January 30, 2011

Finally. . .

Hello.  Hello.
It has been awhile, I know, but not because I haven't been writing blog posts.  Just because I haven't been posting them.

Things are good here.  Quiet, but that is nice.  We are headed into the slump, the beginning of the time when winter seems to last forever, and even I start planning imaginary vacations to Hawaii or Mexico.
Except, I guess, I do have a honeymoon to accomplish, so maybe it is not entirely fantastic.

The news of the day is that we finally got ice skates!
I have wanted a pair all winter, and today we were walking around at the glacier and went out on the ice (cause everybody else was doing it...) and I decided that I must have some skates.  Now.
So I informed Ernie of my decision, and told him that there was a free pair of skates in it for him, and we drove straight to Play It Again Sports in Lemon Creek.
The very nice salesman helped us pick out some pond/hockey skates and fit them properly (there almost wasn't a pair left that fit Ernie, but I found the last size 11's in the bottom of a pile--I was not to be derailed), and within minutes we were skated.

Sadly, the guy who sharpens the skates does not work on the days when people are most likely to buy them, so we left with our blades dull.
The other salesguy seemed to think that it would be hilarious to watch us skate without our blades sharpened, but we figured it would be hilarious whether or not we had dull blades, considering neither of us have skated in over a decade.

We stopped at home to change our clothes, and headed right back out to Skater's cabin on Mendenhall Lake.  We were hoping that there would be no one to watch us, but on a sunny, cold, day like today, there were a lot of people on the ice.  Oh well.
So we strapped on our stiff new hockey skates, and gave it a try.

Skating is awesome!!!!!!!!

It took a little bit of time to get used to the feeling, but soon we were flying across the ice like we knew what we were doing.  Until one of our skates hit a crack and got stuck, that is.  But we would just pull our foot up and keep going.  We both fell a few times, but it didn't really hurt (we were wearing our puffy coats), and we would just slide across the ice.
Skating is so fast and fun, and a great way to get out in the sun during the winter.  Of course, we still have a ton of room for improvement (especially in the backwards skating department), but it should just get better and better.
And maybe next year I can play hockey.  I hear the girls can be quite aggressive.

Here I am, gracefully figure skating on the lake (before I bought my ice skates)

January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!!!

All over the webbers, people are putting together recaps of the year 2010, and outlining their goals for next year.  Although I have not been blogging for an entire year yet, I thought I would share my thoughts on 2010 as well.

2010 started out a little on the rough side for us.  I was still unemployed, and Ernie was in school, so we had very little money coming in.  But we had just enough to make it.  I started teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology at Portland Community College, and although I was working, I made less while teaching than I got from unemployment.  Teaching was an incredible challenge for me, but I learned a ton, and I am happy for the experience.  I'm sure that it built some character.

At the same time, I also kept my eyes (wide) open for jobs in Alaska.  We were planning on moving to the Anchorage area, or if we got really lucky, Homer.  In May, with perfect timing, a job was advertised in Juneau, one that I knew I had a serious chance at getting because, well, I had worked with the same group before.  We had to sit down and decide if we could move back to Juneau and truly be happy, especially Ernie, who grew up here.  Juneau is in a beautiful location on the inside passage, with lots of recreational opportunity, but it isn't in all ways perfect.  It is also small and isolated and expensive and a little weird.  Luckily we are both a little weird, and I got the job, and three weeks later we were headed up the highway towards our new home.
I don't mean to imply, however, that one can drive to Juneau.  We took two and a half days to drive from Portland, Oregon to the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal in Prince Rupert, British Columbia in what was the longest and most stressful road trip of my life.  We left our families and everything we had known for the last ten years, and took a brand new (used--life history unknown) truck and two cats, and headed north.  At that time we didn't have anywhere to go once we got here.  But like everything else about our return to Alaska, things worked out better than we could have imagined.

After our arrival and our move into a house, we spent the summer enjoying the copious amounts of daylight and amazing surroundings, and aspiring to get our life in order.  I was working were I worked when we left Juneau, Ernie got a job at the place he was working at when we left, and the wheel of ka rolls ever on.  I picked lots of blueberries, and we went hiking and kayaking and camping.

This fall and winter have been largely quiet and relaxing.  Ernie is attending school and is busy in the evenings, and I use my many powers to keep myself well-entertained.  We have been able to get out on the weekends and enjoy the snow and ice that have surrounded us so far.  We closed out the year with a bonfire on the beach with a couple of close friends, a glass of delicious champagne, and a platter of brownies.  Ahhhh.

2010 has ended well, and we are very happy with our life.  We are hopeful for a good 2011, for ourselves and all of you.

And now I have some resolutions for the new year, or at least some ideas.  I want to:

                                            Buy something big (a house, property, and/or a sailboat)
                                            Go on at least one multi-day kayaking trip through the inside passage
                                            Explore the area in an ever-widening circle
                                            Write more
                                            Take better care of myself
                                            Get involved with the local community somehow

We wish you all peace, joy, and happiness in 2011!