There I was standing patiently in the wilderness of Alaska thinking how lucky I am for having the chance to live and work in this great state. Even though I never spotted a bear my mere presence here reminded me just how lucky I am to be here. Forget about the cool weather we have endured the past couple of weeks and all those nasty bugs that have attacked us relentlessly all summer. Forget about all the traffic delays due to road construction and the bridge construction in Soldotna. Don't let all the tourists that invade our state each summer and cause traffic congestion or long lines at the grocery stores get you down. Just be thankful that you live here year round and can really reap the benefits of being an Alaska resident.
Those people that you see darting around half asleep and acting rather strange are generally pretty nice people before they came here to Alaska. The time they spend here is like a dream vacation for them and they only have from a week to ten days to try and see all that there is to see and do in such a short time. Yes, we growl at them for all the questions from time to time and get frustrated when they pull out in front of us when we are driving but basically they are good people. Just imagine yourself trying to see all of Alaska in a week? No wonder some of them are a little hyper or a little buggy eyed. I have worked nearly a thousand miles from my home in Alaska and was still in Alaska. When I had my farm in Wisconsin, if I was a thousand miles away I was down in Texas some place, and Mr. Tourist is planning on seeing all of Alaska in a week? Ya right. I have seen some of these guys so rummy from pushing themselves so hard in the short time that they were here that you could have took their fish and slapped them with it and they would have had no idea what happened!
Mr. Tourist can have the best fishing trip of his life but by the time he gets his fish sent back home after paying for a guide and his trip here he can have pretty expensive food. You and I think nothing of running to our favorite lake or river and return home a few hours or in some cases a few minutes later with a meal of fish. Basically no shipping or travel involved.
We take so much for granted here that often times we forget how lucky we really are. The mountains are a constant source of enthusiasm for a lot of us while for others a mere sign of just how blessed we really are to live here. Other people may use the beauty of Alaska as a reminder of the beauty of God's work or even as a daily reminder of the presence of God. No matter where you are spiritually I think one thing most of us would agree on is that Alaska is a picture takers paradise. No place in the world has a bigger variety of things to take pictures of than Alaska. Just today I saw eagles, ravens and two moose calves all from my own yard!
This fall should be a very interesting fall as I have applied for more special hunting permits then I ever have. Moose, brown bear, musk ox, elk and caribou, and I already have a special sheep permit. Wow! Just imagine drawing several special tags for the same period of time! Heck just imagine Fish & Game sending you a letter and telling you they made a mistake and sending you your drawing money back! Another ya right!
I close with a short story George Rakos told during church at the Funny River Community Lutheran Church last Sunday. George said his mother learned that crossword puzzles are really good for you because they stimulate your brain and help keep the thought process working.Stimulate the brain and give the brain exercise by doing crossword puzzlespretty neat ideas ,however as George went on to say..."I think it is a little late for me!"
I never had much interest in crossword puzzles but did find an interesting brain stimulating item at my home recently. My son Travis had 40 grades on his final 4th grade report card...besides having a great love for hunting, fishing, and sports of all kinds he also had 40 A's on his report card. I never got 40 A's in 12 years of school and he got 40 in one! Good job Travis!
If you're looking for a nice place to take that Sunday drive or looking for a new church, check out the brand new Lutheran church, just off Rabbit Run on Funny River Road. Great roads, a lot of animals to watch and friendly people all combined together in a very unique and inspirational church service led by a very special guy George Rakos...Tell George (as he gives you a tour of the new church) big John sent you and that you think I could use a little of that brain stimulation myself!
See you next week!
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