Yesterday I have connected with an old friend from Alaska on Facebook (of all places). The friend was surprised that I have left Alaska for Oregon and asked what it is I am doing here. That made me think. What exactly am I doing in Oregon? I could tell him about my job but really is this the right answer? The job should not define who I am and what my life is about no matter that I spend most of my day there. My actual life starts after work even though it goes on for fewer hours than a workday.

So what should I say? That here I am doing stuff that is not that much different from the stuff I was doing in Alaska? I hike, I walk my dog on beautiful trails and in parks, I do art occasionally, run and watch stupid shows on Netflix to decompress in the evening, I read before bed. I don’t knit anymore as the weather here is much milder and the knits are often are overkill. I don’t ski anymore as there are not many trails for cross-country skiing here. That about sums it up.

But there are many things that I missed about living in Alaska. I miss snow and -40F. I miss ravens sitting patiently on power lines waiting for trash. I miss the hoarfrost. I miss the sun not going down into complete darkness in the summer. I miss the fact that it is quiet and when you step out of your house you are immediately surrounded by trees. I miss Ballaine lake where I spent a lot of hours with my late dog Boris reading and frolicking around. I  miss Alaskan people who are a very special breed: who are kind, super independent and prepared to deal with anything from starting a car in -40F to clearing neighbor’s driveway from the snow. Who are not afraid to live in the dark 3 months of the year and cold for 6 months. I miss being the only person on the trail while hiking. I miss a drive to Anchorage as it is gorgeous especially when you drive through Denali Park. I miss the best Thai food there is from Lemon Grass restaurant. I have yet to find food that at least comes close here. I miss “Bad man – Good Cofee” coffeeshop and its tall Americanos that go with sourdough wrapped hotdogs.

This list is long. So, what am I doing here in Oregon?


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