I watched the most adorable video of a mamma moose and her two calves playing on a lawn in Anchorage. The grass was green, green, green and there were mature shrubs and trees. The calves were frolicking, running in circles through a sprinkler and around and around their mamma.
It is funny the things that make you homesick. I watched the video two or three times, focusing not on the moose, but instead on the surroundings. That could have been my lawn! The neighborhood could have been my neighborhood. I am sure it wasn’t, but the point is, it could have been.
So. Many. Summer. Days. Playing with my kids on green lawn. Lethargic dog snoozing in the sun. Just getting out of the house, gardening, running around, kicking the ball, and yes, running through the sprinkler. There is a picture in my mind. Sarah is caught, mid jump and there is pure joy on her face. In the background are my round bellied little nephews waiting for their turn. It paints the perfect picture of a typical summer day in Anchorage.
We did not choose that though. When the call came, we went. We moved our family to Ketchikan, and yes, there are perfect summer days here too, they are however, very different. A perfect summer day here is so noisy! Little float-planes taking off, one after another. Cruise ships pass and speakers echo shore excursions available. Misty mornings start off at around 4:00 am with fog horn after fog horn. Traffic is heavier on our single little congested road – tour buses go north, buses go south. The sound of ten different languages are heard on the our narrow sidewalks.
A summer day for Ketchikan kids also means a morning spent at the beach. Bugge Beach, Settler’s Cove, Refuge. And they mean afternoons with a kiddie pool on the deck. Rainy days, and yes there are many more rainy days are spent with Polly Pocket and painting and reading and maybe a little too much screen time. Barney, the Care Bears. Advertisements on the television for things that light up or make noise.
So I watched that video, I looked at those green yards, the birch trees, the neighborhood. Pockets of those neighborhoods are everywhere in Anchorage, split level homes with big yards and trees in the backyard. Dogs. Kids. Sprinklers. And it was easy to envision that this could have been my life – But the key idea, the thing that is important – kids are kids, summer days are summer days. Here, in Ketchikan. In Anchorage. My Grandson in Tacoma. There is a pure joy that is a perfect summer day. Even for a moose calf.
(Envision, lethargic, key and Advertisements were prompt words and sort of awkwardly applied)