Something told us that now was as good a time as ever to use our Frequent Flyer Miles with Alaska Airline so we invested a chunk of them in the purchase of two one-way, first class tickets to Anchorage. Flying first class ain't what it used to be, but it sure beats making that long trip crammed into coach!
September 4 - John McCain had just announced his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate and the flight attendants all had an opinion that just wouldn't keep. They were all atwitter! We arrived at Anchorage airport late that evening and Kay (bless her heart) came into town to pick us up. We enjoyed our visit with her on the way to Palmer.
Brian, the new owner of our old house, had insisted that we stay with him. So, there we were sleeping in our old bed, fixing breakfast in our old kitchen and looking out at our old gardens. It occured to me that we hadn't stayed away long enough for anything to change. Brian was off working during most of our visit so it was almost like old times.
September 5 - We took everything out of the shed, sorted, and packed boxes.
September 6 - We spent most of the day with Donna. The memorial service for John was held that afternoon in the backyard of the lovely home they shared so many years. Against a backdrop of mountains, we took turns on that cool Alaskan afternoon trying to express what John had meant to each of us. In addition to all those who were there in person, Donna had a rather impressive stack of letters and notes from people who could not be there.
There was an opportunity for everyone to visit and share stories about John, a tree planting and the spreading of ashes, the ritual eating/drinking opportunity, and more visiting and sharing.
John, you are missed. It's hard to believe that it was a year ago today that you left us.
Donna, we think of you every day and wish for you only good things!
September 7 - More sorting. More packing. Yuck! We had a nice visit with Jesse in the afternoon. He had been temporarily assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage and was staying with his mom for a few weeks. He was so busy that this was the only time we had to see him.
September 8- We took the blue jeep into the shop for a once-over before starting down the Alaska Highway. Coffee with Kathleen while we waited. Back to the house for a final loading of the car. Dinner with Donna.
September 9 - No gory details about any pain involved in driving away this time. It was much easier. The decision had been made. We were ready. I made some pictures of my favorite late bloomers just before we left.
Not to worry! We'll be back!