This past Monday, we woke with Oldest Son at 5:50 a.m., drove him to the airport where he flew from Bozeman to SLC, then caught a 5-hour flight to Anchorage, AK. In Anchorage he took a cab to an airline charter, where a small plane flew him two hours west to a tiny Inuit village called Sleetmute. From there he met a 2-person Cub and flew to the fishing/hunting lodge where he’ll be working for the summer — a place so remote that the nearest road is around 200 miles away. Then he called me on the lodge’s landline (no cell coverage there) to tell me he’d arrived. We were just sitting down to dinner.
Is it just me, or is it mind-blowing that one can get so far away from home by dinnertime?
Anyway, I would like to segue to reporting that this past month has left me bone-tired. (Too tired to write clever things here today that I will read over before posting and think: Why, how amusing! How brilliant and well said!) Fatigue is not something I admit to easily; it usually takes a hot, oozy coldsore to call bullshit on my assurance that I’ve got everything handled.
That’s what I woke up to the morning after Oldest Son left, a cold sore flashing it’s red, crusty message at me in the mirror: You’re stressed; you need to rest and bring your life down a notch, Missy!
Then I dragged my carcass to work and fantasized about naps.
This past month has been a whirlwind of swarming bees, planting gardens, graduation party planning, end-of-school year events, cooking for two households while Shawn finished his last weeks of teaching, work, and getting Oldest Son ready to leave for four months. (But if you stop by our house to say Hi, don’t use our bathroom. Cleaning that particular room apparently wasn’t on anyone’s list this past month.)
Also, that last post about trying not to micro-manage and hover over my boys? People. We — meaning all three of us parents on this one — micro-managed the SHIT out of Oldest Son during the days before he left. But what was I supposed to do? Let him go carting off to Nowhere, Alaska, without sunscreen? Because we all know he totally would have done that.
Anyway, here’s my first message from him, as they somehow have Internet service in Nowhere:
Well, today I cut firewood for about 5 hours and shoveled dirt for 2 in the rain the whole time. I'm already sore and I can’t imagine how bad it'll be in the morning. We eat giant meals up here which is good with all the calories we burn, and they are really good meals, although I found a whole bunch of worms in my halibut tonight which scared the shit out of me. Everything up here is really rustic, but I'm loving it. It reminds me of the cabin in Minnesota but wilder. The bugs aren't as bad as I thought they'd be. They keep telling me stories of wolves, bears, moose and wolverines right next to the lodge, pretty cool.
Can you hear me exhaling? Shawn is home for the summer, Oldest Son is in Alaska, and I’m ready to slow down a little and inhale some summertime goodness.
END NOTE: I Mapquested directions from Bozeman to Sleetmute, and they came up with a map, but no directions, just this reply:
We had trouble getting your directions.
We can't find a route from Bozeman, MT to Sleetmute, AK.
At least Oldest Son now knows the way there and back. Incidentally, it is 2,625 miles between Bozeman and Anchorage.
In case you were wondering.