Monday, August 30, 2010

runway activity


the pilot announced on everyone's vhf (like a cb radio in most every villager's home) that groceries were coming in...

we had just finished our time in the alaskan bush and were waiting at the gravel runway for our journey home to begin


i grew up accepting deliveries in my parents' grocery store

but bananas and diapers didn't come by plane


paul and patrick...long-time friends of work at the grocery store

they drove out, loaded, and were heading back when i ran over to give them a big hug goodbye

we've watched these boys grow up alongside our boys!


paul has always made me is no exception


back to the village store they go...gave me a little lump in my throat

boy oh boy, do i hate goodbyes {always have}

the GOODBYES are the hardest part of our trip...

but they make each HELLO! next year that much sweeter

Friday, August 27, 2010

{close up}

diptych {up close}

teaming up this coffee and patty's water on leaf

funny how we both shot liquid!

morning is my favorite time of day

{never so until i had children}

expectant and refreshing at the same time

i wonder if patty took her shot in the morning

when everything is watered for the day

readied to meet a new one...

just like me and my coffee

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

got class?


who needs a calendar to know it's the first day of school in these parts?

with each acorn that falls, we hear

"it's autumn!"


a senior...


a freshman...


a 6th grader...

i think i'll stop blinking now

because, yes, it's going by



wondrous, fun...


Sunday, August 22, 2010



God begins tendering my heart about a month before we leave for alaska

it's an odd thing...this tendering

i tie-up loose ends with friends...thank you notes, phone calls, quick stops to say goodbye...


it's not that i think i'll go down in one of those bush planes, or fall off a glacier...

{although i do have those thoughts sometimes}

it's just that my heart seems to be set on hyper-sensitive mode regarding all the wonderful people and things in my cup overflows with gratefulness for my life

perhaps God is just peeling off the deadened layers around my preparation to LOVE full throttle


so with my heart in its tenderized state, and two days to go before departure...

i checked the mailbox and found a care package from Patty over at Finding Serendipity

patty and i have gotten to be wonderful friends through blogging...we "get" each other and share so many things in common we've stopped counting

we call, text and email but never so much that either of us feels smothered...

we both like to laugh...we both want to live lives that make God smile...patty helps me to be a better photographer...a better mother...a better person

patty sent me girly bug spray and wonderfully scented bug bite salve (which we needed!) and other totally perfect gifts for someone (a Hyatt girl like me) heading to the last frontier...

and then i opened the card...and just burst into tears


how could someone i've never met send me such amazing gifts and a card with such perfect words?

but that's patty for you...i'm so grateful she's in my life

serendipity means an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident

my friendship with patty seems serendipitous, but i know our friendship is no accident

it's a beautiful and unique gift

{thank you, God}

Friday, August 20, 2010


diptych {organization}

this week's team up theme is {organization}

i guess organization resonates with patty and me 'cuz we're back in the school-year saddle 
i'm still saddling my horse, patty's already left the barn

{her neatly folded clothes on the left, my pretty jar of brown sugar on the right}

for me, an organized home is a basic essential for me being 

clear-headed and joyful


as long as i can remember, i've been an organizer


and i couldn't be happier that the whole world has hopped on the organizing bandwagon

Target combined organizing AND favorites!


even the garage got organized the other day...with old fruit crates i snapped up from my neighbor's trash


pretties always pack a punch when they're organized

my sister asked once if we lived in our van because it was so messy...

but generally?

organizing and keeping house






Sunday, August 15, 2010



the last night we were in our first village there was excitement around 10:30...

"it's coming!" children hollered, as they ran up and down the river bank

little by little, word spread and adults began congregating along the river too


through the brush at water's edge, we peeked

it should have come last month, but because for some reason it didn't, villagers had been rationing fuel oil, staying home instead of going out berry picking or fishing...

but tonight?

the fuel barge was

at last



what a wonderful sight for these villagers who depend on this barge once a year for their fuel

after all, the rivers will begin freezing in a month or so

it's quite an event for the whole town when the fuel barge finally arrives

one could feel the collective sigh of relief


we watched the flat bottomed boat maneuver its way to a place where it could offload the oil

and we visited with friends

until the mosquitoes chased us indoors

{have i told you that people need to bring their dogs inside at night or they will die from the mosquitoes?  ugh!}

what a treat to be able to witness the barge arrival

and celebrate with our new friends

hip, hip, hooray!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

{negative space}

diptych {negative space}

that patty knows how to help me grow!

{like her gorgeous flower up there}

lucky for me, mr. google helped me learn about negative space

{because when patty suggested "negative space" as our theme this week, i thought to myself how am i going to get a picture of a jail cell?}

when i went googling, i discovered that negative space is everything that surrounds the main focal point in a photo...

the negative space often makes a photo better...

{look how proud & full of love my in-laws are in that photo!}

packs a punch...

tells a richer story's a photo of my father-in-law cooking a turkey


had i cropped all the basement appliances and supplies out of this photo

you would have started snoring...

"whoop-de-doo" you'd sigh...a man cooking a turkey

but having included all that negative space the photo tells a great story...or at least makes you pause and ask 

"why is that man cooking a turkey on a dryer?"

for me, i love the photo because it illustrates how resourceful and industrious my brilliant (truly) father-in-law down-to-earth and helpful he growing up on a farm in nebraska taught him that it doesn't really matter how something looks (most of the time)

it's about getting a job done well

who would have thought negative space could be so wonderful?

hanging with patty shore do make me smarter!

{and i'm so relieved i didn't have to visit a prison for this week's team-up}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



friends, randy.  randy, friends

{randy's dog...who is fine, by the way}

Picture 229

randy was one of our first friends in the village 6 years ago

he was 5

and full of energy and ornery

and we fell in love

Picture 412

but for most of our 6 week stay that summer, it was a "keep your distance" love

randy would climb up on steve for piggy backs (he was always leaving his boots or shoes somewhere)

but he would giggle and run fast if we tried to hold his hand, give him a hug...

more often than not that summer, randy was always by our side

and we gave him freedom and space to

Picture 419

in bush villages (like many small remote towns, probably), kids are often raised by relatives or friends of relatives...kind of an informal adoption process...people just helping people through the really tough stuff of life

(i love this about our hearts, open homes)

Picture 413

even though randy wouldn't let me shower him with kisses

i knew if we lived in his village full-time, i'd be the first in line to adopt him

{if his family would let me}


a funny thing happened at the end of our summer in the village all those years ago

amidst all that space and freedom

randy started climbing up on steve's lap

and he would reach for my hand when we walked


this year, randy let me kiss him 6 times in a row once before he squirmed away

we laughed because when he didn't run, i just kept kissing his cheeks!

randy is one of the neatest kids i've ever met

and you wanna know a secret?

in my heart...

he's mine!

i love randy

and i love God for introducing us

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



nathan, our glacier hike guide

i asked about some hikers trying to climb down a part of the glacier without ropes

yeh, them...just a matter of time before something bad happens.  we take people up there, but we're always on ropes.

and those holes in the glacier floor? 

if you fall in one of those, we cannot help you.  you will die of hypothermia or drowning.  there is no way we can get you out.


our flight from one village to another took off in iffy weather.

instead of flying at 750 ft we had to fly at 6000 feet

i had a cold and the pressure in my ears nearly made me cry

i couldn't really hear for 6 hours after we landed


i got lazy and didn't pick my foot up high enough

and fell on jagged rocks

i knew i gashed my knee when i saw the blood on my jeans


we get in and out of these in alaska like we get in and out of our cars at home

i rarely get nervous (thank you, God)

but when i hear about planes going down in alaska

and sightseers stranded on a glacier

i am reminded that although the Last Frontier is breathtakingly beautiful

it is, indeed, unforgiving

all good things are wild and free.
-henry david thoreau

Monday, August 9, 2010

adventure partner


every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
-corrie ten boom

i tip chin upward

and grin

everytime i think about our strangest wedding gift

20 years ago

{which i wrinkled my nose at}...

a huge ansel adams, black and white photo of


no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Friday, August 6, 2010



boardwalks are common in many alaskan villages, especially ones without roads (the tundra freezes in the winter but is soft and mushy in the summer...sometimes dangerously so)  

similar to a main street, a lot happens on these board-roadways


this is perhaps one of my favorite pictures...a purple bike and your dog

does a girl need anything more? (photo taken at midnight!)


the boardwalk makes for a firm foundation, amidst tundra cotton, when offering piggybacks


meet and greets happen on the boardwalk!


gift-giving, too! 

{i just noticed that sweet baby looking all the way up at steve} 


i snapped this photo of kids' shoes as we all played because when all is said and done, we're all basically the same  {every kid had on similar tennis shoes!}  

no matter where we live or what we eat or what language we speak we are, deep down, simply...people.  

I love when God reminds me of that.


coming or going...

the people who walk, ride or get piggy backs

make the boardwalk 

a beautiful place

Thursday, August 5, 2010


diptych {backyard}

i've missed teaming up with Patty each Thursday!

{have i ever told you Patty does all the work?!}

my backyard photo is from alaska...

lots of dogs in our new village!

i wonder if this little guy ever gets jealous of the macho sled dogs next door?

i think it's interesting that patty and i both chose backyards with water

and animals, too!

i grew up with a river in my backyard

and so i think rivers, like scents, pull me back in time and place

playing tom sawyer and huck finn with my country neighbor, peggy

ice skating



hearing my mom's big brass bell calling me home for dinner

a river runs...

right through my heart!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

little {kingdom} sisters


beauty is


simply reality


seen with


the eyes of love

-author unknown

we ended each day of Bible School by heading back to the school for art projects and large muscle games.  when Jesus said "be like the little children", i think He had these sweeties in mind.

trusting. gentle. funny. kind. open. beautiful.

i am richer, indeed, for knowing them!

Monday, August 2, 2010







nature's beams


two salmon tied together


the cutting bench and with three ulu (knives)


storing up for winter

Spawned Salmon
Lost past exhaustion
she floated, lapping the shore with the wind and tide
Completed, her journey done, spent
Returning to dust, as we all must
A lonely solitary shell
caught in the shallows upstream
where she was born
Many years before
And where she was called back to
closing the circle of her life
fulfilling her destiny,
her place in the universe.
-raymond a. foss
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