Showing posts from January, 2017

Christmas Break in Alaska

Cody and I spent our Christmas Break differently than most young bush teachers. At Christmastime, there is a mass exodus of teachers leaving (usually the same day that school gets out) and heading down south to spend three weeks with their families. While Cody and I debated this, we also were concerned about the expense. It's nearly $1,000/person just to get to Anchorage from our little village. It's another $500-$800/person to travel from Anchorage to Chicago. The district will happily reimburse my flight to Anchorage, but we still had to pay for Cody's flight to Anchorage, both of our flights to Chicago, and all of the dogs' travel. So, as much as we would have loved to see our families and to go home, continuing to be debt-free ended up winning out and we decided to stay in Pilot Point.

Staying in Pilot Point for Christmas ended up being a fantastic idea. We had a ridiculously relaxing break, and I feel like the community really reached out to us because they were e…

Moving Your Dogs to Rural Alaska

Oftentimes people ask Cody and I about how our dogs have adjusted to the move. Anyone who knows us knows that we horribly baby our dogs, so, naturally, people wonder how they are holding up in the new environment.  I usually respond to people's questions with a simple, "they're good, it's different, but they're good."  I say this because - they are good! There are some interesting adjustments that we've all had to make though, and being a dog doesn't exempt them from the oddities of life in the bush.

If you're thinking of moving to rural Alaska with a dog, particularly as a teacher, or if you're just curious what they heck we do with ours up here, then this is a good post for you. Here are seven things I've learned about having dogs in bush Alaska, so far:

1.) Room to roam. There really isn't a limit set on where dogs can go here.  For a dog like Specks, who operates leash-free, it's wonderful.  He can roam around, smell all the sme…

Goodbye, 2016

This year was a year of change and adventure in our household. We traveled all over the United States and Canada, we moved to a tiny bush village in Alaska, and we learned to live our lives intentionally as a married couple. Much like I did in 2015, I'd like to take this first post of the year to reflect on my favorite moments from the last twelve months.

January... The beginning of 2016 brought big snows to our little island in Lake Michigan. Cody and I enjoyed a couple of well deserved snow days, and we celebrated by getting some much needed r&r and fitting in a couple of hiking adventures. Beaver Island was picturesque in the snow and provided a peaceful retreat on those breaks from school.

February... The weather in February took a nasty turn and it seemed to be endless weeks of temperatures just above freezing. We tried our best to get out and enjoy ourselves as a way to fight off the winter blues that are so common in the north. Thankfully, the dogs kept us outside often a…