Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom

My mom is one of the most amazing people I know.  In many ways, we are alike, but in other ways {the ones that amaze me}, we are completely different.  I have to work hard at all the things that come naturally for her.  She is a very good listener and always knows the right thing to say.  She is completely at ease with people, even complete strangers.  She's curious about everyone's life story and is not afraid to ask.  She is understanding and patient and non-judgemental.  She is definitely a glass-half-full person.

When I was twelve (and not very appreciative of my mom's people skills), our family took a month-long road trip to Alaska.  As you can imagine, we were in a lot of remote places, and everywhere we stopped, my mom had to get to know someone (despite a lot of discouragement from my sister, my dad and me).  Let me name a few: 

- A fiddler from a group of {mostly drunk} homeless people who were gathered at the municipal campground we were camping at in Dawson City, Yukon Territories.  My sister, my dad and I were pretty sure we were going to be killed by this scary group {"I just want to talk with them," she said like it was no big deal.}, but I think she had this guy almost in tears telling her his life story.  

 - A gold-mining family with two girls around the same age as my sister and me.  She met them while my dad was getting gas at one of those towns that had one building {a gas station, grocery store and bar all combined}.  They were on their way into "town" (aka Anchorage), a mere five hundred mile jaunt.  The girls had been running a backhoe since they were eight and did "correspondence school" (now we would just call it "homeschooling").  We were pen pals with these girls for awhile after our trip.

- The Chicken, Alaska postmistress.  I remember her telling my mom all about the postal service in Alaska --something about flying mail in once a week with a bush plane, or was it flying the mail out?  Anyway, that was when I decided I wanted to be an Alaskan bush pilot.

- Mighty Moe of "Mighty Moe's Campground" along the Cassiar Highway in British Columbia.  This old bachelor decorated his log cabins with antlers and old toilets {"flower planters"} and other junk.  In an area where there was no electricity, he had "hot showers" -- a water tank mounted above a little framed-in privy.  The water was heated by a wood fire, which he started with a little "boy scout juice" (that's gasoline, if you're from the Lower 48).  We're pretty sure the his name was short for "Mighty Mosquitoes" because never in my life have I seen mosquitoes like we did at Mighty Moe's.  In the middle of the night after swatting and even breathing in mosquitoes for a few hours, we just got up and started driving {with the windows wide open, to keep the mosquitoes hiding under the seats of our truck where they couldn't bite us}. 

We have so many great family memories from this trip, and my mom was responsible for some of the most interesting ones.

Happy birthday to the most beautiful person I know.  I love you Mom.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! You're Mama seems like one interesting gal! Great stories by-the-way....had me laughing.