and almost out of control. I am sure you will have no doubt about the state of my chaotic head if you get through this whole thing.
Things are happening so fast with this move. We have found a place to live, in Anchorage. It will be so strange to be back in Alaska, and not back in the Valley. So many of our friends are in Wasilla and Palmer. Our Alaska church home is there as well. An hour isn’t a long drive, but it isn’t just down the street either.
The good news is, we have another group of friends that live on the Kenai pennisula, and now we will be an hour closer to them. 3 hours vs 4 hours makes a difference when hauling 3 kids. And there is a Covenant church in Anchorage, not far from the home will we be renting.
I am confident that if our friendships have survived(in one form or another) the last 6 years, communicating via email, phone calls and the occasional letter (Thank you Margie, for your written word, I fear I have lost the art. So I have saved each one, to read again and again), then these friendships can withstand a little bit of a drive.
And my car gets great gas mileage.
Our decision to move in Anchorage was based on many factors.
After living in the suburbs of Minneapolis, we both got really tired of the car-culture. The time and money spent running to and fro, because NOTHING was close enough to walk to, took it’s toll on all of us. It was harder to establish friendships and even cordial relationships with the neighbors because everyone was always in the car, hitting the garage door opener, and slipping into their houses with a glance and a wave. Then it was off again, in the car, across town to soccer practice, or hockey, or whatever. I know of one family that put nearly 1000 miles a week on their car, just hustling to activities. No way. Not for me.
We have come to love living near the city center. Walking to and fro. The walk to the grocery store and back makes me really assess what I need to buy, after all, if I walkt there, I have to carry it back. The easy access of the libraries and museums. The fact that I start my car 3 times a week, not several times a day. I know Anchorage will be different than Madison, and by sheer virtue of weather, we will probably drive more than we do here, but less than if we had moved to Eagle River or Chugiak etc.
Living in the Valley would have been great, perhaps we could have found a place with a little acreage, a big yard for the kids, and the dog. Maybe we could have gotten a goat or some chickens. That would have been fun. But… we agreed that we would like to see Dave once in a while, and since he will be both on the slope some and in the office in Anchorage, and since(and truly the deciding factor) he is a bit(!) of a workaholic. We came to the conclusion that the extra 2 hours a day he would spend on the road commuting were more important to our family than a bigger house with more land.
After living in a 640 square foot, 2bedroom apartment for nearly 2 years while here in Madison, 1400 sq ft and a nice backyard will feel great. (we have been in our little house here 1200 sq ft since January, so the apartment is still fresh in our minds). And just 1.5 miles from Dave’s office. Perfect.
Another factor in the whole Anchorage decision was, if we lived near downtown, we could get by with 1 car. With Dave home just 1/2 the time it seems silly to purchase another car. The one we have runs well, is paid for, doesn’t even look too bad.(my dear Alaska friends, this car is only 12 years old, can you believe it?).
5 years of working full time, while trying my hardest to mother full time, has certainly taught me the value of simplicity. I want my life to be as simple as possible, so I can focus on those things that matter: family, friends, faith.
So that is the story. Our life in Alaska this time will be very different than it was 6 years ago. I suppose that is only right. We are different than when we left. We have added our daughter to the mix, lost a dog to old age, grown in our faith, etc.
One thing has not changed. We treasure our friends and family in Alaska, and are so excited to see you all again. And when you make the drive to the “city”, you will have a place to stop and let the kids run(or drop them off while you go to Costco), share a cup of coffee/tea.