Last week, I was totally beachin’ it, soaking in Hawaii sunshine, which was pretty fantastic. I love this new Hawaii adventure. February, although chaotic for me, has been a low fly month, only working two days a week, with Fridays through Tuesdays to play. What a fantastic schedule?!
With fantastic schedules in my possession, I feel obligated to take a trip somewhere. This month, with the combination of addressless-ness, being gypsy exhausted, and wanting to save money, deep down, I craved a safe place, with home cooked food, quietness, and love, all attributes associated with “home.” Although, I feel loved and secure to the point of actually enjoying the surprises of bouncing from place to place, I do get tired. Emotionally drained. And that’s what I have been. I need rest.
My Life in A Bag
I don’t know where to drop the “Home” pin on a google map. My mom is also flighting around the country, and I’m not terribly interested in being stuck in the Shafter countryside with just Daddy Dearest. And not that I’m knocking where I grew up, but there isn’t much culture there, and the closest international airport is over two hours away, a big problem in my world.
So, I logically honed in on Alaska as where to spend some time. My only brother and his family live in the beautiful, and somewhat misinterpreted state. I hadn’t seen my niece or nephew in over eight months, and I didn’t really envision the upcoming months lending time for a visit up north. Surprisingly, and I’ll grudgingly admit (because I’m stubborn) that I kinda wanted to see my sis-in-law. I also needed an older brother’s hug.
And, when I arrived, and walked into their cozy home, gazing on the snowy view of Downtown Anchorage, little kid voices filling the house, and Mia, the almost four-year old asking, “Aunt Kara, do you want to play beach with us?” I had to laugh. I sometimes question my decisions, but this one that took me up to snow and cold had been a good one.
Welcome to Alaska!
The long weekend, was filled with sleeping in, long breakfasts where I would savor my coffee, reheating the liquid three or four times, and admiring the complete contrast of my one week to the next. Janet spent her weekend playing the gracious host, all of her days off were filled with catering to the kiddos, the company staying under her roof, and caring that I was ok and entertained. Once again, I felt undeserving, but also knew that for my sanity, I had to cling and accept the kindness and support from both my brother and his wife.
One of the things that I love about my life is that I constantly get to try new things, and this trip to Alaska was no different. I danced myself silly with Zumba for Wii and the chickadees certainly thought I was silly. The inquisitive stares and then the question stated with obvious exasperation, “Aunt Kara, you are dancing, AGAIN?!?!” Bryan and Janet took me cross country skiing twice, and Janet let me drive her snow machine! That woman is cool! We went out shooting, and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself as Janet, smiling and happy, played target practice, her hot pink, manicured nails pulling the trigger with focused accuracy. I don’t know any other woman like her!
Snowmachines & Shooting
First Time Driver
Alaska is one of my favorite places in the entire world, summer or winter. It’s beautiful both times of year, and the saying goes, “There isn’t bad weather, just bad clothing.” I love being able to wear bikini’s in the middle of winter, but I absolutely love that I have the opportunity to appreciate bundled up boots, too.
I dreaded getting back on a plane to leave. When I said goodbye to Koen, the cuddlebug of an almost two-year old, he acted as if he didn’t hear me when I asked for a hug, but after a long pause, he turned, wrapped his chubby little arms around my neck, squeezing with toddler strength. Even my brother, the more quiet, less animated type, verbalized that, “That was pretty cute!” That almost made me cry.
It’s amazing how easily children can love. It’s incredible how curious they are. It’s beautiful that I do have a place to go, when I feel I have no place to go. I’m thankful for changes and awed at how a somewhere that I never thought would feel safe and secure, would be a somewhere that I would be welcome and want to go.
Next time, I won’t drop in so unannounced…