Alaska, Averted

All things considered, I’d have likely gone to visit my sister closer to Christmas instead of last week.  But events conspired to cause an early trip.

As early as last December I was told that she was pretty much done with her long-time boyfriend (common-law husband would probably be the best description).  But it was amicable and he stayed around for a while and eventually got a job teaching at a village in the Alaskan bush this fall.  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and about a month and a half ago she announced to us that she was going to move there with him and that she’d be leaving at the end of December. 

Since it would be pretty expensive for us to visit Alaska, we (my mother and I) decided that it would be good to visit before she left.  To avoid hitting the rush of packing and preparations for her trip we decided to visit early in December (when my mother could get time away from work).  Fortunately, after a couple of weeks she decided that she didn’t really want to be with him again and cancelled the move.  But my mother’s vacation schedule was already set by then so she couldn’t get time off near Christmas (she actually has to work that day).  Hence our trip last week.

In the meantime I’ve learned quite a bit about life in the Alaskan bush through Google (hence the addition of Tundra Medicine Dreams to the blogroll, written by a PA who practices from Bethel, which is the “capitol” of the district my sister would have been in).  It looks like a nice place to visit during the summer.  But I had a hard time comprehending the concept of the long winter night, frozen rivers, and the occasional -50°F low.

In the long run I’m glad she decided not to go.  It wouldn’t have been the end of the world, but would have made visiting complicated and expensive (it’s too far to drive, even if there were roads to this village).  At least Colorado isn’t too far away (although I think my mother would be happiest if she moved back to Texas).  And her location isn’t likely to have too many -50°F days in winter.

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