The Love/Hate List

Sorry for the recent radio silence, readers. Big things have been happening here. Big, life changing, crazy amount of details things.

The time has come for us to adieu to our beloved Alaska. There are so many things about Alaska we love, and we’ve loved living here for the past three years. But now that we have little Baby Bear, the time has come to move closer to family. There are a number of family members he hasn’t met yet, and he’s nearly a year a half old.

We’re really excited to move back to the Lower 48 and be close to our family again. There are a lot of things about Alaska we’re going to miss like crazy, mostly our dear friends who have been so supportive during the roller coaster life has been these past three years. There are also things we’re not going to miss so much (Here’s looking at you, GCI, and you’re crazy overpriced internet service).

Here’s a list of what we’ve loved, and what we won’t miss, about our dear 49th state.

Love List

  • Those mountains. I never understood the line “purple mountain majesty” until I moved here and saw these beauties.
  • Moose in my yard. They’re breathtaking creatures.
  • Never hitting higher than 85 degrees on the thermometer.
  • Making snow when it’s -15 or colder by throwing boiling water in the air.
  • Walking on glaciers.
  • The Reindeer Farm, the Musk Ox farm, and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. They’re doing great work, and you get see baby animals. It’s a win-win.
  • The lack of traffic, except for certain times of year or if you’re in Anchorage at the wrong time.
  • The Aurora Borealis. Just knowing it’s there is cool.
  • The culture. Because it’s so remote and such a special place, most who live here are kind and hospitable. Homes have been opened, mouths have been fed, and stories shared. Plus, there are only so many places where you’ll see fisherman still in their gear at nice restaurants. It’s nice that some people care, and some don’t, about the fashion pretense. Everyone seems to be comfortable in their own skin, and most seem to respect that.
  • The Noisy Goose is my favorite local restaurant. Everything they make is delicious.
  • The Bear Tooth Theatre is a dining theatre, where they play amazing movies and serve great food. And the movies are only $3, so that’s nice too.
  • City Diner is a legitimate 50s themed diner, and everything they make is delicious, too.
  • Hatcher Pass for views, hiking, exploring, and aurora watching.
  • The Iditarod and the Alaska State Fair, two unique events. (I know, most places have state fairs. But this one is awesome).
  • Bush planes and hundreds of small airports and personal landing strips in people’s yards, and float planes on the lakes.
  • The dog-friendly culture
  • Hiking the Butte.
  • Pioneer Peak, which deserves a special mention for its beauty.
  • The abundance of state and national parks.
  • Long days with lots of sunshine. Except for the summers where it rains all the time.
  • Not having to worry about snakes, fleas or ticks.
The Hate List (or more appropriately, things I won’t miss at all)
  • No thunderstorms
  • It’s not warm enough in the summer to swim outside, yet when it gets as warm as it does get, there’s no AC to cool off with, so you’re just stuck being hot.
  • Getting mauled by a bear while hiking is a legitimate concern.
  • The high cost of…everything. Especially gasoline.
  • The high cost of leaving the state.
  • The absurd cost of internet, and the data caps that come with home internet usage.
  • Restaurants who don’t have locations in Alaska advertising in Alaska (looking at you, Sonic.)
  • No Krispy Kreme, Chick-Fil-A, and other major chains (at least now we have a couple Olive Gardens, but that’s a recent development)
  • The time differences that companies don’t understand, so they call you at 4 a.m. because it’s 8 a.m. on the East Coast.
  • Glacial dust causing allergies.
  • Crazy high wind storms
  • Moose in my yard. Yes, that’s a positive and a negative. After my pups almost getting stomped, I’m more nervous about moose than I would like.
  • “Promotions not available in all territories”
  • “When are you coming to the States?” Alaska IS a state!
  • Reality TV’s portrayal of Alaskans (though I think that’s inescapable.)
  • Lots of daylight in the summer. I love the long days, but the bright nights can be disruptive to sleep and routines. Sometimes it gets to be 11 p.m. or midnight, but it’s so bright outside you think it’s 8 p.m.! Plus, fireworks and star watching are more fun when it’s darker out. There are no constellation viewing sessions in the summer in Alaska.
  • Giant mosquitoes.
  • There aren’t fireflies or crickets here, the only acceptable bugs (other than butterflies, but we have those). Crickets chirping and fireflies dancing are part of my summer rhythm, and I’ve missed them dearly.
There’s obviously a lot we’ll miss, and a lot we’re looking forward to. But the number one thing we’ll miss is our friends. We have an amazing friend base here, and a wonderful church. I hope God sends us to another amazing church, but we’ll be hard-pressed to find one as amazing as Wasilla Christian Church. We have friends who stepped up when my dad died and helped in every possible way, from staying with our dogs so I wouldn’t have to worry to bringing us meals to help us adjust to life without him. Then when our little Baby Bear arrived, those same friends knit him shoes, hats and made clothes for him; brought us more meals; and even went out of their way to bring us gas drops to see if that would help him be less fussy. We’ve met the most amazing people here, and have made lifelong friends. It will be heart breaking to be far away from them, as they are our Alaska family. But planes fly and boats chug along, and we know we’ll see them again. 
To all of our friends here, I can’t thank you enough. You’ve made living here the amazing experience it was. You took us fishing, shared your homes and meals, and most importantly, shared yourselves. We are so grateful to have had the blessing of knowing you, and we look forward to a lifetime of friendship with you.
If there’s more radio silence coming up, it’s because we’re moving two weeks from today and we have a LOT to do! Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing our new adventures with you, as well.

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