It's been a while since my sister has been able to post any new content, but the Alaskan Bush signal has been extra difficult the past few months. So, she wanted me to put up a notice to let her readers know that as soon as the signal is operational again she will be creating new blogs for you. In the meantime please follow her Twitter account where she is able to tweet on a daily basis: https://twitter.com/neilson_tara?lang=en
Posted by Taras sister,
Megan (hailing from sunny Florida where the signal works just fine :)
I'm going to try out a new format with this blog, since it appears I can no longer send multiple embedded photos in my emails, which was how I previously did my blog (and then sending it to my sister in Florida to post). The signal has just gotten too twitchy to pull that off anymore, it seems.
So what I propose to do, and we'll see how it goes, is to have all the photos at the bottom of the text. On this first outing, and possibly for the foreseeable future, I'll just describe what's going on in each photo.
It's mail day and it's always a case of wondering what time the floatplane will arrive, if the weather will cooperate, if the tide will be in far enough to float the skiff--and will it still be in once we pick up the mail so we can get back to the house and offload on the dock instead of trying to haul everything up the beach?
On this mailday the mailplane was two hours late, but since it was a 19 foot tide on a sunny day, that worked out all right. We hung out at the dock chatting with my cousin Darrell, tilting our heads every time we heard a plane flying by out on the strait. He wanted to go firewood logging on the high tide and hoped the plane would get here before the tide peaked. (Photo 2)
The floatplane finally arrives and my dad catches the wing line from inside the skiff to slow the plane's momentum. We tend to have far more in-coming mail, since there are usually groceries and other supplies, than outgoing mail, as the small pile on the dock testifies. (Photo 3)
Cassie Peavey, the post mistress for Meyers Chuck, strides down the dock that her husband, Steve, built, attached to the tiny post office that they built. She and Steve are past retirement age but handle the hundreds of pounds of mail that come in every week with can-do good-nature. We can't thank them enough! (Photo 4)
Inside the little post office Steve sorts packages for Darrell to scan while behind the counter Cassie puts the first class mail in the tiny, open post office boxes. She sells a limited variety of candy, as well, and frequently puts out homemade cinnamon rolls and cookies she bakes herself. (Photo 5)
The post office is built on rocks that turn into a submerged island on super high tides. Without this wooden walkway to shore (and to the Peavey's house) it wouldn't be able to be reached from land on a 19-footer. It's heated by a woodstove, as the small pile of firewood below the bulletin board indicates. (Photo 6)
Another mail day successfully handled. I hope you enjoyed the new format!
NOTE: I'm attempting to build a Twitter presence so I try to post photos and what's happening several times a day, signal permitting, @neilson_tara if you want to check it out. I'd love to get to know my readers better and hear any suggestions for posts that you might have.
I think the tower I get my signal from is frozen over in this severe cold snap we're having so here's hoping this gets through. I'll keep it short with mostly just photos so there's less content to send--but, as my sister recently coined a saying: A photo is worth a thousand words.
Every year thousands of Alaskans are faced with whether or not they should stay the winter. Many make a yearly fact checking (to see if the sun still warms the earth) pilgrimage to Hawaii or Florida--some stay in the latter state permanently, as my sister did. And there's a reason why there are only seven people in my neck of the wilderness now who stay the year around. It's mostly summer folks these days.
The above picture explains why that is. That's freezing spray from northerly hurricane force winds pile-driving waves twenty to thirty feet into the air over the rocks at the entrance to our little bight.
While I was courting frostbite to take that photo, my sister was lying on a beach in Miami and smugly, with gloating aforethought, took this picture of her road bike.
Hmmm. What was that question again? To snowbird or not to snowbird...?
Megan, I hope you have room for company.
Tara Neilson (ADOW)