Alaska and Books: My Loves

I slept in late yesterday. Husband shut off the alarm and kissed me goodbye before he left for work. Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Land of the Midnight Sun. I’m not joking even with the clouds, you could see for miles and miles. The Alaska Range was in stunning form. The sun was warm, as was the breeze, there was so much to be happy about.

That’s the thing, I was happy, content, calm. I wasn’t worried, I wasn’t panicked. I was just being in the moment. A rarity for me and I realized while I was looking for fresh produce at market how beautiful this place is. How wonderful my life is. I was able to get a small massage got some knots worked out, I got a pedicure and the best part: I made my husband a snack for class and was able to sun tan outside with an amazing book.

I love reading about heroics in war. It’s something that has always interested me. I texted my Mom explaining how much I love this book, We Band of Angels.

Me: “I wish I could be this brave.”

Mom: “Seriously? You are!”

Me: “I don’t think I could do what they did.”

Mom: “You totally have been one of them. Mostly because it would have made me mad.”

I laughed because it’s fairly true. I love my Mom, I’d do anything for her, but, also, anything to make her annoyed. I’m an awful daughter, ok, a normal daughter. As she went on to explain that I would have done it because she would have wanted me to be a wife, a mother, and I would have wanted anything but. I would have had a career to get out of having kids. No ties down. We joked a bit about how I’d marry a sailor on leave in Australia and how frighteningly true that could have been.

(Jake, my husband, and I had a plan to join the Australian Navy before we got married. So if that plan had happened our wedding would have been while he was on leave…in Australia. So there is some truth to that joke.)

This book and this day made an impact on me today though. While reading I thought about how perfect of a day it has been, how sunny and free of problems. These women had dead to deal with, wounded screaming for pain killers they didn’t have. I couldn’t even begin to imagine. Such a stark contrast, between my day and their days. I can’t wait to send this book on to another reader. Let someone else have their life impacted by this story.

As for stories a young girl’s story was ended yesterday. One of my Baby Brother’s friends. She and her friend, who is in critical condition, were in a massive car crash. They just graduated, senior summer, the summer before the rest of your life, and hers was cut short.

It’s so devastating. Heartbreaking. A life taken so soon. You will be missed Elizabeth. .

Rainy Days & Sunshine

“Where you going baby car?! I wanna follow you and find out what type of person drives you.” Jake shouted to a Smart Car. He has a strange obsession with Smart Cars.

This began our first day alone in Tampa. Little white car, Frozen playing on the radio, and a rain storm. Lets talk about a few things first:

  • Jake and I travel well together
  • A little rain means something different to people
  • Old Book Stores and wine help bad moods

Singing on our way to Tampa, getting passed by cars going 6 billion miles an hour. No big deal. We were having fun.

Parking in a big city is a nightmare. I though Anchorage was bad, GOOD HEAVENS, with the honking too, Tampa sucked. Till we found a nice parking garage. That’s when the wind picked up.

Oh did it pick up. Did you know that even the locals were calling it hurricane weather. Obviously, I had to go outside because there was lighting and thunder and I was giddy. wet stairs

We were downtown Tampa we weren’t seeing very many tourist spots, most everything was closed. I mean it seems Florida shuts down on Monday. After wandering around we found a very nice wine bar, whereupon we discovered the various rules of alcohol licensure. (apparently, it’s a separate license to sell wine, who knew?)

We walked around, again I should mention that it’s pouring, all I have on is a running jacket; we are soaked. We found the Photography Museum…closed, because it’s Monday. (disclosure: everything closes at 5pm as well.) Finally, as I was starting to get fed up and annoyed, we found coffee and an old book shop.

Jake and I are huge readers. We have more books than anything else in this world. We love the written word so walking into this shop was amazing. You could smell the old book smell. The dust, musty vanilla, hints of coffee, it was beautiful. So many books, not enough time to intake all the knowledge that is bound in leather covers.

A book store (and getting out of the rain) really puts me in a great mood. There isn’t much about a book store that doesn’t lift my spirits. I actually walked out with out a book, but, just being there was wonderful. Finally, we went towards home and the shopping center. Mama wanted more Victoria’s Secret!  (I should mention the clothes I brought on the trip didn’t fit at all so I HAD to get new ones.)

DSC_0031Dinner at home, a nice evening on the Florida Lanai with his parents telling stories was a fitting end to the day that was mired in rain and closed museums.



Things we learned:

Jake’s idea of a little rain isn’t a little. It’s a downpour. The more you know.