Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I spent a lot of time in the past week visiting with friends at the local hospital. Friends that I have known for several years here in Alaska and the kind of people who have made the time I have spent here in Alaska a whole lot more special. Both are senior citizens and the type of people who really appreciate everything you do for them. If you drop them off a package or two of fish or moose they almost make the thank you part a ceremony.

Moe Bolvin and Katie MacLoed were both hospitalized and expected to have surgery that would hopefully return both of them back to good health. I was there on the night the doctors returned from operating on Moe Bolvin. Those of us that were there in the waiting room with her husband Earl were told that she was full of cancer besides having pneumonia in one lung. Her chances of surviving this were almost none baring a miracle.

Many of you may know both Earl and Moe from seeing them fishing near their home at the Kenai Keys. They spent a lot of time fishing up there and even did some moose hunting together. They also were very active in local churches at both the Star of the North Lutheran church in Kenai and Funny River Community Lutheran Church.

Following the sad announcement at the hospital on Monday evening there was another announcement made by the doctors Tuesday afternoon at our local hospital. Moe does not have cancer but it was thought to be an attack of tuberculosis.... Moe was airlifted to Providence to begin treatment for tuberculosis and hopefully this would be a battle that she could eventually win. Well here it is one week later and now the doctors have ruled out tuberculosis in fact they have no idea what it is that has the cancer like tumors.....

Katie MacLoed has been diagnosed with Gall bladder problems and once the surgery to remove her gall bladder is over she should be fine. I can tell you this much about Katie, I never meant anyone more appreciative over giving her and Norm some Moose, fish or hone raised chicken. If you left the MacLoed home not feeling better after dropping food off you must have been dead! If you know either of these fine senior citizens say a little prayer for them both as well as both of the husbands Earl and Norm who have faithfully been at their bedsides during all this. If you don’t know any of them say a little prayer for them anyway.

After being in the hospital visiting with these people and seeing them in any condition other then the happy active lifestyles they lived was a real humbling experience for me. I drove to Daniels Lake and put up a fishing shack and sat there by myself thinking and even said a few prayers for all of them. I was the only one on the lake that day and it was quiet, no bugs and no tourist. I had plenty of time to think and be thankful I can get still around and enjoy everything in the Alaska outdoors. I also realized how fortunate I am to live in a place like Alaska, as there is always a place where we can go to simply get away. Imagine being in Iraq and having that feeling you want to just get away from it all. There so many things we take for granted here and think nothing of even though they may be part of our everyday lives. I just received a phone call from a gal in Wisconsin who said she wants to come to Alaska to see a dog sled race!

The fishing was good too on Daniels Lake as I caught a limit of rainbows from 12 inches to 18 inches; nice fully colored heavy beautiful fish. I returned to Daniels Lake again on Tuesday Jan 10th with my son Travis and family friend Lucas and we caught 6 more beautiful rainbows.

On Wednesday Jan 11th I had knee surgery at the hospital in Soldotna and at the present time I’m still recovering from that. I do hope to be able to hobble back out soon and do some more fishing soon and maybe even chase a few rabbits around this winter.

I know I spoke of this many times before, but if you know of senior citizens that need things dropped of our just a visit please get over to them today. Don’t wait, as you never know when they could also end up in the hospital like my friends did. The test of a true Alaskan is how well YOU look after those in your immediate area. If there is a need out there of firewood, food or whatever and you don’t have the ways or means to help them please let me know so I can. Remember also our soldiers fighting over seas, send that card or gift out today! See you next week!

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