As I was taking my routine, early morning walk on the Dominicalito beach in Costa Rica, I heard a rustling of leaves in a 30 ft., leaning tree. It seemed so odd that I gave it my full attention wondering what was up there. Was it a monkey or a big bird? Suddenly the tree fell. I went over to look and saw nothing or nobody, but stood there a moment too long in amazement that the tree just fell. I felt two bee stings and took off running. It was a moment too late because the bees are now swarming me. I am running, trying to get the bees out of my hair and screaming like a mad women. Of course I am not escaping them. I think of running into the ocean, but the tide is very far out and the area I was currently in has very many boulders in the way. Then I decided to hit them (hit me) to kill them. I ended up with bites on my scalp, back, arms, neck and face. Each bite had a stinger left in it. Guess that means they are finished! It was traumatic.



Summer 2010

Summer happened the week of Memorial Day and July 17th! Seriously it was very overcast and broke a fifty year record of consecutive days of precipitation. The other two months were no better. Still, it was a great summer.

Beverly Lake   I love watching nature at the cabin. Our resident trumpator swans, nested, laid eggs, hatched and had the cutest sniglets. We were excited they came by to visit at two days old.swans visit, sniglets are three days old We also had a family of ducks and loon. As always, we had an occasional bald eagle fly over and very often rainbow trout were jumping. The tulips sprang up first from the bulbs Michael had planted the year before. Sprouting more slowly were the peas, lettuce, cabbage and broccoli that Michael planted. My raspberries are now three years old. In August the eight foot bushes yielded delightfully yummy red and golden berries.Raspberries

My children visit. Michael more than visited. He lived here for the summer, his third. Michael, hatcherHe was working for Princess-Holland America cruise ships rail cars pulled by the Alaska Railroad. 

Scott visited for a few weeks and it was great to share times with him at the cabin, he was there for the summer solstice. Scott, Michael and I were roasting hot dogs and made S’Mores at midnight, in the sun. We also visited Whittier, a port in beautiful Prince William Sound and Hatcher Pass, an old gold mine. Scott helped “clean the forest”.  Michael bought a chainsaw so the three of us made firewood from the fallen trees.Scott on lake

Christina visited too and we enjoyed talks, picking peas, driving to Seward in Resurection Bay, seeing former schools and homes, waterskiing, tubing with Michael. We will never forget the hike/overnight trip Michael took us on! Hatcher hikeWhat a beautiful Fall day it was with the cool, crisp air and yellow, orange and red ground cover. (we were above the trees.) We were in the Talkeetna Mountians with very interesting terrain. The hike started out with a smooth path, but quickly changed. We started ascending faster, then climbed over a “rock garden” with boulders the size of Volkswagons where you have to decide each step. Christina, boldersEasy for Michael, but Christina and I were wondering what is next? Where is Michael taking us? It was well worth it and I would love to go again. We camped beside Reed Lake. Michael took good care of us. He pitched a two man tent for the three of us, boiled water to add to the dehydrated dinner. It was chilly, but oh well. The stars were spectacular. I’d climb again twice as far just to see the stars again! We also enjoyed the wild blueberries, streams, waterfall and spending time together. Michael may have been frustrated with the laggers, but thanks Michael.
Scott and Christina hadn’t been “home” for over fifteen years. I enjoyed their visit very much. Maybe they will bring their families next year.Christina, flowers

Working for Princess-Holland America was really a test for me with the long 16 hour days and new culture of working with mainly kids in their 20s. We would go north one day, spending the night in the interior of Alaska and turning around and doing it in the south direction the next day. It got easier and more enjoyable as I got used to the job and better at it. I was a Rail Guide. Each rail car had it’s own bartender and rail guide. The cars were gorgeous dome cars which made the spectacular beauty of Alaska easy to see all around.Train, Healy The railroad is 500 miles of wilderness mostly with rivers, mountians, glaciers, bridges, a canyon, historic spots and very few cities. The highlight for the guests are the wildlife. We see moose, swans, eagle, occasionally a bear, whales and mountian goats. Seeing Mt. McKinley is always the highlight and only happens 20% of the time in a good summer and maybe 2% this summer. Denali, SusitnaWhen it is “out” it is so majestic and indescribably beautiful…wow!

The Fam  Having family in Alaska is wonderful. We got together many times. There are a lot of birthdays in the summer to celebrate. When Scott, Christina and Kendra each came we celebrated. And the usual holidays were a good reason to get together.brothers

Each summer has a highlight and hands down it was seeing my kids enjoying each other!



Scott Danley

On a gorgeous, sunny Alaskan summer morning June 25, 1972, Scott entered this world making his parents very proud. His mother wanted to have her baby in Alaska to share with her family so at 7 months pregnant they came back to Alaska and spent the summer. His first home was an apartment in his grandparents home. Grandpa John, Grandma Connie, Uncles Dave, Doug, Roy and Ken all enjoyed the new baby boy.

In the Fall the new family moved to Pomona, CA. The house was circa 1940. Scott’s dad made him a cradle that swung from the frame. His mother had a back carrier to she take me on walks with her. They visited relatives a lot because they liked to show off Scott. There was his Dad’s parents, Granny and Gramps, Gramp’s mother, Granny’s mother and dad, Aunt Florence, Mother’s Grandma Yarbrough, and other’s  aunts; Myrtle and husband Wes, Vera and Mae.

His dad worked in Commerce City and went to school at Chaffey College evenings. They moved into a duplex with a small yard. They had a garden, went on walks and waited for brother to come. When Scott was 15 months old he got his first  brother, Brent. Scott could climb out of his crib, climb up on the screen door to open the handle and was a very able toddler. He gave his mother a big scare when he wondered out the back gate into the alley, then out of sight to someone else’s yard.  His mom and dad had bikes with carriers on the back so they could take Brent and Scott on rides.

Jan 1975  The family moved to Flagstaff, AZ. Now his dad is going to college full time at Northern Arizona University. They lived on campus in married housing. The apartments all faced a courtyard so there was a sidewalk that made a big rectangle that Scott loved to ride his little scooter that he pushed with his feet. It had big fat hard plastic wheels.

Jun 1975 Mother said let’s go to Alaska for the summer so they drove 4,000 miles to get there. They picked up Uncle Dave from college in Idaho. They drove 24 hours a day. Scott’s family went to the parks, on a train trip to Whittier and loved throwing rocks into the ocean. Dad waited for a job on the Alaska Pipeline that he didn’t get until the end of summer, so he stayed on and his mother brought Scott and Brent back via CA where they visited relatives and purchased a van. His mother attended more classes at NAU so the family could keep their housing. His dad returned in November.

1976  Scott got a sister, Christina. Scott had a red bike with training wheels. He quickly learned how to ride and wanted the training wheels off and asked his mom to take them off. She was busy so he got the wrench and did it himself. He was playing on an electrical box cover and fell 4 ft. and broke his collar bone. His dad went back to Alaska to work for the summer. His mom had a preschool for Scott, Brent and the other 4 year olds in the complex. They went on field trips, had snacks, played games and had lessons. One of the more memorable field trips was to the fire station where Scott got to sit in the chiefs seat on the truck.

1977  His dad graduated from NAU so they moved to Oregon. The family loved it there in the country of Grants Pass. The neighbor had a goat that Scott learned how to milk. He turned 5 there. We weren’t there but six weeks when his Dad got a call that a job in AK working for the IRS came through. The family went to San Fransisco for his dad to have training, then drove to AK, stopping a few days in  Olympia to visit Granny and Gramps who were building their home.

Scott started kindergarten at Chugach Elementary, Anchorage, Alaska, the same school his mother started at. They lived in Grandma Connie’s house across the street from the school. Scott wore out the front of his jacket from sliding down the snow packed hill on his stomach. He transferred to Tudor Hills Elementary because the family moved across town to build a new home.

1978 Scott got a new brother, Ken. His parents built a home. One day Scott and his brother, Brent were helping and got into some tar so they were “fired”. Scott and Brent spent a lot of time with Bucky Bingham who lived at the end of the street. Tim Lethin was also a great buddy. Scottie Pond was a favorite too.

1979 Was a very good year. The family had a very large carpeted playroom complete with a rope swing. They had a large, white, fluffy dog named Sugar. Pa, Scott’s grandfather, brought 4 bunnies over so even though here was a bunny for each child Scott learned all about the care of bunnies. They got a trampoline when they weren’t popular, so lots of kids came to play. Scott and his brother Brent played hockey several nights a week. That was before indoor arenas. Brrrr.. Scott was in Cub Scouts. His Mom was  a den leader with Dorothy Burgan. Scott was always very responsible and helpful, true to being a firstborn.

1981 Brought another brother, Michael. The family built another home across the street from the one they were living in. Scott is playing soccer now. He also thinks he is old enough to drive a car which he took for a short joy ride.

1983 Fall, Scott’s family moved to Palmer. They named the house and property Springer Stables. It was situated at the end of Outer Springer Loop with ten acres, two barns and out buildings. The former owner raised Quarter horses so the family decided to continue with boarding horses and haying the adjacent 120 acres of fields. They had 18 boarding horses. He attended Sherrod Elementary. The kids had free rein with a mile square to ride bikes, visit the river, ponds and lots of friends. At home they enjoyed the trampoline, jumping into the hay, swinging off the barn roof with pulley, Scott no doubt dreamt up. His family didn’t hook up the TV so the kids played together; board games, cooking, and family projects. Once a week the family had family night where they enjoyed time together to share ideas, an activity, snack, lesson and song. Scott always took his part happily.  His family took a trip to Hawaii. They went to the tiny island of Molokai where they flew kites and enjoyed the locals and just hung out. The first day that they went to Honolulu on the island of Oahu they hung out at the Lagoon between the Hilton and the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, Scott laid on his raft, on his stomach without moving, except to paddle in the water. He had unspeakable blisters the length of the back of his legs. He needed emergency treatment and ended up with bandages and in a wheel chair since he couldn’t walk, poor Scott. The family went to the Polynesian Culture Center where he seemed to have fun in his wheel chair.

1984 Scott had beautiful Ms. Smart for 6th grade. He learned a poem which he still can recite today. The family took a trip to California, returning to minus 30 degree weather.

1985, Dec 19 left with Dad and ended up in Florida.

1986 Mom and Ken visit Scott and Brent in Florida.

1987 June, he and Brent returned to Alaska.

1988 Swim team

1989 June moved to Boulder, CO. Scott, Ken, Michael and Mom flew to Seattle, picked up the car that had been shipped and they drove to CO via CA. Then they went on a motorhome trip to Western states. At each stop Scott got the bikes out of the motorhome storage and assembled them for all. He attended Fairview High School.

1990 Graduated and returned to Alaska, Spent Christmas with grandparents in WA and decided to come back to CO. He returned to Alaska so he could drive his car down the highway. His car broke down on the isolated Alcan Highway in 40 below weather. He was luckily rescued, but had to wait for two weeks for a ride out to “civilization”.

1991 Now in Boulder he worked at TrepkeTire and enjoyed driving his black Camaro with T-Tops.

Dec 31,1993 Son Erick arrives!

1993 – 2006 Scott had several cable jobs, always receiving accolades as the “Best Employee”. Scott shared parenting with Erick’s mother, Jen. Scott enjoyed visiting his brother’s family in KS, sometimes with Erick, brother Michael and his Mom. Scott skied and switched to boarding.

He moved to Vernal, UT to drive a fuel truck.

2008 – Nov He moved to Tooele, UT and drove a fuel truck over multi states, mountainous, treacherous roads in winter and long hours.

2010 – Visit Alaska at the cabin. Michael and Mom was there. 

2012 – Oct  Hiked 8 miles at night, camped in Oct and soaked tired body at Conundrum Hot Springs.

2014 – Moved back to Alaska. Worked for Lynden Freight in Anchorage, then got a coveted job on the Trans-Alaska pipeline. Coveted because he got lots of vacations which he hadn’t had the luxury of with his other jobs. In the summer he lived at the family cabin on Beverly Lake.

2015 – Michael and Kirsten visit Alaska. Many day trips.

Went to brother Michael and Beth’s wedding

2016 – Motorcycle trip. Broke toe in a motorcycle accident on Hatcher Pass. Couldn’t go back to work for many months because he couldn’t wear a shoe. Got a job delivering mail to the post offices between Palmer and Talkeetna.

2017 – Big treat! Son Erick, Rae Rae and grandson, Brayden came for a visit. They played at the cabin, went camping and on day trips. 




Kenneth Joins the Army

March 17, 2009 my son Ken joined the Army. I wasn’t excited about his choice to enlist in the Army, especially being in his thirties. It was great visiting him and having him share the benefits as he sees them. Ken has a great attitude and will be an asset to all he serves with and for. kens-family0309He will be in basic and advanced training to be an air traffic controller for over five months and then when he gets his assignment his wife, Heidi and children, Blake, Cathryn, and James can join him. Thinking about Heidi taking care of the kids while Ken is away reminds me of when my kids father worked on the Alaska Pipeline for two seasons and was gone for many months. 


Serendipitous San Diego

San Diego has to be one of my favorites! I enjoyed the beauty, people, history, ocean, weather and ease of getting around.p10002831 Mary ended up with a ticket that she wasn’t going to use because she had no one to go with so I hastily volunteered. Balboa Park was beautiful with exquisite landscaping and well maintained buildings dating back to 1915. We rode an open air trolley around the park. The Timkem Museum was an interesting collection of art donated from the Putnam sisters. We could have spent an entire day in the park, but opted to venture on across the “blue bridge” to Coronado Island. There we walked the shore watching the sail boats, ferry, people and pelicans fishing. We ate at a BBQ restaurant in the shopping village. Yummy! My favorite shop was the art studio and my favorite artist was Grant Pecoff for his whimsical and colorful scenes. Next we head off to find Hotel Del Coronado.Hotel Del Coronado It is as grand as ever. Did you know, ” Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe was filmed there? The hotel was built in 1888. We rode the steel cage elevator. The lobby was magnificent with it’s pure elegance. In the garden was a tour of Dr Seuss statues. People of all ages and nationalities were enjoying them. The Gaslight Quarter was a must see we didn’t need to see. I guess it is for a younger crowd then we are. It was a huge restored section of San Diego alive with the bar scene. We had a hot dog. We would have enjoyed it more in the daylight. The old buildings were beautiful. Of course the streets were lined with fancy street lights with big white bulbs. We met Mary’s son in law, Patrick who is visiting the city for a doctors convention. We strolled the Seaport Village. Seaport VillageWe ate lunch at a restaurant that was extended over the water on pilings. We had the skyline of San Diego on one side and the harbor on the other. The sidewalk was lined with shops and people enjoying the park. There is a fun, gigantic sailor statue on the shoreline. We walked around the USS Midway. The USS Midway was the longest serving aircraft carrier that operated from 1945 to 1991. It looked longer than a city block. Carlsbad has “to die for” strawberries! We ate breakfast at an Armenian Restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway in Carlsbad. We wanted to find the 50 acres of flower fields which we did, but we were a few weeks late. We shopped in the flower shop there and bought some strawberries. They were a real treat!Strawberries On to the Sicilian Fest 2009. It was in Little Italy, San Diego. Very fun. It was several blocks long, blocked off with four stages and vendors lining the street. We enjoyed the various entertainers, flowers, happy people and the music that filled the air. Then we walked a few blocks past the fest into Little Italy and had pasta dinner in an Italian restaurant. We found an art show that was the shop of Grant Pecoff, whose work we had admired in the shop at Coronado Island.Sicilian Fest We wanted to at least see the beach near where we were staying in Del Mar. It was very beautiful. There were surfers, dog walkers, joggers and the thing I enjoyed the most, purple flowers everywhere and of course, the azure surf. While I was waiting for Mary to arrive in San Diego I walked a few blocks of Broadway on the brick sidewalk imagining what it would have been like in 1888 when my Grandma Edyth was born there. I explored the Horton Plaza that is built in the same place Horton began his dreams of a city of splendor and read other history accounts of the area. I also enjoyed the transit system with buses and trolleys. To see more photos go to my Photo album.


You Are Valuable

A man was exploring caves by the Seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. dscn19032 As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone! copy-2-of-dscn1950 Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away! me-at-kanapali-beach It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person. There is a treasure in each and every one of us. Take the time to get to know that person, and, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth. May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay.


A Perfect Day

Waking in a bungalow 8 feet off the ground excited to explore Vang Vieng, Laos with Michael is the beginning of a perfect day. Farm animals were on the property behind us. bungalow12We heard pigs, birds, roosters and a myriad of other animal sounds. Our bungalow was situated on the bank of a beautiful river, Nam Xong. Vang Vieng is only a few blocks in each direction so we walked, passing happy children, chickens, very simple houses and experiencing a new culture. We floated down the river on intertubes. We asked the tuk tuk driver to take us further up the river and were thankful later he hadn’t. la-river-at-vang-vieng2The river was slow moving, clear so you could see the bottom and gorgeous. The float took about 4 hours. We saw women and a few men harvesting algae from the river, putting it in a basket on their back. I harvested some and one of the men smiled. I used a long bamboo pole to harvest with, which I was also using to push me along. We stopped to explore a cave. From the river bank we walked through a field, wondering if we were on a “wild goose chase”, then climbed the steep craggy lime mountain. cave2When we finally reached the opening we looked in and I thought, “OK we see it let’s go.” It looked like a very huge opening in the mountain. Michael wanted me to climb down in. I did so grumbling. The surprise was that when we got down into the cave we could see much more cave in front of us. It also was a nice break from the heat being that it was cool. We walked and walked. It was if the whole mountain was hollow. The cave was flat bottomed, about 50 feet wide and 30 feet high. Many times it is good to listen to your kids. Along the river were a few entrepreneurs with cold drinks and a rope you could swing over the river and jump in. The vistas were breathtaking with tall limestone mountains and green fields. By the end of the float I had thoroughly enjoyed the river and warm sun, but my arms were tired from treading water. I remember seeing massage establishments near the take out and think it would be a great idea to have one. After having a refreshment Michael and I talked to the lady about getting a massage. I was first and Michael would come back in an hour for his…well at the beginning of my massage in broken, very broken English I heard, “you like 2 hours, it would be very nice?” Well, I thought Michael won’t be back for an hour, then he will be another hour and it was only $4. an hour so why not. I want to go back for some more. Lao masseuse have a unique, indescribable technique! field2We rented a motorcycle to explore and turned down a small dirt lane, all “roads” are dirt, to see people tending to their daily living, with cows, chickens and kids on the lane. They stared at us because we are such an oddity, but with smiles and greeting of SABADEE. (Good Day) I loved those happy, simple, beautiful people and there simple life and gorgeous country. We ate dinner in an open air stall. The young girl waiting on us showed interest in new words, so Michael taught her how to greet someone and ask their name. She was precious and thankful. He checked with her the next day to see if she remembered. sunset3Michael is a great travel companion. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to travel and experience with him.


Burned to the Ground

Burned to Ground

Katalla Company Hospital at Camp 1

Fire which started in the house occupied by John Longacre, electrician for the Katalla Company at camp 1, on Wednesday morning, April 1909, about 1 o’clock, destroyed the building and then spread to the hospital which was also burned to the ground, with a portion of its furniture, fixtures and appliances.

Mr. Longacre’s escape from death was almost miraculous, and was probably due to the cries of the house cat, which roused him from sleep to find the house a mass of smoke and flame.

Mr. Longacre was alone in the house. Mrs. Longacre having gone to Martin Point to join a party which was going on an outing next day to Softuk bar (to fish). He retired about 11 o’clock and was soon sleeping soundly. About two hours later he was partially aroused by a crackling sound, but not fully. Just then the load cries of the cat awakened him completely. He jumped out of bed and made his way to the outer room, which was filled with smoke, while flames were licking up ceiling and walls. He tried to reach a window but found himself again in the bedroom where even the bed was then on fire. Dropping to the floor to escape instant suffocation, he crawled toward the window and fortunately, this time he reached it, just as the wall separating the two outer rooms fell down. Nearly suffocated he fell against the single pane of the lower window, breaking it and then tumbled through the opening to fresh air and life. Getting to his feet he tried to shout but he had inhaled too much smoke and could not. Clad only in his night clothes, and sockless, he make his way to Red Christensen’s house and gave alarm. By the time that Mr. Nathan and others reached the place the hospital building was in the grip of the flames and attempts made to save it, and it was futile, was soon consumed.

katella 1914

It is believed that the fire caught from a terra cotta flue in the ceiling. After escaping from the house Mr. Longacre remembered that he had recently installed a gasoline stove in the kitchen at the rear of the house, and the fire not having reached it, he succeeded in rescuing it intact.

Mr. and Mrs. Longacre lost all their household effects, clothing and other belongings. A portion of the hospital equipment had been packed for shipment to Cordova, and taken to the dock, but a large amount was lost. The hospital was built by the of Katalla Company in 1907, and with equipment, which was an excellent one, probably cost $25,000. The entire plant of the company is covered by insurance.

Excerpt  from Wrangell St. Elias News  March & April 2009


Making A Difference

Why are we here? For me one of the reasons is to make a difference. How can one person make a difference? You probably are already making a difference in ways you don’t even know. There are several ways I like to make a difference. The first one is having children and doing my best to pass on love and good character. I am proud of Scott, Brent, Christina, Kenneth and Michael. kids0309They are now living the lives they believe in with love in their hearts. We make a difference to strangers by offering small acts of kindness, encouraging words or even a smile to brighten their day. To our community we make a difference by giving our talents. I like to help someone organize a space, room or house that is causing them frustration. I have enjoyed sharing my talents as a seamstress to make a wedding dress, recover furniture or help a grandchild make a pillow. In the global arena it is easy to make a difference by donating to people with less to help a women in a third world country start a cottage business so she can provide for her family or help fund a water system to provide safe drinking water to the entire community.


Beverly Lake, Alaska

It is an awesome life when you can spend the summer at the edge of a small secluded lake in Alaska and watch nature happen.  You choose…do you want to sit on the dock to be closer to the fish jumping, lake otters swimming around you, watch the loons play, and occasionally have the gracious swans visit.swans-with-flowersOr would you rather lounge on the deck with a good book and see the resident eagle fly over and perch on a nearby spruce, listen and watch the small planes fly over and watch nature though out the summer as the leaves come out, the first wildflowers bloom and then more. It is really a thrill. 

I like to sit in my recliner in front of the wall to wall windows and watch the birds feed and fly from tree to tree, the squirrel jump from limb to limb and sometimes harass the birds and ducks and the mother duck waddle up from the lake to under the bird feeder with her babies in tow to eat bird seed.