I remember the day that I first felt like an Alaskan. Brian, Laura and I had stopped at the Carr's grocery store in Seward to get some food and supplies before we hiked out to Caines Head for the night. Laura was just visiting at the time and was standing behind me in the checkout line.
I was browsing the magazines as the clerk scanned my items. Most of the magazines headlines were screaming about who had cellulite on her legs, who was having who's baby, who was wearing an awful dress to the Oscar's and other trash like that.
But there was one image that sticks in my mind. The front cover of Alaska Magazine had a picture of the most beautiful mountain goat I have ever seen.
That's right, I said goat.
It looked as if someone had given the goat a bath, scrubbed it's fur and blew it dry with a hair dryer. I searched online for this cover image but couldn't find it. Most of the goats you see in the wild in Alaska are yellow and scraggly.
This one was different. At that moment I blurted out, "Now that's a fine lookin' goat." with a sort of southern drawl. Realizing that I had in fact said that out loud, I turned to Laura, blushing, as she burst out in laughter. "Who are you?" she said.
Somehow I had gone from a single girl living in center city Philadelphia, riding the subway, eating at fancy restaurants, drinking martinis, wearing makeup, brushing my hair, going to the symphony... (um, okay I've never actually been to the symphony) to living in Alaska without much warning. Yes, I got out into the country and went camping and hiking occasionally, but I was a city girl of sorts.
Then one day I meet this guy named Monkee and he says, "Hey you wanna go to Alaska?" and I say, "Sure." Now I found myself commenting on the merits of well groomed goat.
Change is good. And, sometimes when the daily grind of life starts to eat away at me, all I have to do is look outside and remember where I live...