Monday, February 14
Fueled by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and enthusiastic support from the Homer Friends of the Library, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, I kissed my sweetie goodbye. Decked out in my ‘Alaska’ boots and a super-warm, puffy jacket, took off for Homer, Alaska to speak about Elizabeth Peratrovich.
On a long layover in Anchorage before my Ravn Air flight left for Homer, I took my time retrieving my xc skis (can’t go to Alaska in winter without skis!) and a huge rolling duffel full of outdoor gear and book paraphernalia. I lugged it all out to the far end of the south terminal, increasingly hot, big boots flapping all the way, and glad there is no security check-in for local Alaska air carriers.
At the Departure Gate
I watched with increasing dread a whirlwind of white envelope the entire runway. The more it snowed, the clearer it became we weren’t going anywhere any time soon. Now, although I work very hard at it, sitting still is like torture to me. Five hours later, my feet were about to ignite and I was ready to kill for a pair of flip-flops. Miraculously, the ceiling lifted ever so slightly, and we boarded. Then we sat some more waiting for the plane to be deiced, and some more waiting our turn on the runway, but finally the engine revved and we lifted off into a starless, moonless, void of night sky.
Then in Homer
At the Homer airport I was met by a smiling and welcoming Cheryl Illg, Coordinator for the Homer Friends of the Library. Her kindness and enthusiasm soon put the ‘getting there’ ordeal into the distant past.