20 April 2011

Getting to Know Me: Alaska

A while ago, I asked you to give me your best questions and I promised to answer them.

Well here's the first installment...

Getting to Know Me: Alaska

I got quite a few questions asking me how I was born in Alaska.

Well you see my mom was pregnant. And usually when women are pregnant, they give birth to babies.

Haha. See what I did there? I made a joke.

Ok, here's the real story.

My dad ended up moving to Alaska out of college. He was presented with three options with the job he had been working in college: we fire you, you move to Texas, or you move to Alaska.

Being the hunting/fishing/wilderness man he is, he moved to Alaska, only taking the things he could fit in the back of his truck.
Eventually he was let go and found a job working with an oil company.

During this same time, my mom's dad worked for the same oil company. Her family moved numerous times around the country and Canada, and at the same time my dad started working at the company, my mom's family moved back to Alaska.

My grandfather's best friend was my dad's boss and they introduced my parents.

They met. They fell in love. Then I was born in Alaska.

I lived there for almost 10 years. My dad left the company and we moved to the "lower 48."

I remember the day that my parents told me we were moving. I thought my life was over. Absolutely, horrifically, undeniably over. But really, it was a great experience. I am a firm believer that moving around a bit is good for kids. I have been the new kid 3 times. And although each time was tough, I sure grew a lot.


Alaska was amazing. Probably the best place in the world.

I moved December 1994, but I've never gone back. And frankly, I'm not sure if I want to. The older I get, the more my memories seem magical. The thoughts of the northern lights, moose in my backyard, fireweed growing wild, the never ending summer days.. those all seem like things from a movie.


So there are some usual questions I always get about Alaska, so let me answer a few of those.

Q. Is it always light during the summer?
A. Pretty much, yes. It's sunny almost 24 hours, and even if it does get "less light," you're asleep anyway. If you move to Alaska any time soon, make sure to get really think shades.

Q. Is it always dark during the winter?
A. Pretty much, yes. It's dark, dark at night and then for a few short hours in the middle of the day it's kind of overcast-gloomy-dark. Aside from being actually long, winter is emotionally long in Alaska. As a little kid it didn't bother me. I would play outside forever, only going in for dry gloves. Sometimes I'd dry my gloves on the dryer vent for fear of my mom telling me I had to stay in.

Q. Is it really snowy?
A. Yea, it's pretty snowy for much of the year. Winter is a long, long season in Alaska. Although I can remember many times the snow was taller than me and we opened the garage door unable to get out of the driveway, I can't remember ever having a snow day at school. Only the students who lived in the mountains were bussed to school, and from what I remember, if the bus couldn't make it, they just didn't come to school.

Q. When you spit, does it freeze before it hits the ground (this is a question that I got on my first day at my new school in Pennsylvania).
A. You know, I don't think so. But I wouldn't be surprised.

So there you have it, how I came to be in Alaska.

Although I've been away many more years than I spent there, Alaska is still a huge part of who I am.

Funny story:

On standardized tests, I filled in the bubble for "Alaskan native" because, duh, I was born there. Until one day in junior high a teacher came over and told me that I wasn't really an Alaskan native. I was devastated.

picture source


  1. Great post! I've always been rather fascinated with Alaska.

  2. ok that story at the end is too cute! sounds like a wonderful place to grow up!! hope you are well!! susan

  3. hahaha, Alaskan native, I can see where you are coming from though...you WERE born and raised there for a while! :) Thanks for the insight about your past. My husband is actually looking at a residency program there in Alaska (Anchorage)

  4. Boo on that teacher for bursting your bubble. I say you can be an Alaskan native if you want to! And how does she know? Just by your super white skin? HMPH! ;-)

  5. I so enjoyed your post! I love to read about other places and we plan to visit Alaska one day. We've been to each of the lower 48 but haven't had enough time to go all the way UP THERE! I'm in FLorida.

    Alaskan native sounds right to me! :)


  6. Great post, Laura. We went to AK for our honeymoon and I loved it...agree it's a magical place!

  7. Aw, that part about being a native made me smile :) I've always kind of wanted to go to Alaska (well, I really want to go to Antarctica, but Alaska is much more reasonable, ha!)

  8. I love this post! I too am From Alaska and I moved to the lower 48 when I was 10 years old. Whenever I hear someone say "the lower 48" I know they are an Alaskan. Can I just say.....I have been back twice and all the memories are real. It's as amazing and magical as I remembered. So where did you live in Alaska? I lived on the Kenai Peninsula, out in Nikiski.

  9. The Alaska native comment made me laugh...I am from Alaska (Fairbanks) and put that down too until my Mom told me I was not native I was just born there. Reading your comments brought back a lot of memories. Thanks!

  10. See what you learn about people from blogs?? I moved to Alaska when I was 14... not the best of times I'll tell you. My kids are also 'native"- all of them said the same thing when they were in school. My family is still there though, so I go back every year or two (I was there in August) I graduated from Wasilla, but lived in Fairbanks for several years too.


Thank you for coming along for the ride with me. Your comments make my day!