Monday, August 30, 2010

What's in the Shop

I have a most excellent blog recommendation for you today. It happens to be written by my oh so talented husband. For those of you who don't know, he can fix about anything. Anything but a broken heart I say. He has begun a blog all about the various fix-it jobs that rotate through his shop here in Brevig Mission. It's titled, What's In the Shop, and is worth a look see for those of you who are mechanically inclined or curious about what kind of work C.O. does.

As it turns out, he really ISN'T a bum living off of his wife's earnings. You'll quickly find out that C.O. deals with a great variety of jobs and does indeed have "The Knack". I am very proud of all he can do and the service he provides for folks in Brevig. He already has a half dozen posts up about he latest projects. I hope you'll check back often and leave him a few comments to let him know you're reading.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Whaley, a Boy's Companion

Just thinking about this brings a great sadness to my heart. We have lost our beloved Whaley. Whaley was a baby shower gift we received a few months before Harold joined our family. As soon as we brought Harold home from Guatemala, he latched on to this particular stuffed animal.

Everything about Whaley was just right. His flippers fit in Harold's mouth perfectly, his fur was soft and he was just the right size for snuggling. Burying his face deep into the stuffing and biting Whaley was soothing for Harold. Once Harold was talking, he even offered to let us take our own chop out of his whale. We kindly declined, he was getting pretty disgusting by that time. Whaley was seriously thin, not a lot of stuffing was left, where holes wore through, he had been stitched. Every fiber of him had been hugged, stroked, soaked in drool, cried on and loved deeply by our little boy.

Whaley and Harold traveled the world together. Together they flew on over 60 airplane flights, stayed in many hotels, at friends' houses, in tents, drove in many car rides, stayed with many babysitters and went on over night trips to the grandparents' house. But at last this beautiful friendship was about to come to an end.

On our last journey from Minnesota to Brevig, Whaley was lost. We're not sure if he was left on a plane or in our hotel. I tried calling the hotel to see if they had seen him but had no luck. As for the airline, I don't even know where to begin. Since we're not certain which one he was left on, it's like searching for a needle in a haystack. At last, I just had to come to terms with the fact that Whaley was gone, never to be recovered. I'd like to think that he's gone on to bigger waters.

When I think of all the places we've taken him, I'm amazed he wasn't lost sooner. We did have a few scares along the way, like the time we thought we accidentally donated him to the women's shelter. That time we found him in the sleeve of C.O.'s shirt. A couple nights ago I dreamed, that I unfolded some laundry and found Whaley stuffed inside. If only it were true.

I'm not a very sentimental person when it comes to material possessions. Stuff is just not of very much importance to me. I am on a continual rampage to get rid of things from our house and lives. I have saved very little to give Harold as a memento of his childhood. We saved his "original packaging", the outfit he was wearing the day we got him, his first Christmas outfit and that's about it. The only other thing I had on the list to save was Whaley. Hence, the great sadness of loosing him.

You may wonder how Harold is fairing through all this and I'm happy to report he's doing just fine. For this I am thankful, I can now concentrate my energy on my own grief.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Artistic Treasure

We were given this treasure early on in the summer. A relative, Amy Rudstrom, nabbed this photo off of facebook and then made a colored pencil sketch of Harold. We were in love with the piece from the moment we saw it. She did an amazing job of capturing our beautiful son in his parka.

Wanting to properly display the piece, we decided to get it professionally matted and framed. We were not disappointed with the final result. It now hangs in the scout cabin in Side Lake, Minnesota where we spend our summers.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hard Core Swimming

It had been a warm and beautiful day in Brevig,
and Harold was desperately wanting to go for a swim. C.O. bravely agreed.

"Whoa! That's a lot colder than the lake in Minnesota," says Harold.

Despite the cold water, C.O. took the plunge.

Some folks arrived back from boating as the
boys were getting out of the water.
I love the contrast in attire here as the guys chat.

Not being a fan of cold water swimming,
I was more than happy to be the designated photographer this evening.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


We live on a large bay named "Port Clarence". It is the only sheltered water in the whole Bering Straits region. Because of this we occasionally see ships and boats hiding out from rough weather on the Bering sea. Most of these boats are barges that are hauling fuel and supplies to area villages.

The last few days we had a more interesting vessel hanging out. This is the NOAA ship Fairweather. They are up here mapping and charting the sea floor and ocean depths. There has been a lot of interest in shipping in the arctic in recent years and NOAA has decided to update their navigational charts.

You can learn more about it at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website.

The photo was taken by holding my camera up to the lens of my 30x spotting scope. The Fairweather was about 5 miles away and the zoom on my camera just wouldn't do it alone.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Harold's Harmonica

I just had to share another video highlighting Harold's musical talents. =)
Oh, and my brother John isn't too bad either.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010