Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reflections on Endings

Two days at sea ended our cruise...one to Glacier Bay and the other to Prince William Sound.  We have had marvelous weather...sunny, warm for Alaska to cool and finally cold near the glaciers.  We have not had the textbook mists, rain, clouds and cold until we got to Whittier.  Then, Saturday the 31, as we were disembarking, we had what I call "typical Alaska weather."  The clouds hung low on the green of Alaska's mountains, the water and sky were gray.  A fine mist made slickers a necessity and the cool reminded us that Arizona was a flight away.  I tried to keep that moment in my mind, knowing that within a few hours we would be back to the reality of Arizona summer and 105.  It was a picture-perfect Alaskan image.  I loved visiting Alaska which has solidified my belief that the Creator did a bang-up job.  He was all about diversity, differences that make you appreciate the whole.  Still cannot get over the green and the thickness of the forests, how they come right down to the water's edge with relatively little shore.  From our flight in Ketchikam, I take back the image of mirrors of water covering the land; every little indentation allowing water to pool and reflect sunlight.  Mirrors against the darkness of the rocks and denseness of the forests...an unbelievable image that I can hardly capture with camera or words.

Since our flight was a red-eye out of Anchorage (1.5 hours away from Whittier) we rented a car and explored the outskirts of Anchorage.  Went to a little town called_____________ (will fill in the blank when I get out my map) that reminded me of Greer.  The center of town had reconverted 1930's buildings that now housed ice cream shops, restaurants and an old general store.  People walk there...from their cabins to the center to sit on benches to chat and visit.  Time stands still except for the vacationeers and tourists, like us, dashing in and out to get a glimpse of what use to be.  Cabins are close but because of the dense forest, you are hard-pressed to see them.  Mosquitoes happily dine on unsuspecting guests...our only interaction with these bugs on the whole trip.

Then dashing back to the airport and back in cell range to get a phone call from Freedom Inn...Granddad has fallen; paramedics called and he is on his way to Good Sam hospital...Our peaceful vacation ends in eruptions of concerns for getting home...Reality sets in and our ending becomes yet another beginning.  Alaska recedes and Phoenix looms...


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