Posted: Tuesday, January 03, 2006

As we begin a another year full of hope and new resolutions that as usual finds us trying to break old habits as well as starting new and better ones many thoughts come to me. No matter what our own personal resolutions are this year or how well you do in keeping them. We have a lot to be thankful for here in Alaska perhaps way more then we realize. There are a large variety of things to do here on the Kenai Peninsula year round especially if you are an outdoor type person. If your not one who enjoys being out in the outdoors especially in the winter time there are several other useful and worth while projects you can do to prevent cabin fever or as Wendy Szymik calls it “Shack wacky!”

If being shut in and having less sunshine bothers you think about those elderly in your neighbor hood that don’t get around as well as you do. Those people could perhaps use a smiling face that shows up not only to check on them but also bring them something. What you ask? Anything, fresh caught fish, some ice cleats as you can buy a wide variety of them that are fairly inexpensive and could prevent one of our senior citizens from falling and breaking a hip. Go ahead and adopt some of our senior citizens and make checking on them part of your everyday activity. This could even be your News Years resolution if you don’t already have a whole list of them already and if you do add this one on the list too! If you don’t know of any senior citizens in your area go to the retirement homes and visit with some of these people. Trust me you will hear some stories that are better then any book you could buy.

Just try to imagine living in a war torn country like Iraq where it is not even safe to go to the grocery store at times. Imagine living in New Orleans where they dealt with the terrible Hurricanes and much of the city was destroyed and then looted after the storm left. Imagine even being in some of the places of the world where starvation is the number one cause of death. And yet here in Alaska we allow ourselves to become depressed in the wintertime thus allowing the “Shack wacky to set in!”

Think about how bad those pesky mosquitoes were at times last summer. How about using some of that scrap lumber to build some birdhouse’s to attract the swallows and other kinds of birds to your neighborhood to help eat some of those bugs before they eat you? Use your imagination and make them several different ways but build them so that they can be easily cleaned out each fall. Get some of our senior citizens to help you with this neat and fun wintertime project. If they are not able to help you, drop them off a couple birdhouses anyway. If you have no scrap lumber suitable to build a birdhouse contact me and I will give you some.

If your not into building birdhouses, how about you get your summer fishing gear in and start oiling and cleaning up the reels as well as putting on new line. It sure seems like we have more time for things like this now then when the weather gets warmer and the days longer. Make sure your landing net doesn’t need a new net and oh yes clean out that tackle box! Simply dump it out and start throwing the junk away and clean and oil anything that is starting to rust. This year lets all be ready when the first chance to get out there fishing rolls around. By keeping busy and doing useful projects for yourself and other people hopefully we can prevent the “Shack wacky” from setting in. Buy that new fishing vest if you can’t find someone to sew your old one. Offer that gal some fresh fish for sewing your clothes for you.

If you have a freezer full of salmon start canning what you don’t need right now instead of waiting till the first cry this spring “The Reds are in!” You will have more time to can fish now then when your trying to clean fresh ones. Please remember those elderly around you or other needy people in your community too though.

If you have never been ice fishing and want to try I will gladly take you with me and get you started. Once you get started I challenge you to try going to almost any lake around the Kenai Peninsula and try not to catch a fish, as long as you have on bait and have it in the water you will find it almost impossible not to catch fish on some of our lakes.

Getting out and getting some exercise is important for all of us and if know a senior citizen that needs to cut firewood and you have the health to help do it. Good exercise while doing a good deed for someone else. Be thankful you are here in Alaska and make it show by being the best friend and neighbor you can be to everyone your around.

Keep Shack Wacky out of your home this winter by staying busy and also making life for everyone around you a little more pleasant. The only Shack wacky I want to suffer from is from being in my fishing shack so much they start delivering my mail there! I have plenty of heated fishing shacks if you want to get out or if you know one of our senior citizens who would love to get out fishing one day! See you next week!

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