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Leaving Alaska…. divine intervention or miss cue?

May 11, 2017

…..over the years and more noticeable to me when I lived for almost two decades in Alaska I have often thought someone is watching out for me. From driving through an intense snow squall in August when cresting Atigun Pass to fog so thick on the Alcan I had to put my head out the window and use the center line to stay on the road, a guiding hand kept me from harms way.


Lately I started to watch an Alaskan reality show ‘Life Below Zero’, (the only one I have seen that bears any resemblance to the ‘real’ reality of life in Alaska), and of course it has me lamenting my move here. Of the many fine people in the series the ones that hits home the most are Andy & Kate Bassich who live about 15 miles up river from the village of Eagle. Not only watching them in their daily lives living an off grid existence but the photography of the surroundings they live in tugs at my very soul.

So because I am sure you have notice the big gaps in my postings I want to tell you I am once again dealing with the formidable weight of loss. At the same time I am also trying to figure, because of current circumstances, if this move was not once again a form of divine intervention…. confused, join the club. With it being only a day away from the day I arrived here a year ago I am looking at not only a cranky old man but one that has deteriorated physically over that year.

(Its that old chicken or egg problem)
For four winters my son and his wife flew me down for the Christmas season to be with them and the grandchildren here in Texas and while here they both would promote the benefits of moving here permanently. The last two visits we looked somewhat seriously at apartments and even a travel trailer for me to live in, and though nothing was a perfect match the seed was planted in my mind of a different life.

It wasn’t until the last winter I lived in Alaska that made me face the reality that my family must have seen all along, when I was literally snow bound for almost two weeks. Normally I can clear my drive (by snow shovel) in about 4 days, well it took almost two weeks because it snowed almost every other day during that time. Because of my heart I can only shovel a few minutes before resting and during that continuous snow fall the frustration of not getting anywhere made the task that much harder.

That was the literal straw that broke the camels back and I decided to make the move if something was available. Again ‘divine intervention’ or ‘luck’ played a role because after being on a waiting list for two years for an apartment in a senior living complex one opened up and it was offered to me. Obviously I accepted the opening and the rest as they say is history.

Now sitting here a year later I find that it seems to me that I am having more problems than I did while living in Alaska. I have tried to figure out if the move itself is a contributing factor to this physical decline or just fortuitous timing. Then again we can not rule out divine intervention putting all the pieces in place to make this the logical next step for my life.

So that leaves me with
a yearning in my soul for a home now gone
and an unsettled mind
wondering if it was a mistake
divine intervention

11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2017 3:20 pm

    I think we all have times we relished while in them. “These are the times of our lives!” We wish they could go on forever. But, as you say, there have been many times divine intervention has guided you. Small nudges, fortuitous timing, etc.
    Maybe it’s the Burokas Blessing.

    You’ve certainly been gifted with many years of adventures after moving to Alaska, and no one would begrudge the experiences found there. And no one tapped you on the shoulder while you were there and said “its time.”

    Meanwhile other things developed, and grandkids came into the picture.
    A location (admittedly not as pretty as Alaska) that is easier to get around, closer to doctors, and closer to family and the grandkids who look forward to your weekly visits is, I would say, divine intervention yet again.

    Loss of the exotic Alaskan adventure, for sure.
    But now a new, closer, family adventure is at hand.

    Liked by 2 people

    • May 12, 2017 12:38 pm

      In reality I have accepted the move to Texas but like the passing of a loved one the feeling of loss will remain and this blog is my way of opening those feelings to the light of day. Thanks for taking the time and writing a beautiful comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Kris permalink
    May 11, 2017 5:25 pm

    This speaks to me completely. I have ‘citizenship’ in Oregon. I love home and am so glad to be here. I’ve wanted to be here for an entire year again, and this last one, I have. I do not like why I am here. It may all be ok. Mum appears to be rallying and if we can get her a couple of surgeries, she may be as fine as her oncologist has said she is. I don’t want to go back to Oregon. I would much prefer staying here in N Kenai. However, I do have a whole life down there. And different clothes (I am getting so TIRED of the same clothes I packed in early November–it is a girl thing!). The yearning is real and I do wonder if my being here has been good…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 12, 2017 12:28 pm

      Kris… we are kindred souls when it comes to life outside Alaska. I know living here in Texas is ‘better’ for me and somewhere in the back of my mind I know it is now my new home, but this blog gives me the opportunity to vent feelings still floating around inside me. Thanks for taking the time to write a great comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kris permalink
        May 13, 2017 12:38 am

        I ended up scrolling down to see your response. Thank you so much for contacting me, I smiled when I read your words in my email! I honestly don’t know where I am going to go in the long run. I always bawl when I leave Anchorage International..for about 20 min of airtime, I am a dripping mess. Then, once we can’t see anything below except clouds, I rally and can grudgingly move on.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Jon permalink
    May 13, 2017 8:35 am

    Comments from Kris & IEBA brought it all back home for me, too. Kris I clicked your pic here & sent you an email. IEBA truly thoughtful & perhaps poignant.
    Don’t know what else I can add except I think we all share your predicament in one way or another. We still have to go to SE Alaska. With my aches & forearm pain maybe we better go sooner instead of later. LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. May 13, 2017 9:05 am

    Pete – only those whose souls have been scored by the raw majesty and awe of Alaska can truly understand your situation. There are a lot of negatives to living in ‘The Great Land’ but once smitten we tend to look at them as ‘inconveniences’; kinda like the price we pay to live in such spectacular and amazing settings so alive with wildlife and so blessed with such an abundance of stunning scenery. Sadly, medical insurance is one such major ‘inconvenience’ and one which has cost me dearly since late March of 2015. I’ve even had times when I tried to envision living someplace outside Alyeska. It was those times that reaffirmed my need to remain here in ‘The Last Frontier’ mainly because I couldn’t envision living any other place. I should’ve known this would be the case as I have no real want to be anyplace other than Alaska and I make this statement as I go into the summer which is my least favorite season thanks to the continual light, the hordes of mosquitoes and similar hordes of tourists. You did have 19 amazing and fulfilling years living up here and those are memories which cannot be taken from you. As we all know too well, at least those of us from our generation, life is all about making tough decisions and then accepting and living with the consequences. You are probably better off with your current situation mainly due to a combination of your age and health; the proximity to family is icing on the cake. As you know only too well living off the grid up here takes a lot of work and that is required only for one to survive, not thrive. I can begin to sense a degree of resignation to your current situation; while those who’ve given their souls to ‘The Great Land’ will never be truly satisfied if not immersed in her beauty and majesty there can be, and is, life outside Alaska. Hey, I lived 59.5 of my 63.5 years outside her borders. There remains much to be said for warm winters, close by goods and services and the close proximity of family. You can come to appreciate and even value these aspects and more regarding life in the lower 48 without completely forgetting about amazing Alaska!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 13, 2017 12:12 pm

      Bill you should post this comment on your blog it would make a wonderful posting. Thank you for taking the time to comment.


      • May 13, 2017 12:35 pm

        Good idea, Pete! We’ve spoken before of the selective nature regarding who is bitten by ‘the Alaska bug’ and who can visit, admire the country and leave. You, Kris and I are just three of those who were well and truly bitten!


  5. Donna Reynolds permalink
    May 13, 2017 11:46 pm

    Pete I know you loved being in Alaska, but I also know it was time for you to come back to your family in Texas. It is hard to admit we can’t do the things we use to anymore. But we have to face it we are getting old.


  6. unalaska permalink
    June 19, 2017 11:05 am

    Aw, Pete! You are a lucky soul to have had the choices you had over the years. Remembrances are your prize for the sometimes incredible efforts it took just to maintain a minimalist lifestyle. I bemoan the aging process as I, too, begin to realize I have limitations. As I contemplate setting the net today, I am so thankful that I have daughters and their significant others, and a grandson to help pull it in. The cycles of our lives are not of our making. We can only make the best of them and enjoy the ride. I think you’ve done that.

    Liked by 1 person

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