Sunday, June 27, 2010

Still here

It’s Sunday morning. I slept in until 8. That felt great. I’ve been so busy learning the ropes. Basically each work day is about 13 hours long. I have to be across town for breakfast (we’re sharing cars, so there’s not much choice) at 7:30. The day ends at 8:30 on most nights, but Monday and Tuesday are flexible (sort of, because we’re sharing cars).
Yesterday I got a crash course in being an Alaska tour guide. I know you’re all hating me at this point, and well you should. We took four van-loads of teams to Portage Valley to play in the snow, look for wildlife, take a boat ride for close-ups of glaciers, you know, the things Floridians dream about in the summer. It was drizzly and pretty cold all day but no one seemed to care. Actually, I can’t remember myself whining even once.
The snow-capped mountains are spectacular. I’m sure I won’t be able to capture the majestic quality on my little camera, though I’ll try. When I tried to upload my pictures last night to my computer, it wouldn’t work for some reason. Maybe God is trying to give me a message. Stop worrying about the pictures and just breath it all in. I’ll be going back to Portage soon and I hope the tourist in me will succumb to the deeper side, and the experience will be new with every visit.
After the hiking, boating and sightseeing, I came “home”, cleaned myself up and went out to dinner with Scott Van Sant. Scott is a marine biologist friend from UGA days. We went to University Church together. He lives and works in Kodiak and just happened to be passing through Anchorage this weekend after weeks at sea. And I just happened to be off duty last night. He took me to one of the best restaurants in Anchorage for fresh halibut and salmon followed by chocolate decadence (this is another place where you get to hate me). I loved seeing him again and hearing his story. I think it’s been about 25 years since I’d seen him.
Lest you think all is perfect with me, there are some challenges. For one thing, I’m going through internet withdrawal, big time. I’m writing this in Word to paste later when I get back to the church (headquarters). But when I’m there I’m on duty so there’s very little time for fb or email and no time at all for Google (and I really need to know why my pictures wouldn’t upload). I feel disconnected from all of you who have been my lifeline the last four years. I pray that you will continue following me through this blog and know that I’m missing you, thinking about you and am very sorry that I can’t stay in personal touch.
There’s also a sort of independence withdrawal. I’m sharing a bathroom, sharing cars, can’t come and go as I want, (don’t know my way around town anyway), can’t have my music blaring as I dress. I think as the days wear on and I get more comfortable with these routines, I’ll feel much better. When I spent two weeks at a camp in Ecuador years ago, I didn’t feel this way. Maybe it’s because it was so short term, or maybe aging has made me more set in my ways, less adventurous and less flexible. A scripture passage that has really encouraged me in recent years is at the beginning of Psalm 103. “God……satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. “ Hey, I saw an eagle yesterday. But this renewing business might be as grueling as climbing an Alaska mountain.

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