Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ella quotes...

When discussing what email is with my 4 1/2 year old tonight, she asked "When you die, do I get your computer?"

Hmm...I'm hoping by the time I die, my computer will be obsolete...


Also tonight, I said to Ella, "Wow...someday you're going to be a TEENAGER." She said, "No! I'm going to be a Walk-A-Dog!"

My thought: What the HECK is a Walk-A-Dog?
Jared said, "Is that your Native name?"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Just another day in Washington...

So, after our long trek to the Oregon Coast (maybe I'll post on that later...first I have to find some necessary camera cords, since the photos got saved to the internal memory of the camera)...we went to Washington State!!

We generally did nothing (because we all go the flu within a week's time), but one night when most of us were feeling well, we escaped to the local hardware store. Sometimes I can find it easy to forget that Jared grew up on a farm, and did crazy things like shoot the birds with a BB gun, and jump on bloated dead cows...umm...yeah.

Well, as we were walking through the store, the in-laws began to give me some lessons on farming. I couldn't resist capturing the moment.

Robert (on left) is holding a giant magnet (and magnet thruster) that you push down a cow's throat. That magnet collects barb wire in the cow's stomach, just in case they swallow some (i.e. if their hay stacks are wrapped in it...the old fashioned way). Yum.

Jared is holding a cauterizing tools (for cows). Oh, he's told me all about this before, but to see the tools in person...WOW. You should have seen Jared and Robert's excitement as they told me about the cutter and rubber bands.

Ella is holding a horse shoe and horse shoe hammer.

And Marilyn is holding a bottle to feed calves with!

Jared and decided we'd make some dang-good ranchers!
And we did a corn maze with the kiddos and Jared's parents!
And we lived through an ice storm.
Okay, not really. Robert decided to run the sprinkler on the night of the first freeze.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bye bye!!

Our first, and only family photo I think we've ever taken in front of our store on Broadway.
Jared saying goodbye to the store as we lock the doors for the last time:
One last photo toward the North as we drove across the bridge leading out of Skagway:
And then the camera started taking photos that looked like this:
Thus, the end of photos for awhile.

We left Wednesday around noon, and instead of taking our typical 3-day drive South, we decided to gun it. We drove through the night, and the entire next day, and arrived on the Oregon Coast 37 hours later. The kids managed fairly well, considering, although Jared barely survived the trek (I'm not as much help driving as I'd like to be...I don't know how anyone can drive when they're tired)!

Ella managed to interrupt our cat naps about every 30 minutes throughout the night with scream such as this, "Ow!! Ow!!! My leg!!" (her legs kept falling asleep, and she did NOT like that sensation!). So, even though Jared and I were trying to switch off, neither one of us got quality sleep.

However, our dilligence allowed us to arrive in Seaside Oregon in time for a family reunion with Jared's immediate family, which included his 4 siblings and their spouses, his parents, and a total of 10 screaming kids/cousins for the weekend! It was great!

And besides, we saved quite a bit of money on hotels, AND lots of time packing and unpacking the van...that alone kept us motivated to keep driving!
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The end?

Maiya was excited to pack up. For the first time, she found her way into boxes, just as Ella used to do for years. Funny that it took Maiya that long to get around to that...but I suppose Maiya spent less time at the store than Ella ever did.
In the background is our original store, located in the courtyard behind our large store on Broadway. 280 square feet...which increased to 1800 square feet. We sure did grow a lot in 5 years!

At home on the final night, the girls were very excited to pack up the suitcase. Well, they were excited to pack themselves. Ella is pretending to sleep, and Maiya is, in fact, enjoying herself (she put herself in there):

Ella says "Grrrrr!!" Be scared!!

Before and After....

The back room BEFORE:

The back room AFTER:
The store BEFORE:

The store AFTER:
Our jewelry display BEFORE:

Our jewelry display AFTER (from the right, instead of the left):
The back store BEFORE:
The back store AFTER:

I don't think I'll ever be able to put into words how SURREAL it was to tear these stores down, after all the time/money/effort that we have recently put into them. I don't say this with sadness, distress, or anger...it just is what it is. Just surreal.

Moving on Out...

Closing up our business in Alaska required a lot of hard work, to say the least.
Ugh...I'm still tired, just thinking about it!

We also did our best to find new homes for many of our products. For example, we tore down our front window display, and found a new home for our ornaments:

Here is Jared and a neighboring biz employee walking our window display of ornaments to the store across the street. Weird. (By the way--notice the papered windows? This is what Skagway looks like in the winter, after 99% of the stores close their doors until Spring!)

Maiya helped out the best she could.
As did Ella. Here they are, packing up our river rocks from our window display. We realized years ago that we are completely incapable of keeping a window display dusted (or anything dusted, for that matter. After all, I am my mother's child...). Thus, the need for river rocks to cover the bottom of the window display. Dust just disappeared (as did the flies and bees that would get stuck daily!):
Low and behold, this is what was UNDER the rocks (and what we didn't have to clean up over the 3 years of having those rocks in there)! :

The girls were excited to finally have the window display to themselves. What performers!

Whoa. Weird. Totally weird.

The End of an Era...

Not ours, not yet. It takes a bit more time to blog about that...

So, I will instead focus on a distraction...

When I first came to Skagway, I was booked as "showgirl" in a 4 person musical about the history of Skagway and the Gold Rush. It was quite the summer, and I learned a lot about who I am (and am not) that year. Sure, for employment, I wore a cancan skirt, fishnet tights, an feathers in my hair...but my lewd behavior stopped there. Whew.

This isn't a picture of me, but I suppose it could have been (just imagine someone MUCH shorter). If you want to see a fun cancan picture of me, you'll have to look me up in Facebook...where a former cast member tagged me with a fun photo :-)

But this post isn't about me...
It's about this gentleman here, Jim Richards:

He has played the lead role in "The Days of '98 Show with Soapy Smith" for 36 years! And since 300+ performances are done each summer, that is a LOT of shows, folks! Sure, the script changed many times, and the songs have been rewritten, but the male lead has stayed the same. Jim grew to fill the role of this notorious outlaw perfectly, both on and off stage. Need I say any more?

Anyhow...it just seems that there were many shifts occuring in Skagway this summer. Jim retiring, other stores closing, people moving, etc. It's sort of weird to watch a town shift so dramatically in just a summers' time.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Feeling Swine-ish...

Or flu-ish, that is.

We're back in Washington State visiting the in-laws. Within 5 day's time, all 10 of us, currently in the household, have gotten the flu. I thought I personally had escaped it, until it snuck up on me last night! Fun fun!!

It is 10:19pm, and I am in my pajamas. I've been in them all day. In fact, I have spent the majority of the day laying in bed, or on my in-law's couch watching TV for a distraction...feeling yucky and sluggish.

I have eaten a total of 4 saltine crackers, 2 pop sickles, and 2 cups of apple juice. All day. Let's hope tomorrow will be better!