Sunday, August 1, 2010

Alaska gathering

The days are long, long, long here on the Kenai peninsula in Alaska. We're here for ten days visiting my sister Alyx and her husband Virgil. So far it's been cloudy nearly all the time. People are waiting for the sun to come out. I could not live here. The sun comes out in Seattle, reliably, between July 5 and about October 1. So why are we here?

We're visiting family, and that's a good thing. I grew up in a military family, with a not-close set of parents and a sister seven years younger. We moved around a lot, with rare family visits. My sister and I became friends only after our parents had died. Last year, on Facebook, I contacted most of my cousins on both sides. On my dad's side, I had never met two of them because our fathers were brothers who had a feud of some kind and died before it was ever resolved. In February, we spent three days in Las Vegas, meeting one of them, Mike and his wife Jamie, and reconnected with another, Steve, whom I hadn't seen since 1957, when I was nine years old. I'd been exchanging Christmas cards with their sister Georgia, for many years, but hadn't seen her, either, until last summer, when she came to Seattle to visit her son.

So here in Kenai, we're staying in my sister's motorhome in their driveway. We spend part of each day with my cousin Georgia and her husband Alan, and with Mike and Jamie who are visiting from Las Vegas. My sister met Mike last Wednesday when they arrived. The eight of us hang out, eat and laugh, fish from the riverbank and talk and laugh. We laugh until we hurt. It is wonderful and so worth the cloudy weather. We are all eager to be connected as family.

I finally finished Module 3 of my ESL class. I'd been putting it off for two weeks because I wasn't sure of the answer to the essay test. I finally sat down this morning and did my best and sent it off. I figured the knowledge wasn't going to fall out of the sky. If I missed the point, my tutor will tell me and then I can move on.

And my back is getting better! I'm looking forward to getting back into my exercise program at home.

In the meantime, the sun is out. Alyx and I are going to walk a mile or two, to take advantage of the light. She's fixing one of my grandmother's spaghetti recipes - it's called "Daddy's spaghetti". Everyone is coming for dinner today. We'll eat Daddy's spaghetti and talk about Ula, our common grandmother, and share memories, and laugh until we hurt.

It's all good.


Teresa Evangeline said...

Laughing with family, until it hurts. What a great vacation. I know four different people/couples who have been to Alaska this summer, all visitng the Kenai. It sounds like you're having a terrific time!

DJan said...

This actually sounds like a perfect time to extend the family. And you are up there where the sun shines WAY too long. Just FYI, today is Lammas the day between the solstice and the first day of fall. So if the days are long now, think of how they were at the end of June! And will be in December.