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epic something or other

Wednesday, July 28
This morning was a beautiful morning.  As Kim and I were pulling out from our staff house, we saw the sun rising over the mountains.  Three different visits to AK and I had never seen the sunrise.  I was always awake, but it just was never clear enough to experience it....until today.  As we were driving we both just wanted to stop and capture the moment with our cameras, but everytime we tried there was something in our way.  We could see it, but it just wasn't a good photo.  We laughed together as Kim said she felt like we were like the "storm chasers".  Needless to say, our on time status became a late status to Calvary.  I think it was worth it, though.
It was our big "Alaska Day" in the kitchen...breakfast consists of pancakes and blueberry syrup...lunch, Alaskan salmon and halibut fixed in a variety of ways.  Mrs. Geri had told me that the staff come in and know how to get it done.  They were in full swing by the time Kim and I arrived.  Not even really for sure why we needed to be there...there wasn't anything for us to do.  Even if we had been on time, everyone else had their roles and we were just extras.  We set out some milk and juice and helped clean up the dishes and counters as we could.  It's nice to see how well everyone can work together to get a big job done.  Everyone enjoyed the breakfast, but they were really excited to hear about the fresh fish for lunch.
Preparations for lunch began pretty much right after breakfast clean-up was complete.  Jay was in charge of grilling the salmon...Scott came in and fried the halibut (Kim helped him with the battering process)...Tom made a baked halibut dish with lots of onions and lemons (I forget what they called it) and a fish chowder...and Melissa fixed the baked halibut.  Al and Linda made the boiled red potatoes.  I made the dessert which was Cherry Delight. (It was a big hit last week and it did not require the use of the stove or oven-perfect for an already busy day in the kitchen).  I also started getting the coleslaw ready, but let Linda finish that.  After so many weeks, it did run like a well oiled machine...I was just hoping that I didn't get in their way. :)  Lunch was a huge success...the teams loved it!  God is good to provide a team to get such a feast ready for his servants.
After lunch clean up, Kim and I went downtown to enjoy an afternoon off.  I had my free ticket to the Bear Square, and I was given another ticket by Gail and Mark (from Hyde Park team) since they were not going to be here long enough to use it.  So, we walk into Bear Square and get to watch a movie about the Iditarod was so inspiring!  I loved what one gentleman said on the movie, "Dream big.  Dare to fail."  I think we could all do better at living life like that instead of being comfortable in our bubbles we call life.  It was a message for Kim's heart to hear, too...she's on a new adventure called retirement and looking to move up to AK for a year.  She wants to have a ministry to the women of Alaska.  Dream big, Kim...and dare to fail!  God is matter what!
After the movie we were free to enjoy the cute little stages they have set up for tourists to pretend they are fishing, dog sledding, riding on a hot air balloon, etc.  All these things one could do in Alaska, if they chose to.  Would have I paid to experience Bear Square?Probably not.  However, it was free for both of us and we had a blast goofing off together.
After Bear Square, we entered this Norweigan store.  I found a t-shrit that read "Uff-da" across the front.  I loved it!  I knew the phrase from a Veggie Tales show, but a friend of mine also reminded me that John Peterson, my beloved music leader from BMC, used to say that in a song we sang..."Uff-da! Ya. Sure. Ya betcha!"  Such sweet memories.  I knew I should have picked up one for Christa.  Maybe if I go back next summer...
After shopping there, we stopped at a cafe for an expresso and hot chocolate.  My hot chocolate was awesome.  This week has given me a wonderful gift - a new friend.  For all of the other circumstances, a new friend is worth every one of them!  We talked about her calling to AK and how things are falling into place and what else needs to happen before she can move experiences in the kitchen both this and last I first became involved in GraceWorks...our churches back home...a number of things.  Kim is a wonderful woman of God and I pray that God uses her mightily in Alaska!
One thing we chatted briefly about was flying.  In passing, I had said that I would love to go up in a float plane or with Scott Kirby someday.  Seeing the mountains and lakes from above is just so beautiful!  Well, when we arrived back to Moravian House, I went downstairs for awhile.  We had planned that I would go with Kim to the Salvation Army service that evening after we stopped in at the park party.  Kim comes down a few minutes later and tells me that she dropped a little bug in Scott's ear that I would love to fly with him sometime.  She told him that I would never ask, so she's asking for me.  Her courage makes me want to be more courageous!  He had said there might be an opportunity for us to fly, but he would let me know.  Not 15 minutes later, probably closer to only 10, Scott called me and said that another pilot just called him asking for a flight down to Soldotna to pick up his plane he had to leave there last week and invited me to come and join them in the flight down there.  Are you kidding me????  Joan was going to go with us, too.  I was so was Kim.  God had arranged this flight to happen and used her to do it.  How awesome is that?!  We were overcome with joy and our excitedness cause Billy and Geri to come and see what was the matter.  How funny it was that we were just excitedly screaming like a couple of teenage girls.  They laughed with us.  Billy said to enjoy the ride...and that he guessed asking me to join them for dinner was out of the question now.  That was nice of them to think of me and I told them so before getting ready to go flying.  
I couldn't stop from smiling.  It was a misting kind of evening, but it wasn't going to stop the enjoyment of the flight for me.  Scott prepared the plane, went over the flight plan, and off we went.  Scott, Travis, Joan and myself.  Take off was so could barely tell when we were off the ground.  The rain didn't last much past Anchorage, so the views of the countryside were as clear as they could be on a cloudy day.  Seeing the winding rivers from the air was so cool.  They really had alot of turns in them that one wouldn't necessarily see from ground level.  I had no clue that there were so many lakes out in the middle of nowhere either.  Scott said many of them would be a lot of work to get roads and most were too small for a float plane landing.  Was hoping to see a bear or moose, but not on this trip. 
My favorite part of the flight was when we crossed the Inlet.  Although rather bumpy, it was a beautiful view of the mountains when we were over the water.  Once we landed in Soldotna, we got out and stretched and waited for Travis to get his plane ready.  I noticed that if I had thought it was chilly in Anchorage, it was really cold in Soldotna.  Joan and I were standing beside the plane letting it block some of the wind from us.  We were both glad when it was time to get back in the plane.  Flying back to Anchorage didn't seem to take long at all.  All in all we were gone for 1.5 hours...didn't seem that long at all.  I loved every moment of it. 
Scott dropped us off at our repective housing and I told Scott and Kim thank you over and over again.  Although I had wanted to go with Kim to the service tonight, flying was an extra blessing.  Praise God for Plan B!    


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