Thursday, March 12, 2009

Aside from going to work and saving like a good little ant, how does one pay for a wedding? By gambling of course! We’ve got 4 tickets for the Nenana Ice Classic and several crossed fingers.

Call it whatever you want, it’s still the Sears tower. And it remains Comiskey Park as well.

It’s hard to come up with something to say about attending the Iditarod in Willow this past Sunday. The Saturday start in Anchorage that makes the newspapers is really a ceremonial start, and certainly has its place. However, the start in Willow on a frozen lake is the real start (they call it the restart). We trudged with our sled of wood and tailgating supplies to a patch in the middle of the lake and set up our operation. Soon our fired roared on top of the ice, though the clear, windless, sunny 20 degree weather was plenty comfortable. People were in a perpetually great mood, while walking around in every type of fur hat and gloves, along with the ubiquitous Bunny Boots. Simply a pure Alaskan party in every way. The crystallizing moment for me came right after we removed our stocking caps for the national anthem. We kept them removed as the loudspeaker crackled a perfect soprano of Alaska’s Flag, ultimately clapping and all rejoicing at the unique place and moment we were in. Alaskans really love Alaska – very few people here find themselves in the great white north by accident. The moment struck me as beautiful, crisp, and alive. I can’t find a recording of that moment on the internet yet, but these kids really nail it. It also helps that it is a really good song.

Eight stars of gold on a field of blue —

Alaska's flag. May it mean to you

The blue of the sea, the evening sky,

The mountain lakes, and the flow'rs nearby;

The gold of the early sourdough dreams,

The precious gold of the hills and streams;

The brilliant stars in the northern sky,

The "Bear" — the "Dipper" — and, shining high,

The great North Star with its steady light,

Over land and sea a beacon bright.

Alaska's flag — to Alaskans dear,

The simple flag of a last frontier.

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