Our July is usually so busy I want to run away when I get to the end of it.
I’m totally overwhelmed, drained of energy, and ready to up and move to a place where there are no farm animals, no fishermen, no motor homes, and no boats.
But every July, on the 27th, I remember…
I chose this place!
It was nineteen years ago today that I rolled into this amazing place that became my new home.
It had been a boyhood dream of my husband’s to move here after high school with his best friend, but meeting me changed all of that.
When, years into our relationship, he told me of his past plans, I chastised him for not telling me sooner and told him I would’ve gone with him.
Thus began the planning and the saving and the letter writing with his friend, who’d long since settled in the land the two of them had talked of.
And when his friend came back for a visit and his folks were planning a haul of goods up the AlCan, we took our dreams and we hit our knees and we asked if now, right now might be the time.
Those good folks were thrilled to have another driver and they packed their goods and they packed my husband and I sent our valuables in the valuable trunk he’d built on our first Christmas. His Daddy shook his hand and told him he always had a home to come back to and we all stood and waved goodbye as the tooley fog lifted off the cornfield that June morning.
I talked to him every night, but one afternoon he called in the middle of the day and a call at work meant something big and the big thing was a job and a job was the go ahead for me to give up the steady paycheck that tied us to somewhere secure.
I hung up the phone and went to my boss and gave her my two weeks’ notice and that night I started selling all that was left of our stuff.
I was Alaska bound. Even though he was already there, WE were officially Alaska bound.
On a humid July morning, my mom and I rolled out of the only state I’d ever lived in with my big brown dog and my little tranquilized cat and all I owned on the top of my red four-door sedan.
We rolled into Alaska six days later, and on the night of the 27th, when I’d made it to our new town and stopped at the first gas station I found for a pack of cigarettes and a Diet Coke, I knew I was home. I knew I would never want to leave this place.
And I haven’t.
Oh we’ve flown out a few times for family trips and the occasional vacation, but this place is a place that holds a person. When we think of how much easier it’d be in the Lower 48, how much more affordable it is in other places, how many more people there are for our kids to know…
…we come back to the fact that we’d have to leave Alaska.
I lost the cigarettes and my ability to drive in big cities and freeways.
But I found the Lord.
We came up not knowing one another that well.
But we wrestled our way into being best friends.
The two of us didn’t have any furniture.
But now we have a house full of it because we have all these kids.
We only knew one family and held them close.
But now we know many families who hold US close.
Not long at all.
And when I look at my calendar and the crazy amount of writing on all the squares this month, my eyes fall to today’s and I remember that I really don’t want to run away. I already did that nineteen years ago and every day since…