I love my wife Maria. I love Alaska. Having the huge bay that is Kachemak, and the huge 440,000 acre park across the way as my playground is a blessing beyond measure. Using my talents to share the cool things that I know about with our guests comes naturally to me, and watching their excitement, their facial expressions, and seeing their overall enjoyment is waaaay satisfying for me. On days that I don’t guide, staining the house, mowing the lawn, or working on some other project – with this gorgeous backdrop? No matter what the work is, a man better not complain!
But all summer long – I feel this yearning inside. The yearning is for home, for things that are loved and cherished. Things that are familiar. I try to focus on what is in front of me, but I can’t deny what I feel inside, and I feel it every single day.
“Home” for me is Minnesota – where I have spent the vast majority of my 52 years. My family is there: my mother Sharon, my daughter Lauren and her husband Michael, and my most loved granddaughter Hazel (WHO I CAN’T WAIT TO HOLD, PLAY WITH AND BABYSIT)!!! There too, are my best friends, who I won’t name lest I leave someone out – but these are friends that are like family, and the men? They are close as brothers. Unfortunately, in Alaska, I have been too busy to make the close, intimate friendships that I have made in Minnesota. These intimate friendships are the very fabric of my being, and that is why I miss them so much.
Fall is also my favorite time of year. I love the changing of the season, the chill in the air, the frosty mornings and sunny afternoons. Time in the marsh hunting ducks, and time afield, hunting grouse and pheasants. Sitting in the deer stand, waiting for that special encounter with a deer. Trapping nuisance beaver, or that elusive bobcat or fisher. Having meals with friends and family. Showing an adopted niece or nephew what I know. Four wheeling endless trails through the woods. I could go on and on, but all of these adventurous activities revolve around quality time with people – and I yearn for it all summer while I am in Alaska.
It has been a good season at Majestic View B and B. With Maria and I working together on house projects, expanding what we offer, advertising and promotions – we were UP over 20% in 2016. In 2017, we are up even more. We are currently pulling in our horns a bit on remodeling, and focusing our efforts on becoming debt free. In 2018, we hope to be even more full – especially in May and September, where I am working on catering to guests who will stay with us while hunting black bear and collector sea ducks. I am here to see that it happens, so if the reader is interested, or if they know of someone who is, please send them our way!
So tomorrow morning, when I first open my eyes and they stay open, I will hug and kiss and say my goodbyes to Maria, and then I will climb in my truck and start the 3600 mile journey back to Deerwood, MN. Along the way, I will stop to rest for two days, and visit my brother and his wife in British Columbia. If I’m lucky, my brother will be in the mood to hunt a mule deer, or a black bear. Quality time with my brother in the field is one of my favorite things.
Once I’m home, I will go back to helping men who are in substance abuse treatment at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge in Brainerd, MN – where I work as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is always trying to improve mental health treatment options at this facility, while at the same time; providing the best one on one life-changing treatment that I can.
Since I only work part time, other time will be devoted to reconnecting with family and friends, pursuing our hobbies, and something else that I am REALLY excited about.
Maria and I have been talking about this for a couple of years now. It doesn’t pay for us to have a home in MN as we are there only half the year – but we do need a place of our own. We have been dreaming about having a hybrid Ice Castle/RV – something that we can live in in the woods during fall, and live in on the ice (Whitefish Lake) during winter. Yes – the ice is that thick, and it’s safe! This unit will be with us for years to come as we retire and travel about the US. I will be on the look out for just the right unit when I get back to MN – so stay tuned for our announcement in a future blog!
Meanwhile, back at Majestic View Bed and Breakfast, Maria will be catering to the last of our guests, who are still trickling in. Today, we have a gentleman visiting from Israel. Maria will also be working on renting four of our seven units, and the sooner she does, the better. Then, she will pack up her things, including her two dogs Brody and Blue, and will head to MN to be with me for her longest stay yet.
I’m going to miss her, BAD. But, before we were married, we were two very independent people who lived alone for a long time. We do ok. It is not ideal, and it IS temporary -so we can live with it, for now. But the goal is that we spend a chunk of time in AK, a chunk of time in MN, and a chunk of the winter in some warm place like FL or AZ. With time, we trust that it will all come together.
I still have so much to blog about! I want to talk more about the B and B and the goings on there, I want to tell stories about cool things that happened with individual guests this summer at the b and b and out in my boat, I want to share awesome photos and videos that keep trickling in from guests. We want to build and promote for 2018, which we feel will be our best year yet. But there will be a lull here for a week or two – while I travel and get settled. Just know that I will be back soon!
One of the first things I will share will be a compiled video of a MASSIVE halibut that I battled with a guest just last week. Watch for it cuz I know you’re gonna love it!
Do me a favor and say a prayer that Maria gets the B and B in order fast, and gets good quality renters, so that we can be together sooner than later.
Thanks to all our guests and readers for a great season!