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When asked to define Alaska, how can one describe something that is rooted so deeply that it is simply a part of one's self? No matter how long I leave, Alaska is my home and always will be. The jagged shore line of Alaska provides for many coves and inlets, but when I think of home I am in the family cabin located in Bear Cove. Due to the miracles of modern technology, cell phones have replaced the radio as the primary means of contact with the civilized world but there will never be a road there. My father built the family cabin out of material combed from the beaches and dozens of trips carrying finished lumber from the nearest town by means of a flat bottom skiff.Click to view full size

Most of the snapshots are vivid in my mind, but digital representations are all too rare. Of the snapshots available it is difficult to choose which ones truly represent the images I associate with my home. I keep meaning to send a plea to my family to share their favorite photos but in the meantime I only have the results of when I happened to have a camera in my hand. This image of the view from the deck is actually a photo of a painting that was done from a photo if you can follow that. I really need to get my hands on the original photo!

Click to view full sizeI do have this image taken from the seat of the family out-house. I do not remember why I took the camera with me, maybe I was trying to figure out how to use it at the time. The beach itself is a popular place to visit as evidenced by this young moose family that dropped by.Click to view full size

Click to view full sizeThere are many beautiful spots on the island. Among them is a knoll that every member of the family has always thought would be a great spot for a wedding. It was my daughter who finally put the location to use. She decorated the knoll the previous evening so she could make the wedding walk down from the cabin after changing into her wedding dress the morning of the wedding.Click to view full size

Click to view full sizeThe knoll itself performed even better than expected. When one of the children began blowing bubbles the effect was captivating and the adults joined in.Click to view full size

My brother, a ship captain, performed the ceremony.Click to view full size

Click to view full sizeHosted by my grand-daughter (among others) the reception was held on the beach.  We dug a pit to steam the clams, corn, and other essentials.Click to view full size

Click to view full sizeIn preparation for the wedding, my father, my youngest brother, and myself went up a week early to build a larger deck on the cabin to accommodate the expected guests. Swinging a hammer, I was amazed at how difficult it was to even attempt to keep up with my father. My brother, being much younger and in better shape than myself, was able to do a little better but dad had him huffing and puffing also.Click to view full size

Click to view full sizeClick to view full sizeHis robust health and strength of character served him well in life, but aneurysms know no prejudice when seeking their victims and my father was taken from us the day after the wedding. Every morning the sun shines and the bay is calm, so we took advantage of the morning still to haul sand and mortar in five gallon buckets to a difficult to access knoll overlooking the point where the otters nest. Being the eldest son is difficult when throwing the first shovel on a father's remains, but he is now firmly rooted to the bedrock that underlies Bear Island and hopefully at rest.

Click to view full sizeSo long, Dad, I miss you and I WILL be back.Click to view full size