Growing up in Alaska
Growing up in Alaska you get used to seeing wildlife and being cautious. Moose were everywhere and sometimes bears would wander into the neighborhoods.
That is what happened.
A brown bear had wandered into our neighborhood and walked right into my backyard. My family had a big bouncy ball, the type with the handle, and the bear was playing with it! My parents and I had no idea what we were supposed to do. We stood there from our deck watching the thing play around, hoping he wouldn’t pop the ball and go crazy.
That bear hung out around the neighborhood and because of our visitor we had to make a few changes. For example, I was forced to carry a pot and large wooden spoon around the neighborhood, hitting it to scare off the bears. We also had a wood shed built to keep our garbage cans in. That is right. We had to lock up our garbage. If we left it out it would attract wildlife and cause more problems in the neighborhood.
That wasn’t the only bear incident we had. Our home had 3 floors and the lowest was underground. The windows on the lowest floor were at ground level. Well, my mom was getting ready for a party, she was a professional clown, and looked out the window to see a bear staring right back at her. I heard her scream and ran down to see what the raucous was. The bear moved towards the front yard and kind of just hung out, they do that. My dad had to make noise to scare it off so my mom could get to the car to head off to her job.
Growing up in Alaska provided some very unique experiences. Not many people can say they were face to face with a brown bear. In high school I was always looking towards the future. Where I would go and how I could get out. I wanted to be where the concerts and shopping was. I wanted to be able to have a road trip and drive to another state. I grew up in what you could call the big city so driving anywhere else was a bit of a waste unless you planned on hunting or fishing, which I did not want to do.
Now, looking back on my time in Alaska, all 18 years, I finally understand how special it was. I never dealt with bullying. Religion was never issue. I was pretty darn lucky. Sure there were friendships that dissolved along with far too many romantic relationships but I had it pretty good.
I am happy to now live in Washington state because I have a lot of freedom that I didn’t have living in Alaska. While I am really glad that I moved, I wouldn’t trade my experience in Alaska for anything.
Now, tell me about your hometown.