As I was preparing to leave my home and come to Alaska for 6 months I knew these ‘C’ words would be with me daily. I made some good and some bad choices deciding to do this. I somehow always knew Alaska was a part of my life, just not sure how or why. In hindsight of course many things are now clear.
Many, many years ago on a family vacation, we were at a national park and the gentleman guiding the tour told us he worked over the summer only as he was retired and loved his job. Don’t know where that got filed, but it my brain it was filed somewhere.
Then about 15 years after that, I was in Alaska with a friend. We had a slight car problem and were stopped along a highway by a small store and went inside. In talking to the man running the store, he suggested, out of the blue, working over the summer and said he was sure I would get hired. This also got filed away somewhere.
Once I was retired, 20 or so years later, none of this was uppermost in my mind. I was kind of in survival mode. Due to some changes in my world, I was simply lucky to put one foot in front of the other and get through a day. It took me several years to return to feeling in charge of many` portions of my life.
I only wish I had someone like me in my life who had taken a big chance and made a big change. I don’t know that I would have listened or followed, I needed my own drummer to follow. This has been one of the most delightful and wonderful summers of my life. At the age of 70, I have a few summers to compare and will always be grateful for the choice to come here.
I have learned so much about the great state of Alaska, it still holds many mysteries and I only hope I have more opportunity to keep discovering them. While I am not ready to move here on a permanent basis, I am sure I will visit again.
I guess the fact that some of my co-workers are leaving next week and more the week after that has caused me to be reflective. I am very aware that my time here is limited. I am pleased that I checked off some bucket list items. I am grateful that my health has allowed me to do this. I only hope that I can inspire at least one person. I know the two people who crossed my path for a very short time had no idea their words would bring me to Alaska all those years in the future.
My adventures for this year are not over, next it is the choice of where I want to spend this winter, a beach in Florida sounds really good right now. All I can suggest is that choices, chances and change are often really great. I encourage everyone to step outside their comfort zone from time to time and say yes to whatever the universe is offering.