Lots has taken place since the last update. Hardly time to catch a breath.
After camp was over we had thought about immedietly heading to Fairbanks. But several things kept us from really doing that.
Plane ticket prices were really high to leave right away. Berry Picking retreat was coming up. There was a lot to do, and we did not have jobs waiting for us in FAI. So we stayed at Kako.
It was good we stayed.
We helped staff camp, as a team was a kako for 10 days, and they were flying a high-performance helocopter in and out everyday. Was a busy time.
The barge came, and I help with that and we got some fuel runs in with the Caterpiller.
Berries arrived, and we picked lots of Raspberries and blueberries.
Ladies Berry picking retreat kept us very busy. Bill and I worked hard finishing up a years-long project, of selling a couple
damaged/dismantled airplanes that we had. That involved builting a 40' sled, and putting two fuseloges, 4 wings, and many mis. pieces on it,
so we could drag them down to the Yukon river, to be put on the barge. We got it done, and the sled down to the river just as the barge was pulling in.
(We were praying and sweating it, as that was probably the last time this year the barge would come)
I was working hard trying to fix Hondas most of my time. Parts were slow to come, and some unexpected things happened.
And then Bill and Jonathan were gone for a while, and Dave and I were the only guys in camp. Kept us busy! Bathroom remodel to do. Some camp stuff
still needed to be put away. Helped Dave work on the mine. It was pretty much running when I left.
A three-part update on our actual move.
We are in FAI now.
Because of bad weather and other factors, we did not leave Kako on Sunday, August 18th But planned for Monday morning, the 19th, 7am. (no one is ever up
So we packed and worked pretty hard on Sunday. We had an unexpected planload of fish show up, which took a lot of energy and time to prepare and freeze as
We finished painting our house. (We like leaving things better than we found them, especially since the walls were ugly, black from the wood stove)
I finished putting down the floor and trimming out the upstairs/bathroom remodel.
When we got to the house we were going to stay in at Kako, we discovered that there was an unfinished project upstairs. The upstairs 1/2 bath had been
torn out, along with the small office next to it, in preparation for putting in a full bathroom.
It was hoped that I could deal with the unfinished project, which was not much farther along then being done with demolition.
In the last week and a half, I rough framed and installed the walk-in shower, added new plumbing for drains and water lines, sheetrocked and custom made
some shelving to minimize wasted space. I had fun being creative, as only you can do in AK. Might seem boring to read, but I came up with a new way to
anchor the shower. The front edges of the shower has a 1 1/2" flange, designed to be nailed into framing, and then covered with sheetrock. I did not want
to/was unable to do that. So I cut both sides of that flange down to 1/4" sticking out of the shower.
Then I brought my framing out to 1/2" back from
that edge. Slapped the sheetrock on, leaving 1/2". Then I made some nice 2" trim, made a groove in the back, 1/4" deep, and glued/nailed that trim on
both sides of the shower, securely fastening the shower, saving space, and making the shower look really sharp.
Also, I sheetrock and taped/textured the whole bath, and a new closet, painted, installed a new exhaust fan, moved ceiling lights, switches and plugs.
Trimmed everything, glued flooring down and baseboard. Started building the new vanity/bathroom cabinet. I got the plywood up, glued the fermica on,
set and plumbed the sink, and mounted a big mirrored, medicine cabinet and new light fixture on a box.
Then it was time to do some cleanup and organizing of Hondas. So we left the power on all night. It was dark and rainy. Jonathan was working on some
other stuff, and I worked all night cleaning up the hanger space and organizing hondas and projects.
Putting away tools and sorting out my stuff. Earlier
in the day Jonathan and I went down to Russian Mission, where the Honda that we just bought from the city of Russian Mission was sitting. I rebuilt the
starter for it, and we did a bunch of little things to it and put it back together. We got it running and moved it to a safe place, before we bring it up
to Kako. It is a modern machine! Nothing like Kako has ever had before.
I got really busy and moved fast as 6am rolled around and we made up some food for breakfast, and to take for lunch.
Both Jonathan and I were behind schedule, and we moved our departure to around 9am.
That gave me time to hurry and finish putting stuff in the airplane in the rain.
We traveled to Aniak (30 minutes) and switched to a smaller plane, took gas from the 206 and put it in the 182. It was a nasty day, and I vomited for the
first time in an airplane.
The next couple hours were a little better, as we flew into McGrath and fueled up.
Then for the last couple house as we flew into FAI, I felt a little cramped, in the backseat. We had a full plane load of stuff, and in my packing, my
seat area in the back got too tight, and I could not have my head sraight up.
Joshua picked us up, and Jonathan flew to Anchorage that evening.
After visiting for a while, we crashed finally. Sleep! Sleep was good.
Part two :
I am looking our the front window of the living room. Early morning time, and I am looking across the valley in which Fairbanks lays, and see the far off
mountains in the distance. It is a great view in the winter, of the snow covered mountains, that you can actually see in the winter, because in the summer,
there are always lots of tundra fires, and you never can see them because of the smoke.
Fairbanks is known for the summer fires, and black flies. (We have some mid-summer at Kako, and most people agree they are worse than mosquitoes)
Rebecca and I now have completed the paperwork hassle at the federal building and DMV, and now have our drivers licenses.
Rebecca is working on her tough paperwork hassle of getting registered as a CNA in AK.
The construction company I have been in contact with said they don't need to hire me right now.
I just applied with an agency yesterday, that Joshua used to find jobs.
We are helping Joshua and Karen move more today. We are all living in the new house, but the other place still has a bunch more stuff, and needs to be
We are almost done painting downstairs where we are going to live. Got the laundry room, bathroom, bedroom and a big den area down there, next to the
garage. Upstairs is nice too. Remodeled not too long ago. House is in very good condition. 2 acres. Way out of the city, up in the hills. Less than
10 minutes to town though.
Temps still in the mid- 60's. Everyone is wearing T-shirts unless it is raining.
I have been doing a bunch of work on Joshua's big Dodge, Welded on a new catalytic converter and pipe system/ O2 sensors. Replaced the exhaust manifold
gaskets, as the exhaust manifolds were all loose. Replaced the drum brakes on the back.
Lots more stuff to do around here. Got to put a deadbolt in an exterior door. And guess what, work on the Honda!
I should work on my truck too sometime. I never finished trying to put the core/block heater on the engine.
You need to have a winterized vehicle up here, which includes running 120 volt heater pads, which go on your battery, transmission pan, oil pan, and a
core/block heater. That way you can plug an extension cord up to it, and the vehicle won't be frozen when you need it.
We are playing a little frisbee, which is good for me. I ran more today than I have in the last 3 months. Felt pretty good. My knee is getting better,
little by little.
Part three :
Let me begin by inserting a quick pondering......
Hand Crafted Jewels
Have you ever been asked, while at work, or walking with someone, 'What you think of such and such a person?' Maybe at home, you might discuss what your
impression of someone else was. But have you ever asked yourself that question? What do I think of myself?
We often hear the term, 'self esteem', and are told that we need to have some, or the fact it can be low, or high.
In biblical terms, we know that high self esteem can be closely tied to pride, and loftiness. So that is not a good thing.
Self worth, meaning, identity, these are words that can also go along with esteem, in knowing what you think of yourself.
The world teaches that we have to BE somebody. No one wants to be a nobody. So in order to be somebody, we have to make a name for ourselves. Become
really good at something, be first, be at the top, do something that someone else can't do.
And gaining self worth, and what it looks like is different for men and women.
Does any of this sound familiar? So much money is spent in trying to gain this. So much of our life is spent striving to Arrive! If only I can be that
skinny, or pretty, or buff, or rich, or important. You fill in the blank.
Suppose you did happen to arrive. (And many do arrive in their quest) Could that success be taken away? How easy would it be to pick away whatever you
have succeeded at? Seconds might completely change your life, and take everything away that you had worked so hard for. What if you had broke the
world's records for lifting the most weight, and then gotten in a car wreck, and now don't have the strength to get out of a wheel chair? What are you
going to think of yourself then? What is left? Anything?
I find it interesting that people who suffer the most, and who have explored the depths of themselves, are the most aware. After suffering the loss
of the things they thought were the MOST important, they became keenly aware of deeper things they had missed, or overlooked.
Who are you? What are you grounded in? Are your treasures in heaven; are you ready to be tried with fire.
Step back a minute from everything you have done. Pause, consider, do you know you are created in the IMAGE of GOD himself. Someone made you!
Have you ever gone into a gift shop, and looked around. You see one corner, with all the usual, Made in China, generic stuff, and in the other, the very
personal, one of a kind, carefully hand-crafted items. To which corner are you going to go to?
In the same way, know that YOU are specially hand-made, by Jehovah. He is watching you, cares for you, and loves you more than any human or spouse
could. This is who you are!!! He wants to have you with him forever, which, in heaven, starts in a few years when you leave this earth.
Now who are you? Knowing that God breathed the Breath of Life into your nostrils, how can you feel bad when you don't get first place, but come in
second place in the challenge, or you are passed over, at work, for a promotion. What do you do when you face hard circumstances. When things that you
hold dear are stripped from you, and you have nothing left?
I am a child of the king. Trials and persecutions WILL be here, in this world, afflicted with the curse. When we have nothing left, we will still be
able to sing for joy, for the promises and joy set before us. We are HIS workmanship.
Are you thankful today, for the very fact that you HAVE life right now, and furthermore, that if you are in Christ, you HAVE eternal life forevermore,
in the presence of the almighty.
Money, good looks, influence, strength, these are all good things. They are gifts and abilities that God has blessed people with, per His design and will,
but they should never be made an idol, to replace the knowledge that we were made to glorify God, to enjoy Him, and reflect His goodness, love and beauty.
This writing was done on a Sunday afternoon, after I heard a pastor use the term 'hand crafted' and my mind worked from there.
The sun has been shining, with the golden, yellow birch trees beginning to lose their leaves. Fall is fading here, and I am also listening to some free
style music, including The Piano Guys.
I hope that this has been an encouragement and reminder of how much God loves us.
John Erickson 9/29/2013
It is October now. The trees are brilliant, but fast fading, as we move 7 minutes closer to winter everyday. Cleaning up the yard, working on equipment
to clear snow, and move vehicles into the garage and such. I continue to work in construction. Rebecca is still waiting for the paperwork to get back
before she can begin work.
We did aquire a Isuzu Rodeo, and I have been spending some time fixing it up. It is running pretty well, and I have been taking it to work. I have not
been able to sort out the 4x4 issue on it though yet, so we are probably still in the market for a vehicle.
I did install my first remote start/auto start system, and we can start the Rodeo from the warmth of the house now.
Doing some fabrication and welding as we add a winch and snow plow to the Honda Rincon. It is coming along well.
We are planning to stay here until spring time. So this will be my first winter in Alaska. I consider it an adventure, and challenge, to see if I can
survive a fairbanks winter.
Some great pictures!
A deck we are doing
The view out of the front window of the house.
Vegatables from the garden.
The end of our flight from Kako to Fairbanks.
I sat in the back seat, in front of the 'Duluth' bag.
The grass is still growing.
Working on the Rincon Honda
Knotty shop Ice Cream.
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