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Town Time

You’d think we’d gone to Vegas. This past weekend we went to town for our quarterly market trip with clear ideas and sober lists of needed groceries, dry goods, and appointments.  The allure of town was too great, however. We blew our cash, extended our stay, indulged in room service, and came crawling haggardly home with wry grins, empty pockets, and a temporary sense of satisfaction.

On Thursday morning, we loaded up the truck and headed South. We dosed Jacob up on the Dramamine so as to avoid another carsickness mishap. When we pulled out, he was prattling along as he does when the sudden silence caught both Stephanie’s and my attention. We looked behind us to see him slumped over in his car seat. Five minutes into the trip, the drugs worked. I drove the Circle to Central section fast enough to make even Stephanie a little carsick. She didn’t actually wretch, luckily. But we had to switch places so that she could focus on the road ahead and keep it together. Man, that’s a fun road. I love our little truck, but it is small and gets full fast. On a longish drive like the one to Fairbanks, we can get awfully cramped with all of our gear. Cramped space plus four people times three hours equals jangled nerves.

Town time is good time. We had College Town Pizza (it’s worth a drive to Fairbanks, so come on!), Chili’s, and Thai. Stephanie seized the opportunity for some large amounts of personal time in town, while I got to hang out at the hotel with the boys. It was what we both wanted and needed. She did some shopping and got a hair cut and a permanent. She looks cute. Young and sexy.
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On the way to dinner on Friday night, we came across two moose ambling through a local neighborhood two blocks from our hotel. One of the moose had already been hit by a car some time in the past, as evidenced by the gimpy rear leg. They were both yearling calves about the height of a horse, but not as heavy. Their mother was probably a previous victim of road kill. I caught up with them in an unenclosed backyard as they browsed the dried leaves and berries remaining on the ends of the tree branches. I recognize that moose are dangerous wild animals that should not be approached, but these calves were clearly docile and nonplussed by my presence. Still, I kept the fence between us as I took a few pictures. I had only the 50mm lens, and these things were so close, I honestly wished I’d had the wide angle with me. I could hear them grunt at each other with deep, quiet “ummph” sounds, as well as their teeth grinding mastication. It was thrilling to be so close. And honestly it did occur to me a couple of times, “I could cut you up and eat you.”

On Friday morning, Stephanie and I both had optometrist appointments, which brings up a long standing, good natured argument between me and Stephanie. I’ve been telling Stephanie for years that I don’t need glasses. Sure, the fine print is a little blurry, but I can see just fine. She talked me in to going to the eye doctor, just to check. After a few precursory questions, he put these drops in my eyes that totally screwed up my vision. I mean, suddenly I couldn’t see a thing. And so he asked me, now can you read the letters? Big surprise coming: No, I can’t see a thing. Maybe because of the twisted DROPS you put in my eyes. Of course he had a prescription for glasses that would fix me right up.

On Saturday, we bundled Jacob and Toby and all went to the annual Ice Art Championships. It was sunny and a warmish zero degrees. In addition to the single and multi block entries, there are many ice attractions for the kids. Toby was bundled and strapped to Stephanie while Jacob and I explored all the caves, mazes and slides. Oh my, did the boy have fun. There was a progression of slides of increasing lengths and slope. That Jacob is a crazy man, and he hurled himself recklessly and joyously down each one. As soon as he was still, he’d look back at me and ask, “‘gen? ‘gen? ‘gen?” in hopes of another run down the slide. What joy. What a fun afternoon.   

We ate lunch at Chili’s, where I was smacked with a little bit of nostalgia for Texas. Even in Alaska, Chili’s decorates with photographs and signs from chili cook-offs and related events that take place down in the Texas neighborhood. I always look for my brother Bud or any of his fellow cooks drunks enthusiasts in these pictures. Didn’t see Bud, but was still left with a pang of missing Texas. The words, “San Marcos” carry as much myth and romance as do the names of Alaskan locales such as Cantwell, Girdwood, and Anaktuvik. They are both cases of the sign being more appealing than the signified. Texas, our Texas, all hail the might state.  

Pictures of all this and more are on the pictures page. Now we are home, fully stocked with groceries, broke, tired, and smiling. Ready to face another month of cold and isolation while waiting out the last stretch of winter.

Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 12:41AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

Thanks for the update. Jacob sure is having lots of fun.
March 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterdad
"I could cut you up and eat you." :-) I laughed out loud.
March 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWife
I just went to the eye doctor today. I, too, got the strange drops that blurred my vision beyond repair. I went back to work and they told me that if I can't tell the difference between a 6 and an 8, I probably shouldn't be doing accounting. Now I wish I had scheduled the appointment for first thing in the morning!
March 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Brian
Man I am going to the Eye Doctor today and I am going to make sure that I do not get those drops. My sight is bad enough! What great pictures. Stephanie your hair looks so cute. The boys are so cute. love you all, Mom
March 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMom

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