I Wear Perfume to the Gun Range

My Mother always said, “Everyone has a gift.” I never really thought writing was my gift. I mean anyone can make a sentence. Turns out that I do have a skill I’m a pretty decent shot. We went to the outdoor range twice a few weekends ago. I loved it. I wore my bright pink tank top and adorable shorts and my Tevas. It was sunny, slight breeze, with the smell of hot lead being pumped down range.

Oh it was amazing.

Now here’s the thing… sometimes the range is iffy. Real gung-ho types and I’m not about that. I wanna go to the range and not get ogled I just want to send led down range, you know blow up some cans. I feel more comfortable with the old Alaskan types than the younger guys there. I wouldn’t ever go with out Jake, but, we have a great time when we go to the outdoor range.I love to go to the range. Even when I can’t shoot anymore I enjoy watching Jake shoot.

Alaskan girls are a different breed. We wear our plaid shirts un-ironically, we wear Carhartts, no one really cares here if you shave. In the middle of winter when its -40 and you live in a dry cabin seriously no one gives a shit. I adore this. I love this. One thing that we do however is wear our pretty necklaces and wear perfume to the range. I’m not the only girl to do this. I have seen quite a few women at the range and we smile and wave in camaraderie and I detect notes of perfume. (My favorite is: Very Irresistible by Givenchy)

It’s something that makes me grin. No matter how rough and tumble we are we still enjoy those something very girly. I love this place.

On that note I’m going to put the scope on my rifle. Range date today.


Our fridge is white. It’s not coming with us to Florida. It’s UAF’s fridge, but, we have made it ours. There are pictures on it, notes, bills to pay, spices on top in a spindle, there are mementos of a life lived together and apart. We have food to nourish our voracious appetite for good food and entertaining. It’s the photos on the fridge, not the schedule and to do lists, that show the life lived here. As we start to close out our life here, tallying what to sell the more I realize how I cling to photos.

Photographer and writer by trade and degree, this is what I have always wanted to do. I developed a love for photography early on in life. I used up what I had in nickles and dimes to get my film developed. Because I’m old enough to have had film cameras for more of my life than digital. I love capturing moments that will be put on a fridge somewhere. Happy moments with sad context, pure happiness, graduation announcements, all of it. I love all the stories being told and not being told in any given photo.

I love looking at photos of Jake and seeing his smile radiate through his eyes, also his very perfect white, straight teeth aren’t bad to look at either. I love seeing him in his uniform, seeing the pride. I love seeing my Mom and Dad so happy after 25 years together. I love all these pictures.

In my house everything happened in the kitchen. Good news, bad news, everything. That’s why I adore the kitchen so much. That and that’s where the cookies & ice cream is! I can’t wait to great new memories this summer to fill our fridge in Florida with good Alaskan Salmon and on the outside fill it with pictures of a life well lived.

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. .

Ybor City and I

It was Ybor City that changed my mind about going home. I loved the vibe of the place. The history, everything about it. It was Clearwater and the phone call from my Dad that our truck was broke. Really broke. Expensive broke. I turned to Jake and said, “Lets never go home. Let’s stay on this beach.”

We did go home. Just FYI, couldn’t stay on the beach.

There was a lot of time spent in Ybor. I adored looking at the old cigar factories. I could hear the stories. The cobblestone streets, the amount of things to do, everything about it. It was a failing and they turned it around to into something that is thriving.

The whole trip home we talked about is moving to Florida. No Birch trees, none of my big allergies. We talked about if we had found our new home. We threw around some places. Had to be close-ish to the university, cheaper side of things, can’t afford no $300,000 place. I’m also not opposed to working on a house. I want something that I could call my own.

His parents are possibly coming up here. We might go down there. It’s an interesting upcoming summer. Smoke has been flitting into town so my summer here is up in the air. I mean that literally. I can’t handle the forest fires, so, my summer is up in the air due to air particulates.  I’d love to have one more summer here. I adore this state. I wish I could stay.

So…Florida here we come.

I should start working out.