I saw yellow autumn trees decorate the mountain-side in Alaska a month ago! With a lovely group of Mississippians, we took the last Inland Passage Cruise of the season from Vancouver to Seward, closed down the chalet in Denali National Park and rode the last train before winter from Denali to Fairbanks.
A humorous story in Denali. Leaving the chalet restaurant after breakfast, Bill and I chatted with the manager. “Yes, we close tomorrow, in fact the whole town of Denali closes for winter. My car is packed and if I had a dog, it’d be in there too. I’m driving back to Florida tomorrow.”
In Fairbanks, the bus driver gave a city tour, chatting as he drove. The driver sounded amazed as he quipped, “We’ve usually had frost by now. My wife had to water her flowers this morning!” We were surprised to see colorful flowers all over Fairbanks in late September.
As we rode over a bridge, we were told, “This is the Bridge of Flags; every state flag is here!” I spotted “Mississippi” on the left waving in the bright sunshine.
I’m feeling reflective. I’ve seen pristine scenery, snow-covered mountains, and gorgeous glaciers with the purest blue colors. Not as much wildlife as we expected though we did see two magnificent moose, lots of Dall sheep, a porcupine (really), and a few eagles. As an aside, I must add, if you want to see eagles, go to Sitka! They’re all over the place like our seagulls on the Mississippi Gulf. We went to Sitka on another trip. Sitka is a wonderful town for walking around. We loved the Russian Orthodox church with its beautiful icons inside the sanctuary. The people stand in the center to worship; no pews.
Perhaps you’ve been to Alaska or maybe you’ve always wanted to go. But your priorities are different now. You’re working and parenting. Raising children in diapers or pre-schoolers or teens…with their activities and schedules. You’re running a house hold with laundry and meals…I know. Keep Alaska on your “List To Do One-Day.” Meanwhile, I hope something in Nana’s notes will encourage you. Let me share some inspiration from Alaska.
The stunning scenery and powerful music of the film about Denali was worth seeing more than once. Friends Tom, Jane and Lewis sat with us for a second viewing. My husband sat through the film at the Denali visitors center four times (really, four!) …so I finally got the exact wording I loved at the beginning of the film and noted in my journal. I wanted to buy a copy for ourselves, for our children and their families for Christmas.
So during Bill’s third viewing, I went out to inquire where to buy the film. “The bookstore with the red door,” I was directed to, was closed. I tapped on the door. “Sorry, we’re closed for the season and doing inventory.” I went back, saw the end of the third showing and watched a fourth with Bill. He obviously liked it! So I tried again to find where we could purchase the film.
From the main visitor’s center, “Follow the dinosaur footprints…” and finally after walking to a lovely nature-science center in Denali we found the center with interesting books, DVD’s, interactive computers and a wonderful guide. “Starting next week,” the ranger, N. J. Gates said, “this will become the Winter Visitor’s Center, for Denali National Park stays open all year!”
The beautiful quote:
“I came to Denali [to _____*] :
- to listen,
- to slow down,
- to reconnect with what is sacred in life!”
[Please read the above quote again and substitute for the word Denali, your quiet place: your front porch, your den, your patio, your desk, or your backyard.]
Wherever you are today, whatever season of your life, make time for yourself. I encourage you to sit with your open Bible, be still and reflect on your day, your life, and your blessings from God. Look for beauty in nature around you in our lovely state. After our long dry summer, Autumn has come to Mississippi! Many days sparkle with bright sunshine, low humidity, and a clear blue sky.
If your spirit is in a season of drought, I hope these notes will be like a breath of fresh air or “like a letter written on your heart.” Remember:
- “Christ is in you, the hope of glory!”
- “There is a time and a season for every activity” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
- “God has placed eternity in your heart,” (v.11).
- “God wants you to find satisfaction in all your work” (v. 13).
God is with you today…and in all seasons of your life. This day is from Him, in Him, through Him. Remember to praise Him where-ever you are…in Alaska or in Mississippi, dear Moms! With love, Nana o/`