While we were in Kotzebue, experiencing its unique extremes, we made our decision. I've just been so busy working out the details that the decision entails that I haven't had the time to blog about our decision. So what did we decide? (Drumroll, please.) We decided to go for adventure instead of the familiar, driving-distance-to-family comfort of Wyoming or Montana. For years, Aaron had geared me up for an Alaskan stint before settling down. We decided to stay the course and make that adventure happen instead of wimping out at the last minute, knowing that Aaron would regret it if the opportunity had been right in front of us and we turned it down. We decided to go experience what Alaska has to offer. But not in Kotzebue.
Gratefully, we had received another offer in Alaska, and compared to Kotzebue, it seemed to have everything going for it. It's on the road system, meaning you can drive to the temple; it pays more; you can still get great loan repayment; a gallon of milk costs only $5 instead of $11; it has a small-town, country feel rather than a cramped, city-in-the-middle-of-nowhere feel; it is a small, family practice rather than a bureaucracy-laden, large medical facility; you can live in a house with a huge yard rather than in an apartment, and it costs the same amount; at Church, just the primary is bigger than the entire Kotzebue branch; you can drive to Denali National Park, the Kenai peninsula, and lots of other cool places to really experience what Alaska has to offer; and while we're talking about roads, you can get a moving truck, which means we can bring up all of our stuff and actually feel settled rather than leaving a bunch of stuff in storage and just making do for a few years; it gets up to the 70s and occasionally the 80s in the summer, so there's a season that deserves to be called summer; you can grow a garden; speaking of growing, it's no tundra--trees grow everywhere, it's basically in the middle of a gorgeous forest; two huge rivers meet there and it is dotted with lots of little lakes; and in the winter, night doesn't last for 20 days straight, just for 20+ hours straight. What is this Alaskan dreamland called? Delta Junction, Alaska, a town of about 3000 people that is situated 2 hours southeast of Fairbanks, 7 hours northeast of Anchorage, and 4 hours east of the Yukon Territory, Canada.
I've been working endlessly on the details of a move of such magnitude and the paperwork of getting a medical license and securing loan repayment. I finally feel kind of on top of it, so I figured I could spare a minute to share our good news with the world. We are really getting excited about the opportunity. Especially since our connection in Delta Junction (my brother's wife's dad's aunt and uncle, I believe it is) got the inside scoop on a big house for rent with a huge yard that includes a small greenhouse and backs to a forest. Having a place to move in to up there is really helping me feel like we're going to be able to call this place home. Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam!
This is going to be one awesome adventure! Who wants to come visit?