Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Holy crap....that thing is long!

Such were the words of Maryann when she saw the moving truck tonight...well, I edited those words because this is a family show! On the other hand, "will it all fit?" has been the long question eminating through our minds and home the past 2 months. Well, tonight we picked up the behemoth and we will soon find out the answer to that ever deepening question. I was a little surprised in the beginning of the reservation process several months ago as they told me they needed to get new trucks up to Alaska and would give me a screaming deal and a newer truck. They did and boy was I excited. Its got only 36,000 miles on it, has an air conditioner equipped with the 'arctic blast' feature which gave me t.h.o.'s!! ;) No CD player.....what? We put probes on Mars and we don't have a CD player in a new UHaul truck?! I asked Maryann and John if they were going to help out with the driving of it to give me a break once and a while on the road, and was given a swift, definite and certain....NO WAY! The size is rather intimidating I suppose. Years ago when I was younger and more sexy...."in my playing weight" lol......I had a friend, Ted, who drove an 18 wheeler semi to Southern California from Stockton once a week to deliver and pick up shipping from their companies' warehouse down there. I did many road trips with Ted as he taught me how to drive his truck, as I worked towards obtaining my 'class A' license. So I had plenty of experience behind the wheel of a 'big rig' driving with him, which mind you belittles the behemoth death trap I drove home tonight. At 29 feet long, it doesn't compare to Teds 63 foot semi, powered by a 350 Cummings diesel engine and the amenities a drivers truck should be equipped with. First off, Teds truck had air ride....I am going to need a prosthtetic ass implant after this journey! Teds truck had cushioned comfy seats.....this is like sitting in a plywood chair with a roll or two of Charmin to pad it. Teds truck had a serious tune system....I hope I have a long set-list of merry songs to serenade myself! Am I complaining....possibly!! One would think that a 'new' truck would have a little more comfort and extras. After all, that is all you do in these things is drive, right?! So Thursday will be spent loading and cringing as we find out the prying question....will it all fit! Wish us luck. As for the long haul in this rolling rider....Ted where are you when I need you now?! :-) Stay tuned as we will update you on the outcome of our loading crap-shoot! We are feeling little to no apprehension and alot of excitement and an overwhelming desire to get on the road. Good night for now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A farewell to friends

I will be keeping it very short tonight. If you have been keeping up on things then you know that tommorrow is the 30th. That is 2 days until we part for an incredable journey. The past few days have been spent winding up our lives here. From packing to finalizing the details of the trip....and saying a farewell to friends. Never think for a minute that this is a regretful move for us. We are very excited, and dont regret a thing of what we are doing. But despite the excitement I have to share the sorrow. I speak as well for Maryann; today we spent a good part of the day bidding part, from alot of those we have called friends and in fact have been a part of our extended family. These friends were our tribe! These were a part of our lives these past 15 years....a huge part. We love you, all very much and you will be so missed. Thank god for the memories. We will be back to visit this community, yes you can bet on it and you all will know when that time comes. To everyone which includes us....never ever take for granted the time you have with friends and loved ones. We all get busy, but please find the time to spend with those who surround you. They will understand if you dont, but someday you may wish you had spent more time. Tonight closed a was hard to walk away. Good night.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cake Masacre What Fun

Ok, Maryann here, I have to clarify something Greg said in his last post. I asked Greg to go ahead and do the walk thru only because as a woman and artist, I'm prone to looking at objects that are not relevant to the situation. For example, the lake (don't forget we saw this home last when there was snow on the ground) the property, the beauty of it all and oh by the way what color should I paint the walls, that bookcase could use some sanding and so on. I am not going to be checking if the heater in the garage is there or whether the furnace has walked. Do you see what I mean? :0) All you ladies out there understand don't you? Now believe me I would have rather done the walk thru because this would mean I would potentially have to BACK ON the MOVING TRUCK (the 26 foot long truck) onto the ferry by my little lonesome, I THINK NOT!!!!! I explained to Greg that I was never taught to use my side mirrors on my truck for backing up. He says, well now you'll get to learn. I don't think so. I will be waving a $50 bill on the deck of the boat asking for the nearest qualified MAN to do the job for me...... ;) And that's how a woman does that. So believe me, I would have loved to have done the walk thru but I would rather wave the 50..... And don't forget it will be John and I on the last sailing from Juneau to Whittier, I didn't want to miss the many glaciers we will be passing along the journey to do the walk thru, got me? So, hopefully Greg will be flying out of Juneau late enough that he can just load the truck onto the ferry for me and hitch a ride to the airport there after. Wish us, no, wish me luck on this one.

Now, Gregs parents held a Going Away Party for us yesterday, what fun. The Travale Family always puts on a party. Greg, John and I have to thank Aunt Jane for her "Coming out of the box" with the cutting of our cake. Now, you have to understand as long as I've been in the family-oh 16 yrs-there's a way of cutting the cake. The elders always let everyone know (25-50 family members) that they are about to and you wait in line for your piece. Well, let me tell you, all of us young ones (Cooler ones) were having our dinners in the house and the cake by happenstance was sitting in the middle of the dining table and as we all ate our dinners we happen to be looking at the cake (this mind you is the elders worst nightmare). The participants to this event were, Liz, Deni, Aunt Christine, Juli, jenny, Shannon, John, Greg, myself and Aunt Jane (our Cake SuperHero). Dinners were done and we were staring and talking about the cake. Now Uncle Sam purchased the cake and told Greg and I earlier in the day that half of this (oh, 2 1/2 ft by 1 foot cake) was vanilla and the other half chocolate. What started the masacre was everyone egging Greg on to check to see what side was vanilla/choc. The holes were then excavated and the beautiful flowers started being plucked. I won't say who started that. The entire time there was giggling and thoughts of one of the elders popping in unsuspectingly. Oh dear, we couldn't have that so we shut the doors, the entire time more flowers were disappearing, more laughter was being heard, more excavation holes were being dug and then the primal sin, Aunt Jane with the knife and plates. Again everyone else at the party was outside enjoying the weather and such. Usually the elders cut the cakes in precise straight lines and serve accordingly, "would you like a side piece, middle or with a flower?" Oh, these questions were asked but unorthodox cutting was taking place and by the time we were all sitting around the table eating our cake, the poor cake looked like savages had attacked it. :0) Lovingly of course. This entire event was photographed, we are all being held accountable for our participation although when all was said and done, we were happy with the outcome. Because on that day, when they held our Going Away Party all of us cousins, aunts, second cousins were in having a blast snickering on what would happen to us when the elders caught on to what we were doing. I don't think our party could have been better, these events are what makes memories and will always send us into a fit of laughter and tears. I thank everyone who participated, hid or tried to hide the evidence made this special day. Cutting Cake at family get togethers will never be the same and you WILL think of us. :0) And to you, Aunt Jane, you are our CAKE SUPERHERO thank you from the bottom of our hearts for having the courage to stand up and take on the job and the rath you may have endured later. :0) We love you all and will miss you terribly. Oh, thanks for the cake Uncle Sam, it was a terrific hit! And just for the record everyone else did get cake.

Until next time, we're packing, stacking (and it's getting high) installing our wireless connection card to keep you all posted on the journey and praying that one doesn't have to BACK ON the 26 ft moving truck onto a moving platform, oh my....... Love ya M.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Moving right along

Good afternoon. We wanted to update on the progress with everything. I posted a pic of the 'happy bunch'. That was taken in June by some unsuspecting tourist. Behind us is a speck of the Chugach mountain range. Ever notice how tall John is?
As of today, the final inspections on the Nikiski home, the well and septic, are done and passed with flying colors. This finalizes everything there and we are golden! We have reached the finalization of our loan for the new home as well. The docs will be sent to title down here on June 1st for us to sign, and then with monies for the closing costs will be resent back to title in Kenai. As it happens I will be the one to fly in from Juneau to arrive on the 13th to do the walk through and record. Now, for the record.....I wanted Maryann to go ahead. She told me I was more technical...... :-/ ...... In other words....'Greg we are counting on you and if anything is wrong it's your ass.....' Yeah. So thanks Maryann!! Actually I would have been fine with her going and in fact encouraged it. No matter who goes it will be a little sad watching my family and everything I own sail out of port in Juneau, and the 2 days separated will be lonely for all of us. But, it is the only way to make it work, aside from fouling up the transaction. I spent the day packing....I am officially semi-retired now! ;) I wondered a couple months ago how I would feel come about now. I mean what I would feel as I packed. You know, it was actually exciting. The anticipation for whats about to come is awesome right now. For all those who are chomping at the bit, nervous for us.....don't be. We have passed 'scared', we have passed 'nervous'. We have a deep certainty of where we stand now, and our emotional state is one of courage, determination, and just wanting to put our feet down and start making it happen in Alaska, quite the way we did here 15 years ago. It is amazing the series and range of feelings we have experienced since the day we decided to list our cabin.

We did get our party Tuesday night and nobody came. Talk about disappointment. NOT! It was really fun. It was so nice to see everybody we know in town in the same place at once. Everyone enjoyed it. There were a few people we expected and/or hoped for that didn't show, but it was great as was. We even had people show up the next night there at Round Table wanting to rage on......whoops! So I sign off with a sense of accomplishment, not only with the completeness of the days events, but with knowing how Maryann, John and myself made Dorrington and the Arnold community our home. The friends we made, the ties and bonds we created. The impacts we had on others and the impact others had on us. The inspirations and the dreams we were a part of here. The memories we will hold in our hearts forever are priceless. We are feeling good, happy with all we have done and frankly....we're moving right along (chug a dug chug a dug)!

Oh, John passed his drivers exam today! So stay off the sidewalks..... Just kidding...about the sidewalk thing! So we do have our back up driver for the dock event in Juneau. Take care man!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Woo Hoo!

Well good evening and a darned fine evening it is here at base camp! Finally, we have a resolution to our dilemma, we found out that in fact the seller had a logistical nightmare on her side with purchasing her soon to be new home. This is why there was a problem with the closing date. Now why on Gods green earth the sellers agent waited two weeks until now to say that....who knows. She has been coming across unreasonable and it seems like it was just stubbornness on the her part. We found out that in fact the seller of the log home did have a reason why she couldn't close on the 14th. Good news is the 13th is my birthday! So if that isn't a spiritual sign....what is?! The final word is that we close on June 13th. What of the 'walk through' you ask? Our realtor has offered to pay for one of us to fly in from our ferry layover in Juneau on the 12th. The lucky one (Maryann or I) will do the walk through, and sign the title so that it will record for our seller. Everyone walks away happy. Then our agent will drive the lucky one to Whittier the night of the 13th, and pay for the nights lodging so that we can regroup when the ferry lands in Whittier the morning of the 14th. From there, we happily head back to Nikiski, moving truck, Maryann's truck....and if John passes his drivers exam Thursday, the Chevelle and all our possessions(cant forget the doggies!). If he doesn't pass the exam, he has no license and the Chevelle has to be picked up the next day on our way back from dropping the moving truck off up in Anchorage. Confused yet? It is all complicated actually, but when you want it bad enough, you make it work. I got to eat dinner now and '24' starts in half an hour. Season finale tonight..... ;-)
Needless to say we are relieved and now have direction on the issue. Take care out there, and our love to all.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Shiny happy people.

For a start I give you a "shiny happy people" moment....a picture from June of John and his prize 28", 34 pound salmon. Is that one huge kool-aid smile or what?! He caught this in Homer on the 'spit'! Remember the 'spit'?!! (he really wasn't standing sideways)

Maryann and I just got back from a last minute visit tonight with two of our friends, Steve and Bev. It was literally last minute, as the initial conversation went something like...."Hey Bev, we're in front of Big Trees Market looking for something to do (at 8:00 PM), you and Steve up for company?...." Bev and Steve are two awesome people. We had the honor of spending time with them many times since we met, and unfortunately not as much as we would have liked. The important point I am making of all of this is that after we saw them tonight we left feeling a little more 'balanced' as we did when we wearily showed up at their front door. Thanks guys, we really needed it tonight. Your gonna be missed! You see, today is a happy day for many people. Maryanne and John are happy because they have a well earned commission. Phil and Leanne are happy because they have a mountain paradise now. Greg and Maryann are happy because they have a phat bank account. The title company, the mortgage lender....everyone is happy today. Due in part to the fact that as of yesterday, we closed escrow on our cabin here in Dorrington. We are officially tenants until June 1st, and of course as well as a chapter closed in our lives....a huge chapter, we are one step closer to a long time dream. But with that happiness came and unexpected surge of sluggishness. I guess we didn't expect it, but it hit home today (pardon the pun) when we woke up and realized our home is not ours. Now don't get sad or teary eyed for great sake! I mean every downside has its upside. We are just fine. But nonetheless it was reality, and lets face it.....sometimes reality bites! The important thing here is now we have what we need to gain our new place in Nikiski. And we have an unprecedented courage to take the next step foreward. But I have to say that the visit with our friends tonight was just what the doctor ordered. I will go to sleep tonight feeling better than this morning, and with one more great memory under my belt, as it was a very pleasant time with Bev and Steve tonight. Thanks to our dream and the help and encouragement we had from many to act on our dream, there are a few more shiny happy people in the world tonight. Congratulations Phil and Leanne! As for us, we're headin north! Good night.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Good morning!!

Wakey wakey....eggs and bakey! Just wanted to send an update on progress...or lack of...with the transaction in Alaska. I had a motivating moment the other night when I came home and found several emails from the title company, the lender, and all the kings' men! Finally, we got back the appraisal report, and everything looks good. Next the well and septic inspections will finalize the process, and we can get to the documentation portion of the tour. Thanks Carol! We did what you suggested and both the title company up there as well as the title company down here are both very happy to accommodate. Refreshing for those of you going...huh? The title and lending company for the Alaska home, are going to overnight all of the docs down to our local title company for us to sign and send back before we leave here for the long road trip north. This way we have all our ducks in a line by the time we arrive on the 14th, and after the fabled 'walk through' of the log home, we can record that day. Seems easy, right?! Then we come back to the seller! She and her agent must be avid fans of the World Poker Tour. They are going to hold out until the final hour. We cant continue the paperwork for the loan, until they sign the addendum extending the close date to June 14th, the day we arrive, so that we can do the walk through. So far theey are spending more time ranting about it then just looking at it and seeing that it is harmless. In the mean time, I am devising a non-violent, I am not calling on the Italians! ;) Stay tuned for that plan....lets hope we dont have to pull it out of the bag. Lets send some prayer her way that she sees reason in the logic of a 'one' day delay, and her reasons for not, dissipate.

I leave you with a piece of fact. About a 45 minute drive from Kenai is a glacial fjord that extends off the Cook Inlet called the Turnagain Arm. Besides being just beautiful, there is a unique anomaly which takes place one time each day in the early summer months. Its referred to as the "tidal bore". No, it's not a wild pig that runs through the water.... Each day the incoming tide creates a tidal surge (the bore) that extends as far as the Portage Glacier. This wave is a hot spot not only for spectators of the spectacle in itself, but surfers and kyakers who ride this thing for sometimes as far as a mile. Mind you the size varies from day to day, but this phantom wave has been known to get pretty big. Interesting. I cant wait to check it out, personally. So I leave you with a pic of our son John and his surfing guru Noah....yeah, they'll be 'down' with the 'bore'! Have a great day!


Monday, May 14, 2007

Farewell to Camp Greg

What has long been known as 'Camp Greg'. In some circles referred to as 'Greg's High Altitude Training'. A place where one could get away from the city and experience the true life of living in the mountains. Whether it was a day hike into the backwoods, or fishing in one of the many local lakes or streams. Physical activities from heavy lot clearing, busting downed timber into firewood, or maintenance on cabins in the area, as winter is a harsh reality for homes here. No matter what the event one could always find peace in the fresh mountain air, a sense of responsibility for the true meaning of mountain living, as well as the feeling of accomplishment for an honest days work. Warm showers and meals were always a welcomed commodity at days end here. Enjoying the company of each other around a campfire, and gazing at the star filled night sky. The experience of actually watching satellites drifting across the night expanse was always a thrill, as this is something you cant see within the glow of the city lights! From young relatives looking for direction or a chance to make some good money, to friends wanting to just enjoy the life that living in the mountains offers. Anyone was always welcomed, and almost everyone.....always walked away changed in one way or the other by the experience. This past weekend I had the absolute honor of working with an old friend, Scott, and 4 eager and energetic young men, my son included in bucking rounds, and splitting near 4 cords of firewood. In a 'wood whores' last stand, we worked darned near 7 or so cords of firewood in this past month for Scott to stock as his mountain arsenal of warmth. Working with my son John, Scott and his son Nicko, and Nickos' two friends Randy and Josh was a joy for me. We worked hard but enjoyed the two days of friendship and sharing as well as the intense sense of accomplishment when we stood back in awe at the mountain of wood that we made. These guys are worth their weight in gold as far as I am concerned. Responsible, good personalities and the desire to help build an economical source of warmth for Scott and his wife for at least a couple winters to come....although there was some speculation that it would take 12 years to burn it down.....yeah! :/ Just being able to share the knowledge of working rounds in a wood splitter with those who never had before, or having the chance to watch my son utilize his earlier teachings of safely working a chainsaw, it just made me feel good inside to be able to share this time with this last and final group of Camp Gregsters'. I will miss the opportunity to provide such an environment for future visitors to our mountain retreat. My hope is that all that have had this unique experience will in some way pass it on to those who they find need to experience such an opportunity. As for Maryann said, I will live on my legacy as a 'wood whore' in Alaska. I am currently working Camp Greg's reputation of 'High Altitude Training' into what will come to be known as 'Daylight Endurance Training'. With near 24 hours of daylight during the summer in Alaska, there will be plenty of hours to work my fabled reputation of a dedicated camp counsellor! I hope somehow that I will be fortunate enough to come across a native Alaskan, that will take me under their wing and mentor me to the true lifestyle and responsibilities of maintaining a self sufficient existence in what is known to some as 'the final frontier'. I know that I did my best to share this ideal with all who showed a desire the learn and experience such, and I feel blessed to have many fond memories that I will take with me as long as I walk this earth, as we close a long and accomplished chapter in our stay in the Sierra-Nevada mountains, as we humbly bid a farewell, to Camp Greg.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Realize what you have.....and appreciate it

Wow, I love getting on this to check for messages from others and reading what my husband wrote the night before. What he is not telling you is that he loves and I do mean loves to fly in those smaller planes (I have to confess I loved it too) . Greg writes such compelling entries, doesn't he?

So yesterday was another phase in our life. In and around the Arnold area Greg has always been referred to as the WoodWhore, because he would always be loading/unloading firewood at our home or elsewhere and it was Never For Sale. And let me tell you, when I would say, "Honey, do you think that that is enough? " Greg would say, "Honey, it's never enough." Well that changed as of yesterday. We hauled ALL of the firewood over to a friends house, when all was said and done Greg and I and John looked at the empty wood shed and said Wow. It kind of brings a tear to your eye knowing what we've built and accomplished on our little piece of heaven is quickly disappearing to be someone else's little piece of heaven. Although, we immediately got together as a family unit and described what life will be like in our New piece of heaven, and yes, this means starting over with cutting out dead trees on our property (bark beetle kill) and restarting Gregs new history as the Alaska Woodwhore. We immediately were pleased and moved on. Then I woke up this morning and it was below 60 degrees in the house and immediately realized what was a habit to walk out and retrieve firewood for that wonderful warm glow in our greatroom was no more (we have always heated our home with wood never using the electric spaceheaters) and how wonderful of a husband and son that I have that always made sure to bring home that firewood . :0( Those simple luxuries even though by habit mean so much..... Thank you Greg for always being the Woodwhore. :0)

I have to end my blog on a special note, Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there reading this. To Joann (Gregs Mom) and mine, Diane, oh and my little sis Alicia take some time out for yourself today. As for me, I am here at home enjoying myself, packing, stacking and contemplating on what Mother's Day next year will be like. Wonderful! And yes, my great room overlooking that beautiful lake will be warm and inviting. Take care, M.

Friday, May 11, 2007

An update to yesterdays post.

Just a quick update tonight. That going away party I mentioned yesterday..... The date has been changed. It is Tuesday May 22nd at Round Table Pizza in Arnold. Not sure why, but I found out of the change today. Carol, thanks for the advice. Maryann speaks highly of you, alot. That is actually what we are trying to convince the selling agent of right now. We can have all the docs signed and everything ready to go at the title company in Kenai, before we arrive. The problem is that the original contract stated June 13th as the closing date, and we wont be there until June 14th to do the walk through. Again, without saying too much, this should have been taken care of the day after the offer was accepted, and we found out that in fact it wasn't. She is not receptive to extending the closing date to June 14th. As I said, she is stubborn. I would like to say a few other things in my mind, but this is a wholesome family show. ;) So we will hope for the best. I am in the works of an emergency alternative. Being that I could fly a bush plane from Juneau to Kenai on the 12th after I get the vehicles and family onto the gulf crossing ferry, and with a 'power of attorney' for Maryann, can do the walk through on June 13th, and close the deal then. The problem is two things. I would have to pay out money for a plane and rental car to do this, which I dont think is right since I am doing my best to work out an alternative, with the other party not willing to budge. And, then I have to find a way to get back to Whitier on June 14th at 7:30 AM to drive back the moving truck to Kenai, which means I have to try and find a ride there. Just is a pain in the butt this way, but is an option if all other options become futile. Lets just say a prayer that she comes to reason. Thanks again for your comment, it is great to hear from you. We really appreciate it and are glad you are enjoying the blog! I know Maryann is going to miss you and everyone else in her class. Take care Carol, and good night to all!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Just breathe....

Good advice..... I had to do just that, or maybe still need to....a little! Been a wild past two days here. A lot of people told us that the days will start to click away faster as we get closer, and they weren't joking. It is hard to believe how fast it is rolling now. Personally, it has been an accomplishing couple of days for me. I have put out for a few quotes for homeowners insurance for the home in Nikiski. So far I received one quote back, and hope that the other two come in by tomorrow. Obviously I am anxious to get this task done, as this is one of the things we need to finance the new place. I also applied and paid for a cell phone with a local number for Nikiski, through ACS, the telecommunications company there. I should have the number tomorrow, and will be receiving the phone sometime next week. Maryann and I agreed that we will keep our current cell service, as we do get great reception up there, for at least the first couple months to see how things go. The idea behind the cell with an Alaskan number is to be able to effectively conduct business up there while we get settled, without having to tie up our home line, and to have an accessible local number while we are down here or en route . We do have our new 'home' phone number, although it is only voice mail until we get there. Also, I should be receiving our new P.O.Box number in the next day or two. The footwork is definitely being laid. I have a contact there in Kenai, who is going to post some flyer's and hand out cards to perspective future clients, advertising my business before we arrive. If all goes well, hopefully we will have some work generated for my business by the time we get there. Just as soon as we get the P.O.Box number and the cell number I will be sending off some literature to him for advertising. It is a blessing that he is so willing to do this for me.

So now the kicker. Yesterday, we found out that there is a hitch in the closing date of our new home. And this is where I need to breathe..... You see, to make this as simple and least confusing as possible, we arrive by ferry in Whittier June 14th at 7:30AM. Then it is just a two hour drive to home from there. The original contract stated that the escrow will close on June 13th. Are you seeing the conflict yet? Now this is where it gets frustrating. This was supposed to be straightened out already...a long time ago. Keep in mind we cant change the ferry schedule.....we will be there June 14th! I found out yesterday that in fact this was never straightened out, and now the selling agent is flipping out because we need to be there June 13th to sign and record. The ferry doesn't arrive until June you see it. It aint gonna work! So now we wait. We wait while the powers that be (our agent and the stubborned selling agent) hammer out a solution. The selling agent is claiming ' a Houdini' on the original addendum for the change, and our agent, bless her, is pulling her hair out trying to reason with an unreasonable selling agent. Do ya know what it is like to be in limbo, waiting!?! Brings to mind a piece from an old Johnny Cash song. The chorus goes...."the one on the left was...on the right, and the one in the middle was...on the left, and the one on the right was in the middle and the guy in the rear... (that would be me) said, 'oh dear'." Inevitably, I am sure it will be fine. It is just annoying that this has popped up now (although I guess that's better than two weeks from now, right?). The good news is that there is a couple ways it can play out to honor both parties' needs. Just may be a tad inconvenient for one of the other or both. Ok, so this is where faith comes in. We are however going to close on our home here on May 18th, and everything seems to be fine on this end. Johnny Cash won't be singin' at this signing! So there you have it, the progress update with all of its glory, joy and frustration. An equal balance it seems! One last thing. We found out that a party is being thrown in our honor on Wednesday May 23rd from 5:00PM to 8:00PM at Round Table pizza in Arnold. Two very close and soon to be very missed friends of ours have put this together, and are requesting that the word be spread around town so everyone will know about it. I figure one of two things will happen: Either so many folks will show up that we will realize how many friends we have and we won't want to leave, or nobody will show, piss us off and make us want to get outta here even sooner! ;) So spread the word around town unless you want to be stuck with us, and anyone who is reading this is invited...although some of you will be traveling one long journey for pizza and a hug/hand shake!!!!

Remember, its all around us everyday; good and bad, joy and sad. Take it all in and just breathe! Good night.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

See Ya Later

Hello There, well slowly but surely we're coming down to the wire.

I couldn't figure out why I was feeling kind of down in the dumps today. Could it be, allergies, class, life itself? So, it dawned on me, I have alot less work (and your thinking,"isn't this what you wanted Maryann?"). Of course it's what I want maybe it just hasn't sunk in that everything (work, etc) has to wind down to a stop. Reality is approaching.... Maybe the blues have come from calling that final customer/friend and telling them the news (which I did today). I have had a few customers that surprised me by just saying, "well, do you have a reference?" I was shocked, you mean your not excited for me or wondering where I am going? I guess you find out who was business oriented only and wanted no personal relationship whatsoever. Maybe I was just always friendly and thought they felt the same (you know, wanted to know me as a person). This my friend isn't always the case. I have to tell you I was stunned. However, I have had the majority of my customers/friends very excited and wanting to know all of the details on our trip. These people I can say I will be staying in touch with far from now. These people I felt sad telling them I would no longer be taking care of their home away from home. One of those people was Susan from Bay Alarm, a wonderful, full of life person I always enjoyed speaking to even if it was to just say Hi. Although there were many times I didn't want to call her.... you know what I mean Susan. Teresa (my referral) and her husband, Greg and I met with Susan today for our last lunch together we had a good time it was difficult saying Goodbye. I do not want to say Goodbye, I just want to say, See Ya Later. Because you just never know. :0) So maybe this is why I am down in the dumps today. To all of you out there reading this, when that time comes and I give you that last hug don't say Goodbye, say See ya later.

Wonderful people are put into other peoples lives for a reason and business, life in general, money, all of that really doesn't matter. We are all in this game of Life together why not enjoy it? To all of my customers that I consider friends and you know who you are because we had extensive conversations when I spoke to you about our move-I'm extending again my heartfelt appreciation for trusting us with your peace of heaven and know we enjoyed working for you immensely. You will be missed. Take care, M.

Oh, Susan-we may be calling you for more soap..... :0) just joking.....

Monday, May 7, 2007

Eye candy

Check this out! These are pictures we took back in November 2006, when we visited Kenai for the 2nd time. These were taken at the beach in Kenai. That morning it was -19 below 0 with a wind chill (chill is an understatement) of -27 below 0. To give you an idea, well dressed...and I mean layered, you are fine for about 4 minutes. Then you start to feel your face my case I had ice forming on my joke. I had to hang it up and head in after about 9 minutes of exposure when my throat started to get numb from breathing in the icey air (my true fear was like you read in the books, when you just colapse from exhaustion and become a 3 course meal for some hungry....ahh you get the point :o ). What was neat that morning out there was that we kept hearing these cries off in the distance. We found out later that it was hundreds of eagles feeding at the mouth of the Kenai river on unsuspecting salmon. Aparently the eagles go on a feeding frenzy in the fall as they don't feed through the winter. Was a very spiritual sound, more so after we found out what it was. The tides in Alaska can be in variance of 40 feet. The white speckles you see in the sand are ice, and in fact the sand there in 2nd photo that looks wet.....its just plain frozen, man! I tried to kick a rock out of the sand...I tried. The other photo is looking out over the Cook Inlet at Mt Redoubt. If you sail off to the left of the photo you end up in the gulf of Alaska....if you sail to the right you will find yourself in Anchorage....if you didn't turn into a friggin popsicle first! ;) Happy days, we are getting excited. Yes Sandy, lots of faith. The whole thing is an incredible leap of faith. We will get by...we will survive.

Friday, May 4, 2007

In its time.

Today was another of what will be many mileposts in our journey. Due to logistical reasons, we planned from day one to sell my work truck, our Bronco, and keep Maryann's Tahoe, while towing my Chevelle behind the moving truck to Bellingham WA, where we would dump the trailer and drive the Chevelle, Tahoe, and the moving truck onto the ferry and then to our new home base once we landed in Alaska. I guess we worried about the two vehicles maybe not selling before we left and the implications this would pose. Major implications. It took 'letting go' and allowing the powers that be to do their work. The Bronco has sold, although we are able to keep it until we leave, thanks to the generosity of our good friends that bought it for their daughter. And today....... :{ truck sold. Honestly it feels like I lost my right leg. Again, thanks to the blessed help and hard work of another very good friend (and the mercy of mother nature and mild weather), I was able to kick in full gear the past month and get allot of the heavy work that required my truck, done. From here on out my work will be workable with the Broco and other alternatives. Now mind you this current event is good....really good. I got a descent amount for the truck, and I don't have to worry about..."what if it doesn't sell before we leave?" So lets take a second and say..."right on, man!" It does close the end of an era however. Anyone who saw 'the big red beast' rolling down the highway thought...."Greg". And anyone who saw Greg thought...."the big red beast!" Many memories, and 'the big red beast' did take good care of me....many times. Lets look at this from the perspective of, in order to 'gain', we have to accept some kind of 'loss'. As humans we tend to fear the discomfort of 'loss', or change. Lets face it, it is uncomfortable and frankly scary. This can easily lead us to fall into a comfort zone, which can cause us to just be content with 'as is' and never seek the gain we may desire. There will be allot of these changes to come for us. For everyone actually. But we have to look at it as letting something go in order to achieve what we truly desire. In order to get that promotion, we have to put in those strenuous hours, kiss the bosses a#*, etc, right!? ;) Case in point, I will find a new truck when we get there, and it will be a new and rewarding experience, and new highways to christen. It will be ultimately in the name of achieving positive gain. That is after all what this whole experience is about. Lets face it, if not for positive gain, you wouldn't be reading this blog! True, I did experience a moment of sadness closing this fabled chapter, but after that brief moment of sadness I was overwhelmed with the joy that this simple accomplishment has paved in the name of gain. No matter the fear or uncertainty, just step will all come together in its time. The big red beast is blazing new territory and memories for a great young man tonight as we speak. God bless.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The day after.

Yesterday marked a revelation in my mind regarding this huge undertaking. Not like I didn't already know it, but something about 'May 1st' hit home the fact that we had only 31 days left. Counting today that makes 30....holy crap! :{ As I mentioned we are closing escrow here on the 18th of May, and will continue to occupy until June 1st. I think the '31 day' thing has to do with the realization of how much has to still be done. More than just the obvious packing. Getting insurance on the new home, arranging cut off dates here and start times in Alaska for utilities, arranging for delivery of new appliances to the new place, the continual task of notifying clients that we are gone as of June 1st and referring them to other service people, setting up business there...from here! The list goes on, while we continue to work our business here. I think when you are at day 45, or yet still back at day 60 (those were the days!) it is less intimidating because time is on your side. Ironically it is a dreary rainy day, so it only helps amplify the 'day after' effect....blah! Oh, it will all pan out, it will. There is still plenty of time. I think 'May 1st' was a reality check, which in reality checked 'the day after'. Nevertheless it is a day to go down in blog history.

Also, I would like to retract yesterdays entry of daylight hours. Seems I got confused with the trauma of the 'May 1st' backlash and quoted more or less our daylight hours here. Actually there was 16 hours and 5 minutes of daylight in Kenai yesterday, with today being 16 hours and 10 minutes...and gaining! Thanks for all of the support and comments. We do appreciate it. Tracy, it was great hearing from you and we hope you stay in tune with us throughout. To all of those who remain we know who didn't raise their hands in class! We know your there.... ;) Stay focused with your goals. Love ya, Greg

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

No shame in that name!! Their moto; "We pack'em, rack'em, whack'em, and sack'em" I would say those folks have a good sense of humor....but I think they're serious! This unique store is located on the 'spit' in Homer. What is a 'spit' you ask? The 'spit' is a thin (about 100 yds wide) stretch of land that extends roughly a mile into Kachemak Bay. Kind of like a 'land wharf' it has restaurants, shops, fishing guide companies, commercial fisheries, ect, and one spectacular view. You can fish, camp, motorhome.... a very user friendly and fun place. We spent alot of time on the 'spit' while we were visiting both in June and November. As of now, the temp in Kenai is 49 degrees with 14 hours and 5 minutes of daylight....and gaining! :)