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Layered Memories

[Brian is in the big city of Anchorage this week for an education institute.]

When I land in Anchorage and go to baggage claim to fetch my bags, I am reminded that Fairbanks is not the only hub for people from bush Alaska. There are a number of communities way out there that fly in to Anchorage for their groceries and such. But they fly in on Alaska Airlines, which is a Southwest Airlines sized 747, rather than the tiny little bush planes we are used to.

What reminds me of this is seeing all of the empty Coleman ice chests and Rubbermaid totes stacked within each other and expertly taped closed that come off of the baggage claim carousel. This is bush life. This is the routine they’ve developed and that I so easily recognized. They’ll go to Sam’s and Fred Meyer, fill all those totes and ice chests with groceries and other goods, retape them, and fly back to Kotzebue or Bethel or wherever.

As I deplaned in Anchorage on Wednesday, I took the ever so familiar path into the terminal, down to baggage claim, then outside where I walk down the covered sidewalk to the cab stand and get in the next available taxi. I’ve done this many times now. Most always alone, like now, traveling to some conference or meeting. It’s become familiar, but this time was a little different.

Earlier this fall, after leaving Seattle behind and returning to Alaska, Stephanie and Sarah and I had to stop in Anchorage to see the cardiologist there. We landed at the airport and walked down to baggage claim before walking together to the cab stand. I remember thinking then, and saying to Stephanie, that this is what I did and where I walked when I came to Anchorage alone. And here I was now retracing those steps with Stephanie and Sarah.

So on Wednesday when I arrived, I had a new memory layered on top of all the old ones. As I walked the familiar route to the cab stand, dragging my suitcase behind, I thought about Stephanie and Sarah, our life, and our most recent trip together. And what's weird is that from now on, I will probably always think this same thought, every time I walk down that same path. 

Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 08:22AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell in , | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

That's cool that you will always have that memory of bringing your daughter closer to home.
November 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMel
It is a bittersweet thing.....isn't it?
November 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

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