I had a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful time in AK. It felt like home in a totally different way. Is it possible to feel as though you have two homes? It's always nice to come home to a place where you have your family and can take off that " I'm company no matter how much I feel like family " aura, but yet when you go somewhere where you feel like it all fits like a glove - the people, atmosphere, scenery... Ahh, how do you pick? =)
Now, to begin with, life in Alaska in general is largely different than in the lower 48. There are the " big cities ", to be sure, and there is always going to be that certain element of Americanization. But life is more down-home, simple, and rugged in most areas. Especially when you go to areas where there are church communities. That is how my friend and her family live that I went to visit.
They live in a church community where those that have a like-minded faith live in like a mini neighborhood of sorts. There is a piece of property that was purchased some time ago and as more families came, more houses were build. So far there are 9 or 10 houses. The church and fellowship buildings are in the center. There is a community greenhouse.
Everyone lives simply and happily. By choice there is no internet or TV. Cell phones, cameras, and the occasional laptop for watching the occasional movie are about all you'll find of " must-have " 21st century technology. There is electricity and one well for the property, as well as a pond ( the pond water is routinely pumped into a truck with a tank on the back and brought up to the greenhouse to use for watering ). People have wood stoves for heat and for heating the water heater. In this, water conservation is strictly observed, especially for hot water. Dishes are rinsed and stacked, ready for a tub of hot water to wash the days load that night. Showers are: get wet, turn off water, soap up, rinse off, done.
Most of the families have gardens and either chickens, rabbits, and/or goats. One family even has a turkey, of which I had the privilege of being given one of the eggs to try - taste like chicken ( egg )! =D I also got fresh goat milk ( yum! ) and curds from making goat cheese ( tasted like moz. cheese! ).
Serving the Lord is like breathing for the families. It is always a conscience effort to do and be pleasing to God, yet in an effortless way. I loved and enjoyed all the other things about their lifestyle, but this even more so.
We didn't go do a whole lot. We went to Hatcher's Pass two times and to Talkeetna once. Hatcher's Pass is this lovely drive out and up the hills and mountains of Alaska - stunning! Talkeetna is a touristy town with old, cute little shops etc... Other than that, it was just the pleasantness of everyday life. Water the garden, weeding, ironing, taking care of the rabbits, tidying up the house, visiting with friends...ogling the baby and all the new things she's learning...sharing stories of our lives. All that good stuff. =) The bottom line is: I WANT TO GO BACK ASAP!!! =) Except...I'd miss everyone here an awful lot! =(
I'll put up pictures soon. I'm still getting them organized. Hopefully either tonight or tomorrow I'll get some up. =)