Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Random Reflections

Now that we are home, I can reflect a little on our holiday excursion "down states".

We had a wonderful time with family. We missed our parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephew. We missed our friends and former colleagues. It was a treat to see everyone, but at the same time we were much more busy that we are accustomed to being. We have never come back as visitors before. It was a totally new concept. We experienced for the first time the feeling of being pulled in too many directions at once.We are used to our quiet life here in Deering. Our days are full of routines. Being in Spokane challenged and taxed us in a unique way. It was tough being torn in so many directions. We, in one sense, wanted to soak up our time with people, at the same time we were craving our quiet small Deering existence. Needless to say, we are glad to be back to the regular routine grind up here AND thankful that we were able to spend the holidays with family and friends alike.

I discovered that I hate driving and I like living somewhere that I don't have to! John Updike clearly makes our point: “Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home, wondering why the heck you went.”  I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to while away the hours in a car. Not one of us felt that being in a car was worth the hassle. Eloise has the strongest objections. She has long disliked being in a car seat. On our way to the airport last Saturday in Anchorage, it reached a breaking point. It was 4 AM, she had not slept well,  the car was cold, she wanted num-nums, and once again she was locked into this STUPID contraption. She was not a happy little girl. What a relief to put the seat in a closet and leave it there until May. We gladly abandon our automobile transportation for now. Some day you should move somewhere, as least for a little while, where you don't need a car. Upon returning you will realize how much cars impinge on your time and "real life". Living close to the things you need and close to those you care about makes life simpler and some how more meaningful. For instance, today I walked to the post office. Sure it is 9 degrees out (we are having a warm spell), but I pulled on my snow pants, amaaqed Eloise in my coat, slid on my favorite red hat with the dongly on the top and headed out. It was a nice walk. I saw several familiar faces as I went. There was always a gesture of acknowledgment shared: a smile, a wave, a nod, or a cordial hello. There is something about walking and seeing your community. When you get in your car you slam your door closed and often leave neighbors and kind gestures behind. Those in the cars around you are anonymous. They share nothing with you but the road. You cannot share an audible hello and most have no desire to wave at each driver they pass. The interchange often consists of curses and irritation about bad driving. SO...hey, here is a New Year's challenge for you...walk more, drive less!

Another aspect of bush life that I appreciate is not going to the grocery more than 3 or 4 times a year. What a pain in the rump to go several times a week. It involves driving in a car (which we all know I despise), veering a cart precariously around other grumpy shoppers, being irritated about not finding something in particular (where are the olives?), and, for me, keeping a toddler busy and cheerful. I prefer a day or two of Guerrilla Shopping once every few months.

Those are my present beefs with "civilized" life. All of you who live in urban metropolises can keep your hours in the car and your frequent trips to the grocery store. I will keep my way of life, thank-you-very-much.

Paul went to the post office on Monday. I was hoping to get two things in particular: 1) my Amauti, and 2) the Kindle Paul got me for Christmas. To my disappointment neither of those items have gotten to Deering yet. I told Paul On Sunday last week that on Monday I was going to wear my Amauti around the house and play with my Kindle. I just assumed that they would be waiting for me at the post office. Paul often takes Grandpa home (Calvin Moto, our 71 year-old school cook). When he does he often takes the opportunity to stop at the post office. Off he went. He came back with a sled trailing the snow machine filled with stuff. 1 suitcase, 3 rubbermaid totes, and 2 pockets stuffed with mail. "Did my Kindle or my Amauti come?" I asked. "Nope...unless the Kindle is in one of the smaller packages." Paul replied. To my dismay neither came. Paul left for Kotz yesterday afternoon. He didn't get a chance to check the mail. I was not about to let a day go by and have any package just sit at the post office. I put on my snow pants and amaaqed Eloise. We trudged all the way down there to find the same thing. No amauti and no kindle. At 2:30 just as Eloise was approaching a 2nd nap time I trudged down to the post office again. All the way there, I thought, "Surely, something will be there." To my great irritation there was nothing of consequence. I am so forlorn and dejected. Where are packages. Tomorrow the same scenario is likely to occur. In my excitement I will bundle up and head to the post office hoping that either my Amauti will be there or my Kindle.

Eloise has taken her diaper off that must be my cue to focus on something else. Next edition: New Year's resolutions!

Love ya!

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