I Survived my Alaska Adventure

Alaskan Adventure 2014 - Page 001Our Alaska Adventure is behind us and we did survive despite blowing my knee out the first day of our Land Tour to Denali.  I’ll delve into that a bit later.

For now I just wanted to pop in and admit that I failed miserably at my goal to write about the trip as we went.  The scenery was just too breathtaking to be in front of a tablet screen instead of taking in the beauty around me.  It was certainly a journey of a lifetime.  And the bonus of visiting our granddaughter in Anchorage was certainly worth the extra expense.  As we rendezvoused with her we  learned our way around Anchorage and the surrounding area.  Now when my husband tunes in to the Alaskan State Troopers, we know exactly where they are talking about.  It makes the show more interesting for me anyway. 

We’ll be sorting through the 4000+ pictures taken and I’ll be writing about our adventures as we sort.  Photos are great memory keepers, but I realize the importance of documenting with words and I’m looking forward to reliving our experiences. 






2014 YSGD Samples - Page 018Prepping for our trip to Alaska that is rapidly approaching, my sweet husband came home one night with a huge grin on his face and asked me to guess what he bought. Well now, that could be anything–something for the garden, something for his trains (HO that is)? After a few left field ideas he aimed his iPhone at me and asked if I knew what the picture was. I’m not blind or stupid. “It’s a pair of bikes!”
He thought it would be a great idea to start riding bikes so we could rent them in Alaska. Great idea–except he forgets that I have some physical disabilities and balance issues. I scolded him about buying me a bike without trying it to see if it fit. I wanted an old fashioned wide tire and wide seat bike. He assured me it was both.
After adjusting my seat to the lowest possible setting, I was still unable to touch the ground. By holding onto the front porch railing, I was finally able to mount the bike and take off. Things were going great–I was weaving all over the road because I felt like I was leaning to my right, (the road has a crown) but I continued. We reached the end of our road and he stopped to let cars pass. I had to stop too. So far, so good.
Now, I had to figure out how to take off again. With my feet on the ground the bike was at about a 60 degree angle–not good. But I’m determined–or perhaps stubborn and stupid! I pushed off and overcompensated for the bike leaning to the left and went over right on over. I knew I was going down and put my foot out to break the fall , but down I went right in the middle of the oil bleeding road. Now I had to figure out how to get up off my butt without anything for leverage. My new bionic knee works pretty good, but that right one is useless. Hubby urged me to just pull myself up on the bike and he would steady it. I tried. But while the bike remained upright it also rolled forward and down I went again on my right knee with nothing to break that fall. That one about did me in. I sat there in the middle of the road for what seemed like an eternity strategizing how I would get up.
I convinced Dennis he would have to park the bikes and pull me up. By the time I finally got up on my feet again, the neighbors were coming down the road. The sweet gal next door even drove down in her SUV to give me a ride back, but I needed to walk it out. So I hobbled alongside my bike back home. By then the shock was starting to wear off and I was beginning to feel the throbbing and wish I had just accepted the ride and let Dennis figure out how to get both bikes back home.
Those ice packs I got with my new knee were a blessing and I used them for the next few days. But I’ve traded my bike for the stationary bike at the gym, and I think we’ll be looking for a different mode of transportation to explore Alaska.

Grandma’s Crossword Puzzles




The genealogist in me gets extremely excited when I make a discovery about an ancestor.  The writer in me drives me to write a story about what I found.  The scrapbooker in me thinks in terms of how the pages will appear in my book.  Do you have a story in you about someone you’ve loved?  Here is what I wrote:

Grandma loved her crossword puzzles. I can see her back on the farm at the kitchen table working a puzzle, or in her green chair while Grandpa watched TV. After Grandpa was gone she would sit in her apartment working the crossword puzzles in the paper or in the many books she would pick up at the grocery store. She filled every single space. Even when she was in the nursing home and was losing her sight due to Macular Degeneration, she would sit in her recliner and work the large print crossword puzzles that we’d bring her as she could no longer read the ones in the paper. It was so sad watching her vision melt away to where she could no longer enjoy the things she loved.

She wanted me to have Aunt Dee’s old secretary desk that had been given to her by Passavant Hospital when she was Superintendent. So, when Grandma went in to a nursing home, I brought the desk home. In it I found her bibles, a historical book IN…Jacksonville, Illinois, and her Crossword Puzzle Dictionary. It was held together with several layers of gray duct tape, the spine was broken and pages were loose. Every blank fly sheet was filled with words not in the dictionary that she had found from other sources and were in many crosswords. On the inside front cover she had written a poem.


I’ll be so glad the small boy said when I can be a man.

Drive the tractor, milk the cows

And do things Daddy can.

His Daddy looked out the window where his own father sat in the shade

I wish I was old enough to retire

The old folks have it made.

Grandfather stood by the garden gate

Leaned heavily upon his cane

Wishing he could recall the years

And be a boy again.


I don’t honestly know if this is a poem she wrote or if it was just a favorite poem.  I’ve searched the internet for something similar and found nothing, and I’ve found other poems and stories that she had written, so I choose to believe that she wrote this one.