Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's the end of the....

SEASON, as we know it!!!

Well, almost! Just 3 more days to go, we're all getting pretty dang excited, up here!

So, 3 more ships, 3 more days, and silly things like this are bound to happen:Yes, it really is a "CREEPY BABY" show! Our Landlord's daughter, who manages her family's store just a few doors down, has dragged this "Creepy Baby" all over the world, and taken some magnificent photos (of course, with the "Creepy Baby" in them)! She will be showing a slideshow, photos, and perhaps even revealing the "Creepy Baby," itself.

She has a wall of her store currently dedicated to some "Creepy Baby" photos (yes, we all tend to get a bit silly by the end of the summer...and besides, they were out of the product that used to hang on that wall), as well as a "creepy" story about how her and the "Creepy Baby" met in the 2nd-hand store in Whitehorse Yukon several years ago.

Working every day for 5 months straight does creepy things to you...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A kid by any other name...

So, one of the great things about living in Skagway is that the members of the community come from vastly different backgrounds. Ella goes to "school" with kids from Mexico, India, and others I don't even know. Here's a list of some of the fun children's names that we all have to learn:

Nico (Ella's boyfriend...his name is really Nicholas, said with a Latino accent)
Taiya (notice the similar spelling to our Maiya? Taiya is our local river. I suppose that's why the unusual spelling of Maiya seemed natural to us!)

Many of the unusual names come from families who are not from other countries, so I guess people here just have a greater appreciation for unique names!

When something goes wrong...

The worst Skagway has to offer...

Well, in the summer, that is.

Earlier this week we had beautifully NASTY weather! I say "beautifully," because there is something about raw nature that I LOVE!! The wind was blowing, it was frightfully cold, and we were completely fogged in. I'm sure the planes weren't flying (delivering people and mail). To illustrate this, I had to take a photo. Notice the cruise ship parked at the end of the street. Next, notice that you can't see anything else behind it (like the large mountain with a glacier, etc).:

The very next day was clear(ish) and in the mid-60's...spectacular summer weather for us!! So, to show you the contrast, here is a photo of the next day (please notice the now-visible mountain behind the cruise ship):
Aw...Skagway. Gotta love it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness (and Generosity)!

A couple came to our store a few weeks ago, and I mistakenly didn't get their credit card back in their hands before they left the store. Once I realized I still had it, I tried to track them down on the streets, but had no luck. So, I put the card in an envelope, and took the envelope to Cruise Ship Services, a liaison company for cruise ships that come to town. They managed to track down the customer's ship, and delivered the envelope to the ship (to be returned to the customer). This has happened a few times in the past, and I know that it safely gets to them (I even had a customer return to our store this year, who thanked me for getting the card back to their ship a few years ago). Anyways...no sweat...it happens, and I take full responsibility for failing to get the card back to them...they have enough to worry about with bags, etc.

Anyways, long story short, this most recent couple sent me a sweet card, and a $50 GIFT CARD!!! Wahooo! How's that for "Random Acts of Kindness"? Jared thinks we should keep everyone's credit cards, then return them, and see how much we can make...hahaha...JUST KIDDING!!! :-)

Alaskans love Palin!

In Alaska there has been a huge surge of fun T-Shirt designs, chocolate bars, and mint packages that bear images such as this:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Summer Re-Cap?!

I'm trying to avoid work...really...
So I decided to do a blog post...and well, a long one, at that. It just keeps going and going. I recapped about 3 month's worth of life in Skagway:

Ella riding her first bike ever! We took an overnight trip to Whitehorse, Yukon in July (110 miles north of here...our closest "BIG" town). We were in a second hand shop, and Ella spotted this kid's bike with training wheels. Of course we gave in and got it for her! She still LOVES it!!

We took it out in the parking lot of the Aquatic Center that they built for the Canadian Olympic Games. It is a fabulous swim center, with a lazy pool, a huge slide (with absolutely no lines!), and the biggest hot tub I have ever seen! We love it!! Here is the happy girl:

A photo I shot out the window on the drive home. Sometimes I take it for granted, and I have to remind myself that this is my backyard. WOW!!!

Ella at her Mexican boyfriend's birthday party. She was a bit timid with the pinata, but she got pretty good at throwing an airplane (it was an airplane party) into the hula hoop decorated with streamers:

Maiya enjoying a strawberry with our friend, Norcuzia, at the party. Norcuzia lives with her husband in St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) half the year, and Skagway the other half. They have almost completed a beautiful home right on the water that has been a work in progress since before we met them! We will have to go see them in St. Thomas some day! Wohoo!
Our home, for anyone who wonders what we live in during the summers. My friend, Morgan, tries to tell me to think of it as "camping." But really, it's just simple living, and we love it!
Ella is a total ham. If I pull out the camera, she loves to pose, and won't act "normal" for me:
And WHEN they get along...they get along great!!!....Ella sneaking into Maiya's pop-up napping bed at work...
Here's Maiya's best friend, Kinley, who is just 2 weeks older than her (of course, she may not realize she's her best friend yet...but I'm sure they'll be best buds in the future!). Her parents work for the train, and she is delivered to our door at 6:30am three days a week. Luckily, she keeps sleeping, and when we get up for work, we take her in with us. She stays with us until 1:30, when her mom shows up and takes both Kinley and Maiya to her house until we close the store around 7pm. It works well! Kinley is typical character around this place. In fact, every family prayer that Ella says includes Kinley as part of the family! Very funny!A typical Maiya pose:
A sight you might see at the store:In the coolest playpen ever (thanks to Lara, Lea & Jenny!):
An usual day at the store. Why is it unusual, you ask? Because there is SUN coming in! We have had perhaps 12 days of sunshine this summer. Yup...TOTAL. Pathetic, don't you think?!!
More photos from our backyard (the neighboring valley of Dyea):

And some photos that Charlotte Aldrich took of us before leaving Skagway:
A photo she took as she left Skagway. (Sigh) Home sweet home!
Some photos that illustrate that Fall is not just coming, it is HERE!

The dying rhubarb:SUN SUN SUN SUN SUN SUN SUN!!

Two more weeks of this mad house.
Well...more like 3,
but I'm trying not to think of it that way.

I love Skagway...but can I turn off the tourists, yet?
Thank goodness there is a long winter to recooperate!