I'm off on a much-needed VACATION: two weeks in Alaska with my sister and my nephews and NO COMPUTER !!!
I do NOT promise to find an internet cafe and check in.
I do NOT promise to read any poetry.
I do NOT promise to write any poetry.
I do NOT promise to look up any poetry.
I don't even promise to miss you guys, but I know I'll be thrilled to "see" you again when I get back.
Don't forget your umbrella.
And pepper-spray (bears)
I've heard, that when you talk, you need to keep your teeth firmly clenched to stop the mosquitos from feeding on your tonsils, can't quite remember who told me that. Anyway, have fun.
There is no WAY I am going to believe that second promise ...
Vaya con dios
Well, she didn't promise to NOT read any poetry.
Have a great time!
Enjoy your vacation Marian!
Watch out for mooses. Or is it meese....?
Snow! Is there snow? It's 100 degrees plus here.
There is snow in the distance and there are wildflowers in the foreground. You can sit in your shirtsleeves on a green lawn and look at glaciers!
Where are you Marian? Which city (cities) are you visiting? And which glaciers? Since you obviously have access to a computer, give us the scoop. What do people in Alaska do for entertainment, etc? What do you think of the daylight at 10 p.m. or 3 a. m. ?
I'm back in NY now, after a week-plus in Anchorage, Alaska, with side trips to Portage (for the Glacier cruise) and Hope (to look at cabins for future visits). Mostly I hung out with my young nephews, reading a lot of HARRY POTTER, playing board games, watching them play soccer, etc.
"People in Alaska" are for the most part people who enjoy Alaska itself "for entertainment" -- hiking, driving around looking at the incredible scenery, and so forth. That and home life are pretty much IT as far as activities are concerned. Anchorage is the biggest city in Alaska and it's barely a city; really it's just a housing development for people who want to live among the mountains.
I didn't see any moose in my sister's front yard (as I have in the past), but I did get to see a REAL LIVE BLACK BEAR - a wild one, that had wandered into a residential area and was tearing into bags of something edible on the porch of a home near my sister's house. My sister spotted the bear as we drove by, so we pulled over and I turned on the flashers, and WITHIN ONE MINUTE two cars going by had pulled over to see if we needed help. (That is VERY Alaskan.) When we said, "We're fine! We're looking at the bear!" they stopped too and everyone took pictures. Then we called the State Wildlife Something-or-Other and I suppose they tranquilized the bear and moved him back to the mountains. My sister has seen only one other bear in town in the past five years, but it does happen.
Yes, it's light out until after 10 p.m., then it's gray until about 2 a.m. and gets light again. I was on vacation so it didn't bother me. I'm told that if you live there year round your system adjusts so you actually NEED less sleep in the summer and more in the winter.
I didn't bring back any Alaska poems.
Sounds like you had a great time!
The Spell of the Yukon
I wanted the gold, and I sought it,
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy -- I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it --
Came out with a fortune last fall, --
Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn't all.
No! There's the land. (Have you seen it?)
It's the cussedest land that I know,
From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
Some say God was tired when He made it;
Some say it's a fine land to shun;
Maybe; but there's some as would trade it
For no land on earth -- and I'm one.
You come to get rich (damned good reason);
You feel like an exile at first;
You hate it like hell for a season,
And then you are worse than the worst.
It grips you like some kinds of sinning;
It twists you from foe to a friend;
It seems it's been since the beginning;
It seems it will be to the end.
I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow
That's plumb-full of hush to the brim;
I've watched the big, husky sun wallow
In crimson and gold, and grow dim,
Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming,
And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;
And I've thought that I surely was dreaming,
With the peace o' the world piled on top.
The summer -- no sweeter was ever;
The sunshiny woods all athrill;
The grayling aleap in the river,
The bighorn asleep on the hill.
The strong life that never knows harness;
The wilds where the caribou call;
The freshness, the freedom, the farness --
O God! how I'm stuck on it all.
The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
The white land locked tight as a drum,
The cold fear that follows and finds you,
The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
The snows that are older than history,
The woods where the weird shadows slant;
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,
I've bade 'em good-by -- but I can't.
There's a land where the mountains are nameless,
And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There's a land -- oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back -- and I will.
They're making my money diminish;
I'm sick of the taste of champagne.
Thank God! when I'm skinned to a finish
I'll pike to the Yukon again.
I'll fight -- and you bet it's no sham-fight;
It's hell! -- but I've been there before;
And it's better than this by a damnsite --
So me for the Yukon once more.
There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting;
It's luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,
It's the forests where silence has lease;
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It's the stillness that fills me with peace.
--- Robert Service