I grew up in southeast Alaska. I’ve circled Gustavus with a few teammates in a five-seater waiting for the weather to clear so we could land and play basketball games. I’ve slept in Yakutat’s gym, a math room in Kake, a wrestling room in Wrangell, got locked out of a hotel in Sitka, kicked out of the mall in Ketchikan for loitering, wandered around Angoon looking for the store and had boatloads of other memories as a student athlete from Klawock.
When I moved back in 2013, it was like I had just graduated college and hadn’t spent 10 years teaching high school in California. I felt 23 again, only this time, rather than be excited for a career and finding things to do in California, I was back on the home field. Juneau wasn’t just a place where the region tournament was held. There are things to do there other than walk to Fred Meyer and do laps in the Nugget Mall like we did in the late 90s.
But after over half a decade of being home, I’m starting to feel almost overwhelmingly behind. I’m outdoorsing as much as possible which seems like all the time because outside of work, it’s what you do when you live here. If you want to stay inside and watch TV, you might as well live somewhere where the groceries are less expensive and the roads free of ice and snow.
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