Though my body wasn’t born here, I think maybe my heart was.
Even as a small child, I felt a strange attachment to the mountains. I remember trips to West Virginia to visit relatives, and as soon as the mountains came into view, my heart would start to race and my imagination ran wild. I would daydream of living in a cabin with nothing but the rock hills and woods and wild creatures surrounding me.
Then 31 years ago, I came to Alaska to visit a friend. I stepped off the plane and into the frigid cold and snow, and I knew I was home.
When I returned to Texas I began making arrangements, and a few short months later, Alaska became my permanent home.
In the early years I had the opportunity to visit quite a few remote areas here while working as a firefighter with the Division of Forestry. Though the work was hard, the experiences, the gorgeous scenery, and the people I met, were more than worth the effort.
Of all the places I’ve been to, Alaska is the most diversified, not only in it’s varying terrain, but also in it’s people with their assorted cultures, languages, history and unique lifestyles. In many ways, it is like taking a step back in time to when life was simpler and more peaceful.
One of the things I like the most about living here is the atmosphere of artistic minds, and free, independent-minded spirit of the people in general.
Perhaps it is because of living under harsh conditions in rough terrain with unpredictable climates, and in relative isolation, but there is a sense of hardiness in Alaskans that gives an air of an “I can do it by myself” attitude. Though the people are tough and independent by nature, they are mostly friendly and welcoming as well.
The creativity and imagination I’ve seen at work here has inspired me on many occasions, not just in art, but in lifestyle also. And the generosity and helpful nature of the folks hearts has given Alaska the power to keep me here all these years.
Though my body is getting older and slower, and I can no longer do some of the things I used to, my heart is still wild and free here.
Promoting my neighbors…
Since I am celebrating my life in Alaska, I thought it would be appropriate to use today’s pay-it-forward post to introduce a few of my neighbors. (They don’t actually live next door to me, but in Alaska, we’re all neighbors.)
Alaska Artisan Network
I’d like to start by introducing Alaska Rooted Creations,
LLC (ARC), Alaska
Artisan Network from Kasaan, Alaska, located on Prince of Wales
The purpose of the network is supporting Alaskan artisans
through sharing information and resources, teaching and learning from one
another, along with promoting, and marketing in their village’s open market.
The forum style network categories allow members to select
from a wide variety of topics, or suggest new ones. Folks can advertise items,
events, ask questions, give advice or tips, etc.
Though this is a brand new venture, I like the
community-minded spirit of these young entrepreneurs, and I believe their ideas
are worthy of a favorable mention. For more information go to www.akrooted.com/artisannetwork.
You can also find them on Facebook here.
Alaska Cat & Dog Rescue
Cat & Dog Rescue is an organization very dear to my heart. This
animal rescue group takes in any animal in need, anywhere in Alaska, including
dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, horses, and birds.
Their top notch foster homes provide a safe and loving
environment where these animals get the care they need to recover and thrive
while getting used to a family atmosphere. From there, the animals are adopted
out to their forever homes to enjoy a lifetime of love.
AK Cat & Dog Rescue is based out of Wasilla, Alaska,
with foster homes located throughout the Matanuska Valley. They hold several
adoptions clinics around the state at different times of the year. For more
information you can visit their site at www.akcatanddog.com.
Well, that’s all for today’s pay it forward. Thanks for
joining me today!
If you are interested in being added to my weekly
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Have a fantastic day, and join me tomorrow for Friday Fun! –
“Live a life worth living, a life of integrity. Be real, kind, helpful and wise, always with an attitude of gratitude. And whatever it is you do, give 110% effort to it, even in the little things”. – Amber