|Momma and Papa Scheer!|
|We got our first snow!|
One of the best parts of October happened at the beginning of the month, when on a very windy Sunday afternoon, our friends Pam and Ken flew in for a visit. Truth be told, Sam and I were shocked that the air taxi was even flying that day. As we watched their plane come in, I was in a state of sheer panic thinking of how awful Pam and Ken would be feeling. It was by far the windiest and bumpiest landing I have ever witnessed, and I could imagine how the turbulence felt as they bounced down onto the runway. Yet, as I prepared to comfort Pam and Ken as they got off the plane, the door to the plane opened and they emerged with ear to ear grins. They didn’t have experience on such small planes and had been flying with an incredibly skilled pilot, so for them it was a grand adventure. I was thrilled to see that they were not as panicked as I had been. With that, they had officially gotten a taste for bush flying, and had loved every second of it!
As Pam and Ken had been visiting our friends who live in Chignik Bay, another village within our district, we spent time catching up and hearing about their week of adventures. Then, over the next week, we spent every minute that we could getting outside when the weather allowed, having Pam and Ken visit with students, playing games, and simply soaking up every second of our time with them. It was such a refreshing taste of home, and such a comforting parental presence. When you are so far away from all of your family and loved ones, it is so comforting to have the hugs and conversations of parents, even for a too short amount of time.
|Flying to Igiugig|
The best part of the visit was being able to show Pam and Ken places that we had visited and things that we had done with their son, our friend, Ryan when he had visited us two years ago. For those not close to me or for those new to my blog, Ryan passed away only two months after his visit. Ryan’s Alaska trip was one of his last great adventures before his passing. It meant so much to me that we could provide his parents with a closer connection to Ryan and to give them some of the same experiences that Ryan had had during his time with us. I also valued the time to get to know Pam and Ken better, as we have continued to strengthen our relationship with them after Ryan’s passing. Pam is often one of my greatest supporters and sources of encouragement in my day to day life. Being able to spend a week with the two of them is something I will forever be grateful for. Though their time with us seemed too short, I was excited to be able to send a piece of Alaska back with them.
This fall, the students in one of my reading groups completed a Flat Stanley novel study. Stanley is a boy who becomes flattened and is then able to go on many adventures by being mailed in an envelope. Each of my students created their own Stanley and thanks to incredible support from friends on Facebook, I set up a series of adventures for each Stanley. Though I mailed two of the Stanley’s out to their first recipients, Pam and Ken were able to meet the owner of their Stanley and then to begin Kate’s (the name of my student’s Stanley) adventures from Alaska. I have received quite a few pictures of Kate and the other two Stanleys as they adventure across the country and even out of the country. My students and I are so excited about this project and as each Stanley travels with a journal, we can’t wait to read about their adventures when they come back home to us!
After Pam and Ken left us, I had about one day to get ready before my monthly visit to Igiugig which would lead into our district-wide October inservice in Naknek. The Sunday that I flew to Igiugig was a gorgeous day and I was able to land in Pedro Bay, a village I had never flown into before. My visit to Igiugig was productive and rather uneventful, and then before I knew it, I was on a plane to Naknek. I spent the rest of the week going through collaborative and informative sessions and more importantly spending time with all of my coworkers and friends that I don’t often see. I had so many soul filling conversations and again, I soaked up every second of the visits that I could. It’s important to fill up on these encounters and then look back on them to help you through the coldest and darkest days of winter.
|Cessna checking out her new home!|
Unfortunately, during the last two days of the week, I was sick with an awful stomach bug. I wanted nothing more than to be home in my own bed, but I tried to continue on with my inservice workload. Thankfully, the friends I was surrounded by were sure to force me to get rest and help me with some of my responsibilities. Caitlin even attended a 3 hour session that I was leading the last morning of inservice, ready to step in should I need to escape. Fortunately, Sam had stocked me up with ginger-ale and saltines and I was able to power through the session. We were set to fly home that afternoon and I was concerned about getting sick on the plane. However, my ability to nap anywhere kicked in and I slept almost the entire flight home. Surprisingly, I woke up feeling better than I had in days. Witnessing the sicknesses that have gone on in and out of school this fall, I felt lucky to have just a 48-hour bug.
Shortly after getting home, Sam and I hopped into the boat and went down to fish camp to pick up our puppy! I was over the moon with excitement to be bringing Cessna home. She was eight weeks old and the cutest little pup I had ever seen. I may be biased, but she sure does get cuter with every passing hour. We have had Cessna home for three weeks now, and I can’t imagine life without her. She provides Sam and I with so many laughs, is the best at cuddling, and she sure keeps us busy! I am pretty much obsessed with my sweet pup and being a fur momma is by far my favorite job ever.
|Our little family<3|
Once Cessna came home, the rest of October passed me by in a blur of lesson planning, school, class assignments, projects, and puppy raising. Now, with only four weeks of grad school classes and 25 school days until the end of the semester, there is a light at the end of this busy tunnel. I am looking forward to the winter break and all the naps and book reading it will bring with it. Sam and I have been becoming more and more excited for the trip to Anchorage we will take at the end of December. Though I have been craving Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, Alaska has yet to jump on the Dunkin’ bandwagon, so I will gladly drink some Starbucks as I wander the aisles of Target. Ah, there I go again jumping ahead in time. Time to focus on the rest of November and stop procrastinating on a homework assignment that I am supposed to be working on as I type this…