A Port in a Storm: Alaska 2

Anchorage n. \ˈaŋ-k(ə-)rij\ 

  1. That portion of a harbor or area outside a harbor suitable for anchoring or in which ships are permitted to anchor.

  2. A charge for occupying such an area.
  3. The act of anchoring or the state of being anchored.
  4. That to which anything is fastened.
  5. A means of anchoring or making fast.
  6. Something that can be relied on:
    The yarn shop is her anchorage.

I took today’s moose pic in the parking lot of the Native American Cultural Center in Anchorage. It’s just down the street from the oncology clinic, so I thought I’d go there to give myself a little breather. I had no idea there were so many tribes here in the north country, and had never really thought about how folk would subsist in these areas. Though much of the museum was closed for winter, it was fascinating.

Female moose haunts the parking area at the cultural center

I was particularly puzzled about the title of one exhibit, about how young people were encouraged to steal. I felt sad at first and angry, “what kind of values are those to teach?” but as I read, I learned that the young were expected to “steal” the wisdom and experience of others via close interactions, group activities and so on. No goods were ever taken. This wasn’t the definition of stealing I expected, but placing it in context made all the difference in the world.

 Cancer is also a thief, and try as I might, I can’t place it in a context that makes sense. It steals wisdom, experience, and time itself. It’s so random. I hate it, even as I come to a better understanding of its processes, its chemistry. Cancer’s reach and toll staggers me.

 My days here with my brother are elastic days: some moments stretch, dragging, while others disappear in a blink. Every one is dear, but unreal. I want to remember this trip all my days, and wish I could, like a movie, replay (most of) it over and over and over and over. More than that, I want a future that has my brother in it. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and good wishes. It means so much.

Sit-n-stitch anytime at Far North Yarn Company in Anchorage, AK. 

 People here have been wonderful, and as you may imagine I found my favorite brand of sanity at an Anchorage yarn shop called Far North Yarn Company. The selection is excellent, with tons of samples made up to showcase patterns and yarns alike. What sets this shop apart, however, has to be the time and care spent with customers (like me). I was welcomed, and came to know that Far North staff are experienced, capable, and positive. While there, I completed the Loren vest in Moonshine/Moonshine Trios from Juniper Moon, and made outstanding progress on the Cameo shawl in Silky Wool from Elsbeth Lavold. I purchased Blue Sky Alpacas’ Alpaca Silk and Baby Alpaca Sport. Yummy. Yes, I do buy yarn when I visit other yarn shops. I can’t help myself.

Kay and me. Thanks, Kay for everything!

 The owner of Far North Yarn Company, Kay Smith, was particularly wonderful. A collection of her patterns is coming home with me to Kniticality; take a moment to preview them at http://www.ravelry.com/stores/kay-knits then let me know which ones you’d like to see in the shop. Kay’s patterns are also available for direct purchase online from the link above. Thank you, Kay, Annie, and all of my new friends from the Far North sit-n-stitch table. You are a blessing and may you all be, in turn, blessed.

My fave... Iditacup in Wasilla, AK

Adorable, right? And the coffee is great, too.

My third stop...traces my route to and from the oncology center. Three little coffee shacks all in a row.

In my first Alaska post, I mentioned the coffee shacks that are so common here. If you know me at all, then you know how perfectly well I am suited by this. Excellent, fresh coffee is easy no matter where or when the need strikes, and if (when) I lose or otherwise become separated from my cup, I can just get another. No worries. Hands down, my favorite brew comes from Iditacup in Wasilla (Wasilla is the Iditarod headquarters: this also explains the dog-exercising mushers.). I love every detail of the tiny Iditacup building, as well as the kindness of the servers. Above, you can see the Iditacup as well as my two other frequent stops. Go Caffeine!

We’re now about to call an end to our day. My hope for all of you is to pause and appreciate the folks in your life. Time is a precious thing.

 Until, well, you know.