to find Patti Singleton these days.

Alaska Notes


From the front porch, Eagle River, AK PHALL PHOTO 2014

From the front porch, Eagle River, AK

Alaska weather, mom’s new hip, photographic opportunities, smoking status and maybe a little romance.


The weather here has been weird. Almost all (not by Georgia standards) of the snow is gone, but we still get some nights of frost that don’t thaw until late in the day. While most of the rest of the country is suffering severe cold and snow, we have a temporary reprieve.

Out the kitchen window: a grove of beautiful birch trees, with a few fir and cottonwood tossed into the mix; recently snow-laden limbs, now free of their heavy white burden. Out the window that is above the kitchen table, is dad’s Quonset hut; once shrouded in a thick layer of snow and icicles, but now down to the rust-colored metal. Out the living room window: the front yard and the busy road to/from Eagle River; the regular work of the big colorful road plows is done for now. Everyone is guessing when and if winter cold and snow will come back.

Every single day, no matter the weather, I revel in the way that the changing light of morning, mid-day and evening touch the sheen of the birch tree bark. I have seen those trees almost neon white, and with more subtle shades of pink, purple, red and blue, depending on the tint of moment.

The longer I’m here, the more I notice that I move from window to window in this small house, no matter the original purpose of entering a room. I look out the window as I enter, and then again before I leave. I’m looking for that light. I’m watching for a moose, a bear or a flutter of wings that announce a flock of Wax Wings or Northern Grosbeaks.

Maybe I’ll spot that stealthy fox that I used to see around midnight, when I sat freezing and smoking on the deck. Often, what I see makes me rush to throw on something warm, and maybe some boots, grab a camera and head out to take a shot, or two, or twenty of the light hitting the trees. That light. That moment. Sometimes even, that second.

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The health status. It seems very much as if mom, dad, and I are trading our minor illnesses back and forth. Cold and/or flu symptoms are flying around and landing on one of us, until it morphs and moves on to the next. Our sleep patterns are crazy. Despite all of that, we’ve had days where I play DJ and we listen to the old music that we all love, and days when we laugh a lot. Yep, we also have some grump days and cry days; missing our Michaela or bruised feelings.

Meanwhile, mom’s new hip is doing all those healing things that make each day one level of challenge or the next. The pain meds are not being used much at all, no matter the challenge level. Home health nurses are no longer coming to the house. Eventually, mom’s doc will allow her to do outpatient PT, but for now he wants her to take it easy. We’re hoping that the blood thinner medicine will end soon and that mom won’t have to go in for the weekly blood draw. The walker is her pal and she has a hard time remembering that it will be many months before she is allowed to bend over and pick something up.

SMOKING– Nope, not me. 20 days. I’m awesome:>)

THE ROMANCE– oops, no time to report on this right now. All is just peachy though!

Peace out and I’ll write more soon,


Author: Patti Singleton

Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the desert, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy.

25 thoughts on “Alaska Notes

  1. Congrats on the smoking victory:) Those photos are beautiful. Stay Warm:)

  2. Great 20 days! Whoo Whoo…I can’t go 16 hours!
    Glad to know mom is better. You guys all need to stay healthy 🙂

  3. Always interested in romance–looking forward to reading all about it.

  4. This post reads almost like poetry, the first part for sure. I believe I “saw” you earlier today on Traci Carver’s website where she buzzed about the “fake” Georgia snow in her area. Actually, I believe I met you, Patti, on Traci’s blog.

    • You were one of my first followers, but memory slogs down past that. I have seen you while out and about though. Thank you for your kind comment and for stopping by once again.

  5. Sounds wonderful the view, your mother’s health and a romance in the air what could be better. Always wanted to go to Alaska thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures.

  6. Living in a beautiful place definitely has benefits … windows being a big one. They do more than admit light when there is something worth looking at. Sorry about all the winter bugs. They do seem to be part of the winter package. Wonderful pictures.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Marilyn. I’ll be catching up with everyone soon. This place is so beautiful, but not my dream of a permanent home. My family just doesn’t get it:>)

  7. Congrats on the no smoking, Patti! And for being there to help your family xoxo.

  8. Beautiful photos Patti, and the piece feels relaxed ad content, in spite of minor illnesses and unusual weather. Cheeky! Can you please BEGIN with the romance bit next time?:-) Glad all’s peachy though, and take care. May there be lots of music and laughter days to support the crying days that happen too. Love and blessings, Harula xxxxx

    • My guaranteed smile, that’s you, Harula. I do feel pretty relaxed, despite wanting to get home to explore my new romance up close and personal! There’s cheeky for you:>) I will try to begin there next time:>)
      It is a fine mix of ups and downs and being with family seals it. I hope you and your folks are doing well and staying warm.
      Patti xoxoxox

  9. 20 plus days – that’s great! Keep it up.

  10. You rock, Patti! Twenty days is awesome! And your photos are beautiful. I love the rainbow you caught 🙂 I’m so glad to hear that you all are well (even if a little sniffy now and then) and that your mom’s recovering well. It’s wonderful that you can be and that you are with them. And I look forward to seeing an update on the romance 😉 Love you. Big, big hug!

    • Thanks, Marie. My main problem taking photos around here is the damn electricity lines. I am glad that I can be here too. The other sibs have jobs and dependents, etc. So far it has worked out well for me to come help out and I get a lot out of it too.
      Love & hugs back!

  11. Patti Im so glad you are having a great time, looking forward to the romance news! lol 🙂

  12. Love your Alaska notes and seeing the world from your camera lens. I imagine you walking from window to window, because that’s what I do. Big windows in this old house. On the north, the spruce trees where the winter birds nest, on the east, an upward slope through an open field where deer graze, to the south, a twenty mile view, the sun, and up close a bird feeder, to the west, the land dips toward the lake and the sunsets on the distant horizon.

    I’m so glad you aren’t smoking, Patti. Best thing you can do, as you know. Long, long time ago, I was a two pack a day young woman. A bad 6 weeks of bronchitis cured me of my desire for smokes, so I felt lucky to be released. I’ve never wanted them again.

    You are a love story tease–and I don’t blame you. Shhh… So new. So unknown. So sweet to feel that quickening.
    We could use some of that warm weather and warm romance around here,

    • I was so glad that you shared a photo of that room with the windows, Elaine. Looking out to our snowy world brings me a lot of happiness, as I’m sure it does you.

      Almost every day the sky gives us a show that we would never see if we didn’t stop and look out.
      Quitting smoking has been miraculously easy, but I hate to say it, in case I jinx it:>) I know that I have a lot of cleaning and laundry to do when I get home!

      I really haven’t meant to be a tease, but I think I will take Harula’s advice and begin with that next time…maybe:>) An unexpected element has made this whole thing more fun; my mom is so thrilled and she tells our story over and over to anyone who will listen. Not sure who is having more fun.
      I’m blowing a warm breeze and a warm romance your way…stranger things have happened:>)
      Patti xo

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