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So no one will think I’ve flown the coup, I’m writing this quick post to up-date you on my where-a-bouts. I’ve been writing. On Alaska.  If you haven’t been following alone for long, you can read about that adventure here.

I’ve got the journal and all the letters  transcribed. Now I’m going back through the letters to add my thoughts at the end of some of them. I was only five when most of these letters were written – at least on the ones I’m working on now. It just amazes me how much I remember and the feelings that come over me  when I read these letters my mother wrote to family back home in Louisiana.  Through those letters and the journal, she wrote much of the book I’m working on now. It’s something we all encouraged her to write and I believe she would have if we had pushed a little harder.

I stop often as I’m writing to look at the pictures my brother put on a disc from slides we had from the time we were there. There aren’t many and most are so grainy. I find myself enlarging to see the expressions on our faces and to get a closer view of our parents as they stand proudly beside us or caught off guard as the pictures were snapped.

In the snow Chip, Debbie, Lindy, Naomi

In the snow – Chip, Debbie, Lindy, Naomi

It makes me tear up sometimes as I read of the hardship they went through at that time in their lives. It was no hardship for us kids. We had no idea we were poor and they were struggling so hard to make a wonderful home for us and keep us alive and well.  We lived in the moment. The more snow the better was the view through children’s eyes.

Through this great adventure, my mother kept her great sense of humor and some of her letters are actually funny. My favorite line from all the letters is this one.

“While I was preparing supper the camp robbers put up an awful squawk and I got out the binoculars and found a black bear off in the woods. It won’t come near us, but it certainly isn’t a good feeling to know it’s there. I just hope the bear is aware of the fact all books say he isn’t going to get near civilization. But, this couldn’t very well be described as civilized!”

I have so many questions and no one to ask or get answers from, so I have to rely on my memories and the memories of my siblings for those answers. You have to realize we were very young when this adventure started and each of us only five years older when it ended. Naomi was six, Debbie – five, Lindy (me) – four, and Chip was two. Our little sister, Tish, was born in Alaska and was eighteen months old when we returned to Louisiana. She doesn’t remember a thing which makes me feel sad for her.

If you don’t hear from me quite as often as you usually do,  you’ll know where I am. Back in Alaska.



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

7 responses »

  1. I really appreciate your quick updates and the fact you’re concentrating on Alaska makes me want to do the same. Blogging should be more about quality than quantity. Thanks for reminding me of that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha, just this fall, two black bears were spotted in downtown Victoria B.C. One was caught and shipped north the other made the escape. I’m glad the memories are all so vivid. A real treasure, for you. Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person


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