Friday, October 26, 2012


For years I have claimed not to like surprises. In fact, my family has a rule that we’re supposed to plan our spontaneity.

We can handle adventures. We just want to know about them before hand—no surprises, please.

Surprises mean something has gone wrong. The car makes strange noises. The faucet handle no longer turns the water off. The laptop won’t talk to the printer when I absolutely must print a couple dozen pages of information before midnight so that I can head off by 7:30 next morning.

Sometimes, I admit, surprises do mean good things—but they so often happen in a stressful way. Good news, the lodge has more guests coming; bad news, we have to find space for fourteen extra guests and set two more tables for dinner—with only an hour before they arrive.

Surprises mean learning that I get to tutor again this year with a homeschool co-op. Junior-high last year; 5th-6th graders this year? No big deal. (Actually, yay!)

Oh, wait, make that 3rd-4th graders. (Yikes!)

Recently, though, my views have been changing.

I’ve learned to cope. I can handle the idea of teaching 8 and 9 and 10 year-old students—after hitting momentary panic and calling my mom, of course. But I can handle it.

It’s actually fun.

I’ve only taught once so far, but they like me so far. I like them too, and we get to be goofy. We get to sing preposition songs, memorize history timelines, practice identifying cell parts—and even, I’ve been told, play with a crawdad and cut up owl pellets. We’ll have lots of surprises there, I’m sure. And two of my students this year are younger siblings of two of my students last year.

Have I mentioned my ability to handle surprises? It’s growing by leaps and bounds.

Last week, a friend and I were thinking about visiting a particular library. At the last minute, we scratched that and went to a different library instead. It was entirely spontaneous, I promise—we even surprised a couple of the people we met there.

Surprises can require effort and change, yes. But surprises can, after all, mean fun and excitement.

(It’s also a nice surprise to find a topic for yet another blog post after procrastinating for two days.)


Hurrah for surprises!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home Again

Today I was reminded that I haven’t posted in a while.

That is correct, and it is also correct to say that I have much to write about. The flight to Anchorage, time with friends, the trip home, the trees...

I've posted one of the photos from last week.

But now I’m home again after five months away, and the week has been busy.

Then again, the week has been busy, and I expect that to continue for a while longer. Perhaps indefinitely, since such is life. Still, I’ll try to catch up on thoughts and stories—soon.

Have a great week!



All summer went by, and I had to go to town to see a moose—a cow with twin calves. We weren't actually in Anchorage, but we were driving through a small town, when someone spotted the moose grazing on a church lawn.

So, we stopped, took photos, and got a lesson on moose calls.

They sound like cows, apparently.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Seeing Lights

That fox is still hanging around the lodge…

A couple nights ago, shortly after midnight, I went upstairs to retrieve my camera. The night was still and very bright—I was carrying my flashlight, but I could see well enough without it.

As I came out again and started down the steps, however, I heard a rustling behind me, right under the porch. I looked around and switched my flashlight on, wondering if there were any shadows big enough for a bear.

There it was—a small red shadow darting out from under the porch.

Oh well, no need to worry too much. A fox is not a bear.

Thinking the fox would run off, I went down the steps and stopped in front of the lodge for a moment, but the rustling followed me down.

After a moment, still hoping the fox was headed back toward the porch, I started down the hill to the lawn by the cabins. Again the fox followed me. When I reached the bottom of the path, the fox was less than ten feet behind me.

This fox has a white tip on its tail. On a bright night like that, it looked rather like the fox is carrying a beacon behind it, even with my flashlight on.

Bear or not, the thing was getting just a little creepy. I stopped and waited. The fox stopped and waited too, watching me. So, I took a step toward him and told him to shoo.

To my relief, he bounced off into the shadows.

I waited to see that he had really gone. Then, having shaken the pursuit for a moment at least, I headed across the lawn toward the runway. As I reached it, I could see the four other people I was looking for—dark shadows in the gray dusk.

I joined them, and we hung out there for about half-an-hour. Then, reluctantly, we turned and went the long way around, past the hanger to the lodge.

As we came up the road, guess who we saw running in front of us again…

Mr. Fox!

Still, I’m not too worried yet, because I was out again last night—hanging out on the dock in front of the church this time—and I didn’t see him once, even though I was watching for him.

So why, you may ask, was I outside after midnight the past two nights—with my camera?

It’s simple.

And spectacular.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Foxy Fellow

Guess who came by today to say hi...

He must have been looking for something special, because he came by us a couple times, and once he walked past less than ten feet from the four of us.

I have now added another item to my list of odd and irrelevant facts known: rabbits bounce when they run, and so do foxes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PTA's Believe It Or Not 4.0

Over the summer, I’ve been noting strange signs, strange items scattered around town. It’s still difficult to draw a conclusion, but the evidence suggests that there is more to this town than meets the eye.
It might be aliens.

In fact, some of the contraptions look rather like alien constructions. Oddly-shaped bodies, long necks, beady eyes?

Check, check, and check.

You had better watch out for this one, because it certainly is watching you.

I've also discovered headless monsters, and others of a different sort entirely.


Those are perhaps the hardest to explain. Any guesses?


What, for example, is this thing? It looks like a rusty heap of scrap metal, but surely it is something more...something odd, mysterious, mystifying, and, well, mysterious.


And who exactly, may I ask, left this laying around? According to the label, it's a telephone box, but can you really be sure? Especially when it's just sitting out in the woods like this? I wonder which phone line it uses.

The invasion seems friendly for the most part, with only a few suspicious-looking items.

Not to worry, though. I've found the prototype for the original Millennium Falcon.

It might be a bit rusty, and in need of repair, but no worse than any other bucket of bolts you might find out here. I'm sure someone can fix it up, if the hyperdrive isn't too badly damaged.

Where do they all come from you ask? Through the portal of course…

So, aliens or not, I've decided that it's time to head home. Less than two weeks now!