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The ‘sound’ of memories… Alaska revisited

July 18, 2016


The slight breeze barely moved the humid air around me as I greeted another morning in Texas. I slowly sipped the warm coffee which almost matched the humid air when off in the distance a sound broke through my reverie and it brought back a flood of memories. You know how it is when you first awaken and normal sounds take an extra second for your brain to analyze and finally revel what it was, well today was no different for me. That repetitive sound I was hearing was the sound of someone hammering a nail.


I knew I should have had another cup of coffee

OK to most of you not an earth shattering sound and not something you would dwell on but to me it evoked a mental image of hearing that sound coming from down the hill at the building site of Kara’s home and it meant one thing, I was late in getting down there. We had so far built a two story 2,400 sq foot home for Rose’s mother and another smaller two story home, called the shop, even further down the hill, but now we were working on a place for Rose’s daughter to live and this would be even bigger with three stories and close to 3,000 sq feet.


Even with smoke from a nearby fire construction continues

In any event the sound let me know someone was already at work while I was still waking up. I quickly finished my coffee and grabbed some tools and headed down to the building site. It is strange to think back on this memory as I sit here in the Texas heat because building construction was never something I ever thought I would end up doing. I mean besides my stint with the Army almost my entire life was spent running a printing press. Sure over the years there were many projects my wife wanted me to do like remodeling the basement on our first home, but Jumping in with both feet and helping to build “homes” was never even thought possible.


A home for Rose’s mother

Then again life’s road takes you to some different places and here in Alaska I guess, after my stint as a hunting and fishing guide, I was destined to ‘bang nails’. That sound heard from far away this morning rekindled strong memories of work I am proud to say I was a part of, but would never have happened if I had not come to Alaska. I guess what I am trying to say is we never know what we can accomplish unless we try. Yes we may not be successful in every new endeavor we try, but one never knows what one can accomplish unless we reach beyond our grasp.

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Kara’s home in the wilderness

Our journey down life’s road
has many branches
and unless we explore them
we will never know what we have lost.

However like life itself

all things come to the end of the road eventually

and sadly

this 80 acres in the Northern Alaskan wilderness

is now for sale.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2016 9:31 am

    Wow Pete, some great history in your reflection! I’m clueless regarding construction so I can only imagine the work involved in building so many structures. And you are so correct; although for most of us it is not second nature to ‘push the envelope’ we have to do so if we want to see what we are capable of doing. Lots of rain from thunderstorms around your former home of late…


  2. Jon permalink
    July 18, 2016 5:12 pm

    I certainly recall you posting these pics a few years ago, Pete. It is sad that this acreage that you used to call home for over 20 years will one day change hands to people you will probably never know. It’s plain to see that “you can take the man out of Alaska but you can’t take Alaska out of the man” applies to you. Poignant memories to be sure.
    As far as “pushing the envelope” I’m facing a big repair bill on my collector ’84 Cutlass, replacing the intake manifold, that I’d considered doing myself, but while I’ve done lots of repair work on cars in my lifetime (including 3 days outside at -50 in North Pole in ’78) I think this one is just beyond my skill level.
    You must be sending some Texas heat & humidity northward the next few days; looking at 90s to almost 100 with low 70s dew points. Thanks a lot! LOL!


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