December 09 - January 10

Don’s Corner:

December’s flying for Don comprised two quick trips. The first was taking nine people from Wassila, just north of Anchorage to Stebbins, just west of Unalakleet. The CASA was also involved bringing an additional 18 people to Stebbins. That’s a total influx of 27 people into a village of 300 - about 10% of the village. On the way home we were treated to a beautiful sunset (click picture to see)

Click on picture to see more photos ..................................Masters Commission

The second trip was to take seven people from Mercy Wings in Soldotna to Dillingham, just an hour and a half over the Alaska Range. They were going there to attend a two day Singspiration involving lots of singing sprinkled with testimonies from youth and adults and wonderfully encouraging fellowship. Then they were going to put on a two day Well Springs training session run by Milan Galey (man on the right of the photo). During this training they provide the village people with Christian based tools to deal with crisis situations such as suicide, unwanted pregnancy and all kinds of abuse.

.......................................................................................................Mercy Wings to Dillingham

January’s flying involved only one trip. Brian and I flew from youth from Soldotna, Manakotak, Togiak, Tuluksak and Nunapichuk (only 19 miles) to Bethel for a Moravian Youth Conference. It was a beautiful clear, cold day almost everywhere in Alaska. However as we approached Tuluksak we saw ahead a low deck of clouds.

Click on picture to see more photos ..................................Moravian Youth conference

We ere able to get under it and with good visibility we were able to get into the airport where we found a flag person at the end of the runway, where we park, stopping traffic to let huge 20 ton dump trucks cross the end of the runway. I talking to the supervisor it appears they are building a new runway and were trucking the soil from a river area to the new runway. It will be much longer than the current runway which is only 2450 feet long and narrow, only 40 feet wide. We took off and flew west to Bethel not thinking too much about the clouds. After a quick turn we proceeded further west to Nunapichuk and on the way back were surprised to see the cloud deck had rapidly moved over Bethel. The field was on the verge of requiring an instrument approach but we were able to use a special procedure designed for the Bethel traffic to allow us to get in under the weather. Not an hour later the clouds were gone and it was clear blue skies again. Brian was asked to speak and kept their attention for an hour and a half. It was very interesting to watch the youth as they ran the meeting and put forth their plans and elected officers for the next year. It was refreshing to see the youth acting like youth anywhere. We were both blessed to be a part of this conference.
As of January 1 I am the primary scheduler for MARC flying activities and will probably only fly once a month.

Catz Corner:
I’ve always had a picture of an “evil winterland” from the Narnia books, but I must say that there is something to be said to sail along in a snuggly warm vehicle past miles of gorgeous icicle trees and frozen lakes so beautiful that the sunset reflects from the them, making a rainbow ride in a winter wonderland.

Click on picture to see more photos ..............................................Winter Wonderland

Even when it is 10 degrees outside I can stand on my porch and revel in the absolute surprising beauty that God creates from ordinary things. Alaska is most amazing for all things wonderful. That does not, however, include dust. I must vote that the dust in Alaska rivals anything anyone could ever imagine. It’s not that there is a lot of it (there is,) it’s that it STICKS to everything i.e. mirrors, windows, underneath the jewelry pull out drawer, on the sides of walls, furniture, shoes, not to say the obvious places like clock faces. The dust even gets on the bottom of a CD while in the CD player. It is the only place I can remember that dusting the light bulbs makes a difference. Not that I’m complaining. I am currently occupied in trying to plant a tomato garden in the house with the extra dirt inside. We had one the first year and it did quite well, but we brought dirt in from outside. I tried planting strawberries the first year but the moose got them the day before I did. It was too heartbreaking. So this year I’ll stick to tomatoes and glory as long as possible in the beauty outside my front door. Much love to all and God bless you for everything we don’t even know that you do.