously said it was very nice to meet her.  Later I heard she greeted all of the planes, looking for her mother who had left her when she was a little girl and had never returned.
In the villages, dogs howl continuously.  It sounds dreadful and sad.  You have to be cautious if they are roaming around.  They are work dogs, bred to team a sled. Not pets.
Once in an actual school, I was confronted with some of the most severely profound kids I’d ever seen.  Fetal alcohol runs rampant and every one is so casual about it.  “Oh, well she was diagnosed FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) about a year ago.”  They make it sound like the student had a cold, but instead will be affected for the rest of his or her life.  The Yup’iks are smaller people than we are, and fetal alcohol also stunts growth.  Children I have thought were five or six were in reality ten or eleven.  
            Also, strep infections and meningitis are extremely common.  Kids are always coughing.  Sometimes the effects of meningitis are forever too.  Hearing loss is extremely common.  Often all of the children in a family will be affected by bi-lateral hearing loss.  Yet, to suggest that it might be genetic is a conversation never spoken.
Tuberculosis is another disease that isn’t spoken of.  In the lower 48, a person with TB would instantly hospitalized and quarantined.  Not up here.  Kids and adults alike exhibit active TB and yet they are treated as any other person, not quarantined.  Meds for TB are available, but it’s a challenge since they must be taken on a regular schedule to be effective.  Up here clocks mean little.
            I saw a little cemetery in one of the villages when flying in.  It looked so forlorn with small white wooden crosses sprinkled throughout.  Suddenly, a question overwhelmed me:  how on earth do you bury someone when the ground is frozen solid?  I had to ask.  The answer:  Oh, well there’s a jackhammer that circulates amongst the villages.  The rest of my questions I left unasked after that. 
Social issues (abuse, addictions to substances, etc.) are heightened by the isolation.  There is no real law enforcement in the villages.  Evidently they have something akin to a constable in the villages, but that person doesn't carry a weapon.  However, everyone else does. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Where did it go?

After staying in the hospital for three days, and every test known to man run on my poor tired body, it was finally determined that I had developed eight bleeding ulcers.  Ordinarily ulcers are the result of a bacteria and are easily treated.  When the bacteria is the root cause, they can be very chronic, but treatable.  It was determine I did not have the bacteria.  I did not have any number of other scary condition either.  I had stress.  As a result, I had developed eight bleeding ulcers.

I received two emergency transfusions.  I was on oral iron and IV iron for two years.

I never stopped thinking about the promise I had made.

From my Alaska Tales:

There are no sidewalks in Bethel.  But there is an intricate collection of sewer lines, above ground, heated and very unsightly running everywhere in town.
I also quickly learned why it was called the bush.  The only trees are some straggly looking evergreens.  There is little or no grass, just some random weeds and bushes around here and there.   
From Bethel, I was required to arrange flights with any of the several small airlines out to assigned villages.  The planes were tiny and looked as if they were powered by rubber bands.  Upon seeing my first bush plane, I nearly sank to my knees thanking God I wasn’t famous, thinking of Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline and clinging to the hope that would keep me safe.  There aren’t any regularly scheduled flights.  When they are ready to go, the pilot shouts the destination in the “terminal” and you load yourself up and hope for the best.
My first flight with a bush pilot was interesting.  A native pilot, realizing I was green as grass with lightning speed, asked innocently “First time in Alaska?”  I knew I couldn’t fake it, I replied, “First time for a lot of things, baby.”  He decided to have some fun.  After asking my weight, he put me in the co-pilot seat.  He then flew low over the tundra.  Along the way, he spotted a bear romping along and tilted the plane so I could see it.  I think he was seeking a slightly different reaction than the “Oh, wow, so cool!” exclamation he got.  I made it a policy to always thank the pilots for a safe trip.  This became more of a talisman as I saw some of the airstrips they were required to land on.  Our lane on the farm looked more substantial than these bumpy, gravel paths that were usually not lit.  Without lights to guide the pilots, they have to make split second decisions regarding landing in fog, high winds, blinding snow, or rain that quickly turned to ice on its way down.
The pilots all had their own stories.  Being a bush pilot is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the US.  I don’t like thinking about what that means since I’m the cargo. 
A couple of the pilots are older Viet Nam veterans.  But the rest appear to be much younger, cowboys who are braving the last frontier.  Some look like they are running away from something, others like they are running to something.   Their stories were unspoken, yet clearly read in their eyes.  Sometimes, when they learned I was a psychologist, they would pour their hearts out with stories I found sadly familiar.  Some left because of love entanglements that went wrong.  Some because they couldn’t find work in the lower 48 and this was their last hope.  Others were just looking for a challenge wanting to pit themselves against an unknown force to see who might win.
I always tried to ask the pilots their names, after all, they knew mine . . . and my weight.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In the Emergency Room

The EMT's recommended that I transport forward to the hospital.  One of my staffers, a teacher, stepped up immediately to accompany me there.  I learned later he'd told the receptionist that I was more than his supervisor, I was his friend.  He stayed faithfully by my side throughout the entire ordeal.

While in the ER, the doctors developed possible diagnoses, none of which ended up with me walking out but instead leaving in a body bag.  My family was called in.  My children, who only a few short weeks before had lost their father, were faced with the possibility of losing their mother.  

Finally, some of the initial blood work returned and it was determined I was anemic.  Now, I admit saying to the doctor, "I'm female.  Aren't we all a little anemic here and there?"  With a furrowed brow, she said, "Not like this.  You've bled out over half of your blood volume.  We will be transfusing you.  Prepare to stay over night."

I remember looking at her, with a confusion beyond reason and asking, "Where did it go?"

It was during this time that I closed my eyes and again breathed a prayer, "Lord, if I get a second chance, I promise to give back."

From my previous writings:

          It had been arranged that I would stay at a bed and breakfast in town.  It became clear early on that it was more bed than breakfast.  However, it was clean and the water was good.  There were laundry facilities and the proprietor allowed me to store things there when I was back in Ohio.  There were several other itinerant specialists such as speech pathologists and occupational therapists who also stayed there.  It was in some ways, more like a dorm.  I called it Susana’s Sorority, Susana being the owner.  She, like many people in Alaska, had come looking for opportunity.
The morning was dark.  The sun didn’t come up until almost 9.  Then it was a huge fiery ball hanging low on the horizon.  It seemed as if it were close enough to touch.  Over the next couple of days, that sun gave me a false sense of daylight.  The next few days were grey.  

          The soil wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen on the farm.  It was silt, like a sandy kind of mud.  And everything was covered with it.  Soon everything I owned was covered with it.  I quickly learned to pare down what I hauled around with me.  No more purse, I didn’t really need that lipstick after all.  I had a duffle bag with wheels that I loaded stuff into, including a blanket and pillow in case I was stranded out in the bush.  I was frequently seen slogging it through the mud, struggling with each step.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How it Started

            I really don’t know what I was thinking, taking this job.  I was the original person who tried to plug my hair dryer into a tree when my family went camping. My notion of roughing it meant a black and white television set (do they even make them any more?).  For about a month prior to leaving for parts unknown, I kept having that odd feeling that you sometimes get when something is particularly tragic.  This isn’t really happening to me.  Instead it is happening to someone else and everything is in slow motion.
Nevertheless, I loaded up what creature comforts I thought might work and headed for Alaska.  For about a year, one of my college classmates kept saying, you should come up here, we need you, we need someone who knows what they are doing.  In retrospect, I think she was just attempting to assuage my vanity.   So, I quit my job and went into the Alaskan bush to work as a school psychologist. 
I choked back tears when my son dropped me off at the airport.  I had never been that far from my family before and certainly not for this length of time.  The combo platter of both was more than I could manage.  But with breathless anticipation I began what I had jokingly called “a rich chapter in my memoirs”.
The flights weren’t terrible, although long.  But the final leg, from Anchorage to Bethel was delayed.  I sat after a very long stressful day and glumly waited for the flight to take off.  The sun was almost setting as we finally did leave, heading even further west and it was like time stopped.  We followed the sun as it remained hanging at the same point as when we started.  Promptly upon landing, it became dark.  Secretly, after all I’d heard about Bethel, I thought it might be a blessing it was dark and I wouldn’t be able to see the local surroundings. 

            Passing through four time zones is no easy feat, especially for someone of my age and desire for routine.  Even though I’d been up about 24 hours, I still woke up at my usual six AM. . . . Ohio time.  Alaska time, it was closer to 2 AM.  I was anticipating heading into the district office early, around 8.  I’d already received instructions on how to manage.  Call a cab, everyone calls cabs everywhere.  The town in daylight was only slightly worse than I’d imagined.  Little did I know that my definition of squalor would change dramatically over the next few days.

This was how it all started:

Although divorced for two years, my first husband and I had managed to forge a friendship that transcended the anger that had birthed the divorce.  He called me up one evening saying he wasn't feeling well and could I please come over.  He died later that day with a massive heart attack.  Our four children lost their father so very young and so very unexpectedly.  Just a few days before, we'd celebrated the marriage of our oldest child together.  Joy was quickly replaced with sorrow.

I was working for a mega educational conglomerate as senior special education supervisor.  In that position, I worked in a pressure cooker that encouraged nudging teachers, psychologists, speech pathologists, OT's and PT's to focus primarily on paperwork in order to generate maximum funding rather than provide services.  Although students, who were among the most vulnerable in our society, received service, I often felt it was below par.  Good teachers were working diligently, but stretched thin.  Although computers were reasonably up to date, their provided curricula was dated, books were tattered and frayed. Maybe that really wasn't how it was, but that was how I felt.  Each day, I felt like a little piece of me was being chipped off and cast down a black hole, never to be found again.

I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.  I paid not a penny for graduate school.  When I filled out my application for the program, I breathed a little prayer promising to always use my education for good.   Bestowed scholarships and stipends, I graduated.   I just didn't feel like I was using this amazing gift to help.

About two months after the funeral, I wasn't feeling well.  Not "feeling well" transitioned to twinges in my chest. Twinges turned into intermittent sharp pain.  After about three days, intermittent sharp pain became almost constant sharp throbbing pain.  Returning from a meeting at a school, I sat in my car in the parking lot to my office thinking, "I have to find a way to get in there because if I don't, I'm going to die in my car and no one will find me."  

Dragging myself into the office, I told the receptionist I was having a heart attack and to please call the squad.  The office staff routed the students around me so they didn't have to see me like that.  But the staff stood there with their hands over their mouths.  The look of horror in their eyes frightened me even more as I fought to remain conscious. 

When the EMT's arrived, they put rubber things on my wrists and ankles and rather quickly said that my heart was fine.  They didn't know what was wrong with me, but it clearly was not my heart.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Back Story

So, in order to fill you, dear readers, in on the "back story", I will give you the scoop.

I am a school psychologist who works in the Alaskan Bush.  When I first started this adventure five years ago, I also began writing a book.  Many people over the years expressed interest in reading my fruitful wanderings, however, only one or two ever responded as to the quality or interest of the writing.   Fearing that it was actually dreadful, I never pursued asking any but my closest friends whether it was worthy of a larger audience.

I have read a couple of sections at open mike readings around the South Jersey area with good response.  However, sometimes I feel like the politeness factor prohibits honest critique.  Often I get the impression that reading the ingredients of Campbell's soup with expression and cadence worthy of poetry would garner a rousing "Hey, that's great!"

In an effort to have my story told, I am seeking a non-traditional format to share my story.  The postings, I think, will be from my "book" and there will be current postings also.  It is my hope that I will capture the "real" Alaska and that readers will be inspired, touched, moved, and otherwise entertained.

Best, c

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Getting Set up

Well for now, this is all there is.  But I'm working on trying to figure this out.  So, if you are out there, reading, please bear with me.  Best, c