Belated Post

Ben is really excited about being in Aialik Bay Public Use Cabin, about his dehydrated veggies, about the classy candle holders, and about his clean teeth.

Sleepy Katie

At one point in my life (long ago!) I had really short hair, had to be at work at 8am and worked in a concrete room with no windows at all, but I was thanked for not smoking, so it was all ok.
To avoid work and wake myself up, sometimes I’d make an animal cracker zoo on my keyboard.

Unapproved Photo or Why my family is weird: Part 5

Warning: I am on day 4 of a headache…so I didn’t ask the people in this photo for permission to post it…SORRY!

Christmas pictures in our family often look like this: Dad is excited about his Robert Shaw Chorale cd and Anthony is excited about having picked such a great cd in the first place.


This is what happens when you miscalculate the public transportation options (none?) and how long it will take you to bike (2.5 hours) and decide to ride a bike from Leeds to Harewood to a King’s Singers concert because you promised you’d sell cds (and not steal £750).

Startled Look

Ben has an unnatural talent for catching me on camera at awkward times, like this one…apparently whatever I’m reading (my new camera guide?) is very, very startling, in a somewhat boring way.

To Meet the Demand, a photo of Ben

Contrary to popular belief, Ben cannot see through his eyelids, not even when he’s looking at the glaciers in Aialik Bay.

Not the typical walk on the beach

Walking around with a cane and a big boot normally isn’t much fun, but I was probably envisioning the seals walking around with a cane and a big boot which would be even less fun.

Happy Birthday Anthony!

Once upon a time my little brother was little and liked wearing a pig snout over his belly button.

Posing for a Goofy Picture

It’s a good thing that we weren’t models for the Turnagain Arm Tourist Board because I think Ben wouldn’t have made the enthusiasm cut…

Where are you from?

Today someone asked me the simple question, “Where are you from?” Every time someone asks me that question I get confused and I don’t know how to answer. So the questioner went deeper, “Where were you born?” “Wisconsin.” “Well, where did you grow up.” “Um, define grow up…”

Baby Katie with parents (in Wisconsin?)

No, I’m not a military kid, I’m a professor’s kid. We moved as my dad changed jobs. The confusing question for me is where did I grow up. I spent ages 4-14 in Alaska, but 14-21 in Kentucky. So where did I grow up?

My family with our dog, Traveler, in Alaska
Alaska in many ways feels like home. My formative years were there. I got my first driver’s permit there and it’s just cooler (literally and figuratively) to be from Alaska than from Kentucky. It took me two years in Kentucky to stop saying I was from Alaska, but I still felt torn. Now, it generally depends on the occasion whether I say I have ties to Alaska, but I rarely say I’m “from” there.

Family picture in Kentucky

Spending only seven years in Kentucky, however, doesn’t make me feel justified in saying I’m from there either. I usually go with the line “my parents are in Kentucky,” when asked why I’m heading there. Being from there leads to a conversation about why I don’t have a drawl or about basketball (about which I know almost nothing…)
At the St. Paul Winter Carnival in 2007. It was about -30F.

Now, thankfully, I can use the line, I’m from Minnesota. It’s a line which is, at least temporarily true. (This also leads to the realization that I have spent 17 years of my life at or above 43 degrees North latitude, so from now on that’s the line I’m using 🙂 )
I’ve never felt like I’ve been without a homebase, because my parents have always worked hard to make where ever we lived be home. It’s only when I get asked “where are you from?” that I get flummoxed. I’ve been yearning for Alaska today because my hometown ‘hood, as it were, made the NYTimes travel section. I’ll write about that tomorrow, but it brought up some intense homesickness and longing for home. While I know that Alaska isn’t my home anymore, seeing the pictures and hearing the stories made me remember a time when it was. And that makes me smile.