It was so thrilling the day my car arrived in Anchorage. We got it off the barge and I drove home while my husband went back to work. I unloaded a lot of things and thankfully my son got home from school shortly after I got back from the docks. Aron could help me unload the heavy stuff. I had gone shopping in Washington before I left there and got things like a coffee pot, ironing board, extra shampoo and conditioner, cooking utensils and more pots and pans. It was great!! As I unpacked everything there was a sense of our apartment becoming a home!! We had gone to the store and stocked up on groceries but now I had things that we take for granted….like a cutting board, real silverware, a silverware tray, and cup towels. I was able to go about my chores with much more ease.
I have never been an avid cook. The kitchen is not my favorite place. Add to that fact, a lack of things that make it easier and you have one unhappy homemaker. I was going to make chicken and dumplings for dinner…a meal that takes about 4 hours to prepare from scratch. My family loves it, otherwise I wouldn’t go to that much trouble. It was such a cozy feeling with a nice fire crackling in the fireplace and the aroma of dinner cooking on the stove. My son kept wandering out and asking when dinner would be ready. I was reading a book I picked up at Walmart about life in Alaska. My passion for reading was taking a turn. I was absolutely hungry for stories about Alaska. While I read, I cooked too. That is my idea of multi-tasking….lol.
For the first time in 18 1/2 years of marriage, I didn’t have a washer and dryer. I had to use the laundromat. BUT, at least since my car arrived, I had a laundry basket and didn’t have to use garbage bags to cart the clothes to and from the laundromat. So many things we take for granted in the lower 48 are luxury items here. Alaska makes nothing so everything is imported. Hence, everything is much more expensive.
Phil was beginning to realize and appreciate all the things I do as a homemaker. I think this may be a trap that many couples fall into. I know I have not fully appreciated how handy my husband is and have taken for granted the things he does around the house that make my life easier….like changing a light bulb, or splitting wood and making a fire.
Alaska was bringing us closer together as a family. In Texas, we had a house with all the bells and whistles. One would have thought that we lived the “life” there. Looking back, I can see where having the house and cars and all the perks actually came between us and we didn’t relate to one another any more. Aron was always on his computer in his room at the front of the house, while Phil was on his computer in the office and I was in the den watching TV or in the kitchen cooking. Now in a small apartment we were forced to “get along”. Here in Alaska, Aron might be playing his XBox and have the TVoccupied. He would have his headphones on but would be talking through his mike to his team mates online. I would have my headphones on and watching a movie on the computer or reading a book. Phil was on his computer as well, but we were all in the same room. Sooner or later we started talking and interacting and …. voila, we were becoming a family again.
Having an ironing board was thrilling. Did I just say that??!! And indeed it was. Prior to my car arriving with all the goodies we were ironing clothes on a towel on the floor. Now we could stand up and not break our backs just to have clothes wrinkle free.
I brought the DVD player and plenty of movies as well. Most evenings while we ate, we watched a movie. We found ourselves gathering around the fireplace and talking about our days. Aron was much more social in Alaska as well. For some reason in Texas, he just didn’t go out like he does in Alaska. It was a change that I welcomed and saw as healthier for Aron. The last frontier was rapidly becoming the back drop to our “rising out of the ashes like a phoenix”. Everyone was a lot happier once we were reunited and had some creature comforts. Now, I have a new outlook on just exactly what is necessary and what is not.I was discovering the true meaning of Christmas in November. I don’t think I’ll ever look at Christmas the same way again. Alaska gives you a spirituality that I hadn’t experienced before and now there was no turning back.