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As Rare as a Starry Night

Our Cessna Grand Caravan pulled to the edge of the runway and spun around with the roar of the turbo prop and the spray of blowing snow. As the students climbed aboard, I jumped into the co-pilot’s seat for the hour-long flight to the village of Venetie, host of the school district’s annual volleyball tournament. Ahead of us lay a couple hundred miles of empty wilderness.

I’d love to say that with wide eyes I soaked in the wild Alaskan landscape, relished the sunrise over the Crazy Mountains, looked intently for game trails below, and even saw a bull moose standing in a grove of spruce trees. I didn’t though. Soon after the pilot circled over the town once and pushed north, I leaned back and fell instantly asleep.

Someone once theorized that if the stars in the night sky were out only one night every hundred years, then that centennial display would be celebrated as the highest of holidays. Parents would tell their children stories about stars with the greatest reverence and nostalgia. Some would even doubt their existence while others would believe and wait with expectation. This night of stars would be greeted as the single greatest wonder in the natural world. No one would dare sleep on the night of their arrival, but would watch in wonder, worship and celebration until the morning sun washed the stars away.

I woke with a jump to the sound of a cockpit alarm, warning the pilot that we were too close to the ground. I hate those things, and I wish the pilots would anticipate those alarms and turn them off before they sound. On this occasion, the alarm only meant that we were making our final descent into the remote village of Venetie.

Stephanie made it to Fairbanks without incident. My mother’s plane, however, was the recipient of a bomb threat, and was greeted in Anchorage to a fleet of police cars, fire trucks, bomb squad, and FBI. She missed her connecting flight, but was put on a later one. She arrived in Fairbanks, but her luggage remained in Anchorage to be screened further.

Since it was already so late, and since my mother’s luggage wasn’t there yet, Stephanie decided to stay in Fairbanks for the night. They are driving back to Circle this morning. I was worried about them being delayed by weather, wildlife, or auto trouble. I didn’t expect them to be delayed by a babbling apostle.

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 06:33AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

I was worried too about them driving late in the day and already dark. Hope Liz' suitcase got there early enough so that they have plenty of time for getting back to Circle. If I haven't already mentioned it, thanks for the daily blogs. I know it takes a lot of work and time, but your info really makes us the reader feel connected to your family life in the boonies.
November 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDad (J)
Had I been Lizabeth on that plane I would have passed out cold from fear. Your mom is a dear friend of ours here in Plano. Can't imagine that cold temp. Stay warm, it's a balmy 58 here. Give your mom a hug for us.

Cheri
December 4, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercheri

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