Living the cottage life, Alaskan style!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Postponed

I lied when I posted on the 22nd that we were well on our way to Spring.  Well, we're well on our way to SOMETHING.... but it isn't Spring!  This weekend brought 6" of new snow and today it's seriously snowing some more.  ENOUGH ALREADY!   

This change in weather has everyone on edge, cranky, confused.  The Thrushes have arrived but don't have access to the worms or bugs they'd normally be picking from the ground right now.  I'm back feeding my Chickadees and other little guys in the back yard to help them get through this latest change of weather. 

But look at this.... even the slugs are confused!  I debated whether to put this guy to safety but I didn't....  I'm not a fan of slugs and will go to all measures to pluck their eggs from underneath rocks and wood rounds and kill them.  The grandkids and I go slug hunting to find the real things and put them out of my misery.  Still.... I felt bad for the little guy....  Just a little.... 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bragging Rights

I thought of starting this out, life sucks.... but it isn't that life sucks... it's just that at times life piles up on you.  Take yesterday for instance....  In between all my bawling, I had my sister to worry about who was having some oral surgery.  My 93 year old aunt was back in the hospital.  My favorite aunt I might add.  My son's dog (which is like my own) is ill and required a trip to the vet.  And if this wasn't enough, we got 6" of new snow and I had to spend a couple hours shoveling snow. 

In the midst of all this sadness and worry that seems to be burying me these days, or to top it off.... my husband is out of town and I'm left to my own devices.  It's hard enough when I'm separated from my husband....  You know the saying, "your other half"?  Well, he IS my other half.... he is part of me... when we aren't together, I'm lost, I have little motivation, I don't do well. 

So here our neighbors/good friends are leaving , it's snowing like crazy, the dog is sick, etc., etc., and you have to wonder what else can go wrong. 

I'm happy to report that we are not having a repeat of yesterday!  Oh, I'm still bawling and I'm still sad, but I'm so happy for my husband.  You see, he's a Lion.  Lions Club International is the largest service organization IN THE WORLD!  And my husband is a part of this great organization.  He's in Fairbanks for a few days at their annual convention and was awarded the highest award -- Lion of the Year!  This is out of ALL the Lions in his District in Alaska which are probably thousands.  But he certainly deserves it.  He's worked so hard these last couple years, trying to make a different here in Southeast Alaska.  It's nice that his hard work did not go unnoticed.  For that I am grateful. 

Friday, April 26, 2013


They say change is good... it can even build character.  I say it hurts.  It hurts to the core some times.  Yes, I know change isn't a bad thing, but you can't convince me of that at this moment. 

I'm a guarded person.  I was bullied in high school and hurt by my best friends and family.  It takes me a long while to open up and let people in my private world.  It's not to say I don't have friends, I just won't let them too close to my heart.  Usually.

We moved into our present home in 2003 and it took us several years to become good friends with our neighbors.  We waved and chatted but it hasn't been until the last several years when we became close.  We looked out for them and they helped us out.  They are good people and the kind that would give you the shirt off their back and their last $5.00 if you needed it.

But it was more than that.  It was looking out our dining room window and knowing that they were home by the lights on.  It was joining them on their front deck on a sunny day for a glass of wine.  It was eating leftovers with them or providing the plates and ice for dinner parties. It was talking politics, listening to jokes, sharing our lives.

It's been said our friends required a lot of maintenance, but it was a good kind of maintenance.  We took their trash out when they were out of town, watered their plants, and raked their leaves when they piled up.  We were their go to people when they needed eggs or flour or a baking sheet or a number of items.  They knew they could count on us and we knew they would be there for us.

But now they're leaving Juneau.  Moving somewhere sunny and warm.  Part of me envies them, to just pack up and leave.  They're no spring chicks after all!  But their family is all down south and I know that even the best of friends can't replace family. 

This week has been incredibly hard for me.  As I sit here and look out the window across the street to their home, now vacated, I choke up and sob.  When the movers came, I bawled.  Thinking how it must have felt driving out of their driveway for the last time made me bawl some more.  The tears have not been very kind to me the last few days. 

Part of me wants to scream DON'T GO!  And the other part of me says, "go quickly and have a safe journey."

I know we'll see them again but it won't be the same.  New neighbors have already moved in, but it's not the same.  We will never have the same relationship that we do with our good friends and for that I'm sorry.  But this is just one more reason why it'll take even longer next time to let someone into my heart.  Because here in Juneau, they always leave. 

I don't like this feeling of sadness, of an empty heart.  I'm not so very appreciative of this type of change.  It hurts.  It hurts a lot.  I'm told life goes on.  Yes, yes, it does.  And we will forever remain friends with Mal and Jean. It just won't be the same and that saddens me. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Waiting for Spring

This is a difficult time of year for me.... Is it spring or is it still winter?  Are we going to HAVE spring this year or go right into Fall?  If we have a nice spring, does that mean we'll have a horrible summer?  

So many questions.  Last year our April was absolutely gorgeous!  In the 70's all month long.  Now, this is incredible for a couple reasons.... we hardly ever get weather in the 70's in the middle of our best summer and here we're sunny AND warm in April!  And did we live to regret it?  You bet we did! 

The rest of our summer was horrible.  Normally we will start our winter cleanup around now, picking up branches that have fallen in wind storms, raking up the million pine cones that have fallen, picking up trash that has blown into our yard, more raking, tidying up gardens.  Last summer our weather was so horrible that we struggled all summer long to even get our spring clean up done.  We were still pruning damaged shrubs well into Fall.  Summer came and went at the blink of an eye. 

Yes, this is our dilemma....  what kind of summer are we going to have. But first.... we need to feel that spring has finally arrived.

I can honestly say that I believe it has....  At least the little red nubbins of the rhubarb have poked their shiny red heads up through the frozen ground.  That's no easy task!  We've had a few nice, sunny days but it hasn't been warm.  This weekend it was gorgeous, but the 41 degrees felt more like 32 degrees. 

We've already done a lot of our spring clean up but still more to go before we can welcome summer.  I'm anxiously awaiting some green to start forming on my shrubs, maybe a little yellow from Trollius to shine on our yard. 
But, for now, everything is still pretty brown. 

Yes, spring always brings with it hope.... hope for a sunny summer.... time spent outside without having to bundle up.... picnics.... hot dog roasts.... and a yard filled with color.  So far we're off to a good start.  Wish us luck! 


Monday, April 1, 2013


Family gatherings are always a big event for me.  I'm not certain why....  Maybe because growing up, we always spent holidays with our country grandparents, with all our aunts, uncles, and cousins.  We played outside, running wild.  We sat quietly, in the library.  But this was my life growing up, spending time with family.

When I was 19, I moved to Alaska with my boyfriend.  I didn't know a soul here.... As far as I was concerned, I was in a foreign country!  But soon, his friends became our extended family, and all our holidays and special events, became a special time spent with friends.  These friends became my family. 

Forty some years later and friends still make up our extended family list and holidays and events wouldn't be the same without them. 

Today I'm thankful for my ex-husband and his wife.  Our divorce didn't start out friendly and accommodating, but I'm happy to say that today we're good friends.  And not just because we have the kids in common.  He may not have been the right husband for me, but he's a good man and one I admire.  Unlike most of us, he lives his life to the fullest.  None of this pussy footing around, wasting time on a boring life.  No, there won't be any regrets when he leaves this world. 

When we were married, living a life filled with adventure and mishaps wasn't for me.  I valued living more than he did!  But it's worked for him and his new wife.  Today I'm thankful for our divorce because without it, we would never have become the good friends we are today.  Had we stayed married, we would have been that bitter old married couple, miserable.  By getting divorced, we were both able to find our perfect life partner. 

I have no regrets as far as this man is concerned.  We were married for 22 years, we tried to make it work; we just weren't compatible. But he's a good man. 

AND we made good kids and they have given us our precious grandchildren.  Life is good.