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Wednesday, May 2nd - May Flowers

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose
I would always greet it in a garden.

~ Ruth Stout ~

Happy May to all! I love the month of May. I love the promise of spring that it brings to Alaska. May is the month when my thoughts turn to flowers and gardens, camping and hiking, and photographing colors and textures.

LadybugWhite DaisyI celebrated the first day of May with a trip to Plant Kingdom - a nursery on Farmers Loop Rd. Plant Kingdom is my favorite greenhouse to visit. While there are others in town, I just love the way Plant Kingdom is laid out - with rows and rows of colorful flowers, many hanging baskets, a small section of garden accessories, and friendly staff. One greenhouse is full of flowers. Another greenhouse has herbs as well as flowers. There are shrubs and ornamental trees, and vegetable plants too. It's a real treat for all the senses! The best part of all? The ladybugs who live there too!

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Sunday, May 6th - Walking, walking, walking

Our true home is in the present moment. To live in the present
moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The
miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment…
- Thich Nhat Hanh -

Another week has comes to an end. I feel like time is moving so quickly now that the weather has warmed. Our days are growing long again (more than 20 hours of daylight now!), and I find myself on the move from very early in the morning until late in the evening.

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Friday, May 11th - Vacation Planning

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do
than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain -

I like to create travel brochures and mail them out to my friends & family before they come to visit me. I used to do the same thing when I lived in FL, and they were always a big hit (and saved in photo albums, scrapbooks, etc.) I spent a couple of hours making my friend Donna's brochure.

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Monday, May 14th - Mothers Day in Denali National Park

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the fine women who touch a child's life with love!

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Thursday, May 17th - The Best is Yet to Come

Steve picked up his final paperwork yesterday. He said he felt a little emotional while waiting for the clerk to prepare the documents. He was sitting alone, looking around him, watching soldiers pass by, and it hit him that his army career is really over. While he's not second-guessing his choice to retire, he's finding it hard to grasp that that part of his life is done. I wish I could say or do something to make him feel more joyous, but I think he's got to work through all these feelings on his own. Soldiering truly was a way of life for him (and me). I'm going to miss seeing him in uniform.

I made reservations for dinner at Pike's Waterfront Lodge to celebrate. We both enjoyed our meal immensely, and talked a lot about our upcoming trips. When we came home, we enjoyed champagne and toasted our future. We officially start the next chapter of our life now.

"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today."
William Allen White ~

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
Eleanor Roosevelt ~

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Thursday, May 24th - 2nd Day in Ninilchik - What a trip!

This is the first campground that we've stayed at with functioning WiFi. The other two advertised that they have it, but it wasn't working. Steve and I wondered if the lack of service was more due to the fact that the season hasn't officially started yet (not until Memorial Day weekend), and the campgrounds were still working out the kinks.

I'll try to sum up the past few days as best as possible. I have plenty of photos to share with you too.

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Sunday, May 27th - Trip (continued)

Steve's fishing trip was another wonderful success. This time, he was the only one to catch a king salmon, and it was a good size one (33lbs). He also caught two halibut (each about 20lbs). The biggest halibut was caught by a man visiting from California, and topped the scales at 60lbs. It took him about 20 minutes to get it into the boat.

The weather was worse for this trip. With cloudy skies and intermittent rain, Steve said he was glad to be wearing his long underwear. Hard to believe that long underwear is warranted at the end of May, but I know he's glad he packed them.

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Wednesday, May 30th - Busy Summer Ahead

The night before last, I purchased airline tickets to bring all my kids to Alaska for a visit! I am so excited! Chris came for a visit in the summer of 2004, but Brandon and my daughter-in-love Becky have never been here. They'll be arriving on July 20th and staying until the 28th.

Things have been fairly low-key around here since we got back from our vacation. We both just wanted to spend the week resting in preparation for our return trip next week. I still have to scrub down the inside of the camper. It's a mess from traipsing in and out of it in the rainy weather last week. It looks like we could have much of the same weather this upcoming week. I hope not. If it's too rainy or cloudy, we won't be able to do the trip to Katmai to see the bears.

We're staying in the same campgrounds we stayed in last week, so I expect to have issues with lack of internet access while we're away.

I wanted to share a funny story with you before ending this entry: (I wrote this yesterday)

"Going to the woods is going home." - John Muir (1838-1914)

... Unless you get lost.

I mentioned in my last entry that we came home to fully leafed trees around our house. Not only are the trees thick with green leaves, but the forest floor is now full of brambles, mushrooms, mosses, wild grasses and wildflowers. And of course dead logs and rotting branches.

When we moved into this house at the end of October, the trees were bare. It was easy to find our way to the FAA communication tower adjacent to our property. We could see our house through the trees, once we got near it.

This afternoon, the sunshine, invited me to go off into the woods in search of moose and wildflowers. Our wooded area is only about 3/4 acre, but it butts up against several more acres of woods. I took Sedona with me.

I pushed my way between trees, and under low hanging branches, and over deadfall until I came upon the game trail that the moose follow. Several piles of moose nuggets dotted the trail. I followed the trail to the clearing where the FAA tower is. Sedona and I played for a little while before heading back through the woods to the house. I knew the general direction of our yard. I followed the moose trail and then cut back into the trees where I thought the direction to my backyard was. The leaves and brush are so thick now I couldn't see the clearing of our backyard even after walking for a few minutes.

I wasn't scared; I could have found my way home the 'long way' by going back to the tower and then taking the road behind it home.

Finally, after what seemed forever, I saw the clearing at the rear of my yard. I trudged through the back door and Steve asked me where I had been. I told him I was lost in the woods.

He told me he's going to go out there tomorrow with me and tie orange ribbons to the trees so I can find my way home.

I don't think I'm ready for my merit badge in navigation yet.

I don't know if I'll have an opportunity to update this journal again before we leave for Homer early next week. Then again, I do want to go out and take photos of some of the pretty wildflowers I found in the woods, and which are blooming along the roads now. If I do go on a wildflower hunt with my camera, I'll try to make an entry sharing the photos.

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©2007 Susan L Stevenson