Quote from jedi of zen
thank you very much for stopping to really think about it, btw. i appreciate your honest answer.
from what i have heard and read about it, it seems like an amazing place to live. however, like you said, it would be a huge step, especially considering the distance involved.
sounds like things have worked out really well for you though.
what, if anything, do you not like about living in the "final frontier" of the 50 states? also, you mentioned a military transfer...do you work at a military facility?
my husband is in the coast guard and that is what brought us here.
what don't i like about living in remote alaska (and i am very remote)
- when my father died (down in the lower 48), the weather was so bad, nothing flew in or out for a few days and i missed the funeral
- when i was pregnant i really, really, really wanted some eggplant parmsigiana (sp?) and i went to both of the grocery stores here only to find narey an eggplant that day. however, i've seen plenty since - they are $7 a piece.
- if the barge doesn't make it because of weather, etc - no milk, eggs, bananas or other fresh items. this happens quite frequently - i now keep a steady supply of shelf stable milk and i've learned to make my own breads (and wine!)
- gas prices...i read about them going down in the lower 48, but not for us. the good news is that i only fill up once every 3 weeks - no traffic, the bad news is that it is almost $100 and i drive a dodge caravan.
- medical care for anything serious can get expensive if you are not properly insured. fortunately, we are military and our insurance is great. my daughter needs to see the pediatric eye doc and he is unable to come to our town this year, so we have to fly to anchorage to go see him. that could be pricey if we did not have such a good insurance.
- it's the end of september and my days of running my 3 miles to decompress at 8pm are now over - it is dark. soon it will be dark by 3pm and stay dark until 10am.
- 90 mile an hour wind is not a hurricane, it's just a every couple of week happening, not many people in my area have lawn furniture.
- the housing market has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. we would not be able to buy our house now if we wanted to. my next door neighbor just profited $100,000. on the price of their home, just by pricing it at what all the other houses are priced at, actually they went $20,000. lower!
- lack of educational opportunities for me. the local community college has fun things like belly dancing, yoga, basket weaving, but nothing brick and mortar for me to sit in a class, so on-line classes it is, but even then finding the clinical experiences are tough. it's hard to interview two hospital ceos and compare them when i only have one.
- the school system for my kids. the local school has the library sharing a room with the cafeteria. however, the homeschooling support is excellent. i never thought i would be a homeschooling mom.
- we are so far away from everyone that by the time the family spends money and travels for 24 hours to get here, they stay for a really long time!
- there is no anonymity. everyone knows your name. when my son is having a meltdown in the local grocery store, i know it is now circling town that i bought him off with cookie from the bakery just to make it through one more isle.
- we have no local new station.
- we get no grocery coupons and groceries are high.
now to counter with what i love -
- on any given day there is at least one other mother i know at any one of the public parks or walking trails. this comes in handy when i need to run evil kneivil to the er yet again.
- i always know who the er doc is, so i don't feel bad when they know us by first name.
- there isn't anyplace that i need to be that is more than 9 miles from my house.
- i can sit on the beach and not see another person for miles.
- our town has one stoplight and it just blinks at the 4 way stop.
- i don't even own a set of keys to my house. we all just keep them unlocked.
- my kids don't ask for fast food because we don't have it.
- everyone knows everyone else, so when an emergency happens everyone pitches in.
- the entire town goes to the airport whenever the men and women from the national guard arrive or leave.
- i very rarely have to wear sun screen.
- i've grown to love local festivals and local talent - artists, musicians, storytellers, etc.
- i've seen a moose about 3 feet from my car, looking in the window at my daughter. i've seen a herd of buffalo crossing the road right in front of my car (literally, i had to put the truck in reverse we have it on video). i've had bears swimming the the pond behind our house. there is a bald eagle that has a nest in a tree in our yard.
good luck in your adventure. i'd still do it all over again. we had our chance to leave a few years ago, and we asked to stay. now we are ready to leave since the kids are getting older and we miss grandparents.