Sunrise Splendor


My soul was awed at sunrise . . . a glimpse of God’s majesty . . . proof that He exists

How great are your works Lord” -Psalm 92:5

Matanuska Valley Palmer, Alaska

Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Solitude of Silence


Everyone has a special place of comfort, peace and inner healing their soul calls home. What’s yours?

Living in Alaska, where this morning the temperature begins another day of residence below zero, it’s a question I’ve often been asked, and now sit here pondering before a blazing wood stove.

A myriad of reasons flash to mind . . . the raw, rugged, vast stretches of wilderness . . . the majesty of snow-capped mountain sunrises, and brilliant ocean sunsets . . . abundant, really wild wildlife . . . etc., etc., etc.

Long summer’s calm water’s reflections –  longer winter’s frozen landscapes . . . clouds floating on blue skies above – purple fireweed sprouting from the earth below . . . mountain storm rainbows – massive glacier azure-blue ice . . .  falling snowflakes. Uncluttered by civilization’s  burden of stressful busyness, Creation survives and thrives in the quiet, unhurried power of Silence.  

It’s the Last Frontier’s immense SOS . . . Solitude of Silence . . . that soothes and heals my inner being, soul therapy at its best! For many Alaska is a bucket-list tourist destination. For me it’s the place my soul calls home, until He calls me Home.

 Albert Einstein once said,”Look deeper into nature and you will understand everything better.” Jesus said it even better . . . “Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Here’s a couple SOS scenes from yesterday’s wilderness wander along the banks of the Matanuska River.

Be still . . . Be Blessed

Frozen Reflections
Frigid Flows

Aurora Photo-opt


We’ve been locked in an Arctic Deep-Freeze here for the past several days . . . single digits below zero at night, rising above zero by day. This ‘refreshing’ spell is projected to continue until the weekend.

Last night I arose to throw another log on the fire and noticed a faint Aurora glow over the mountains. Although far from a spectacular display, I thought it worthy of a pic and grabbed my camera. Attired in my slippers and bathrobe, I stepped out on the deck for a quick point-and-shoot photo. Things rapidly deteriorated when I shut the door and heard it click locked behind me!

Leisurely point-and-shoot Plan A suddenly transformed into frantic find-or-freeze Plan B, scrambling to dig out the spare house key. After one of the ‘chilliest’ 3 minutes I’ve ever experienced, the key was successfully located, and I let myself back in . . . mere seconds from frostbite beginning to affect some rather sensitive areas . . . definitely not my finest photo opt, although it might have qualified as a contender for America’s Funniest Home Videos 😊

I did manage to quickly snap the attached photo of the Aurora. However, the fuzziness and faint star trails speak to the difficulty in holding the camera steady when donned in your slippers and bathrobe at -7 degrees 😊


Stay warm, and be blessed!     

Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Sub-zero Wonder


I attended church twice today. Following this morning’s indoor service, I attended an outdoor service alone, embraced by Nature’s unspeakable, pristine, sub-zero splendor . . . sensing my infinitesimal smallness   . . . silently worshiping my omnipotent Creator and keeper of my soul.

How great Thou art!

I would like to have seen the whole world with eyes incapable of anything but wonder, and with a tongue fluent only in praise.” – Pat Conroy

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2
                              
Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Chugach Range Panorama
Matanuska River Valley Palmer-Butte, Alaska
Brrrrrr!
Matanuska River Chickaloon, Alaska
Subzero Solitude

Antique Snowplow


The thermometer registered – 4 this morning, assuring my PTSD day (Plow The Snow Dude) would be a ‘refreshing’ task. Suiting up in thermal-ware, my snowplow greeted the frigid winter wonderland.


Fortunately, this antique 1942 model, self-propelled snowplow, outfitted with a snow-scoop attachment still functioned to successfully remove nearly a foot of frozen fluff from the ½ football field length driveway. Its got lotsa’ dings, doesn’t run as fast as it once did, and original replacement parts are no longer available. However, it remains basically mechanically sound, although some of its memory components are shot. Best of all, it comes with a forever warranty, and I fueled it up this morning with 2 oatmeal-raisin cookies and a cup of coffee 😊

Task accomplished, I’m giving it a hot shower, hot cup of Ovaltine, and retiring it for the evening . . . pondering why long driveways no longer hold the appeal for me they once did 😊


Stay warm and be blessed.

Antique Snowplow

Winter Wonderland Musings


Woke up this morning to discover snow-line has suddenly dropped 1,500 ft. below Chickaloon, AK, and the fluff continues to steadily fall . . . this will seriously alter my daily routine from hiking to shoveling 😊

The snow’s projected to end by nightfall, so . . . barring a cardiac event 😊 . . . it’ll probably be Sunday before I manage to clear the driveway down to the road, which has yet to be plowed . . . welcome to rural Last Frontier life . . . Love it!

While waiting to step outside and engage Mother Nature’s 13-degree Winter Wonderland with my shoveling skills, I identified with and added a tad to the post below a fellow ole duffer sent on his blog http://rays-daily.com/ . . . thanks Ray!

Reading these Tips for a Better Life triggered poignantWish I’d have realized these soonermemories, and thought some of y’all might enjoy perusing them. Like my Grammy used to scold me when I’d been caught doing something naughty yet again, “Freddy, you’re too soon old and too late smart!” . . . I shoulda’ listened sooner . . . do as I say, not as I’ve done 😊

Wherever this may find you in your ‘Wonderland’ today . . . whether the sun’s shining; snow’s falling; or a storm’s raging, enjoy its wonders . . . they are there if you but look and listen closely.

Tips for a Better Life – (it’s not too late)

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to. 😊

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late-night shows  and get more sleep .       

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today.’

5. Live with the 3 E’s – Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Play more games and read more books than you did last year.

7. Make time to pray. It will provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 (not a lot of us still left 😊) and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed-out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

23. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. God heals everything in His time which is always on time.

29. However good or bad a situation is it will change.

30. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will, stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

34. Do the right thing!

35. Call your family often (or email them to death!!!) Hey I’m thinking of ya! 😊

36. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

37. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

38. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

39. The best is yet to come, so . . .

40. Keep Looking Up

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

It’s Snowing!
Downy Woodpecker


Breathless Wonder


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but  the moments that take our breath away.” . . . and not because it’s 9 degrees 😊

From river valley to mountain top, today was a totally breathless day immersed in the wonders of creation, wrapped in my Creator’s the omnipotent arms.

Be still and know that I am God … I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Frigid Flow
Silent Sentinels
Stilled Rapids
Frosted Flow
Ice Fog
Frozen Fun
Adrenaline!

Last Frontier Fashion


With temps in the teens headed for single digits tonight and sub-zero later this week, it was time for an Alaskan wardrobe change. Unable to find my wet-suit, I decided to forgo testing the lake’s ice thickness 😊

Stay warm and remember . . . there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.

River Walk


Today’s wilderness wander found me hiking the Matanuska River Valley. Carving its path over millennia between snow-laden peaks of the Chugach and Talkeetna Ranges, it’s birthed 25 miles upstream in the Matanuska Glacier.

Freezing temps have restricted glacier melt dropping the river’s level dramatically. Summer’s silt-gray turbid flow has been transformed to winter’s clear blue-green . . . today I trekked through a creation postcard of wonder.

“… He leaded me besides still waters. He restoreth my soul…” Psalm 23:2-3

‘Firsts’ and ‘Seconds’


Life has lotsa’ ‘Firsts’ and ‘Seconds’ . . . First or Second best . . . First or Second place . . . First or Second choice . . . First or Second helping . . . threw that one in for Thanksgiving 😊. In this world First is preferable to Second, especially during those times life throws ‘Thirds’, Fourths’ and ‘Fifths’ our way.

Storm clouds obscured this morning’s sunrise, definitely not a ‘First’ weather day . . . until . . . streaming rays of sunlight pierced the clouds, reminding me, the ultimate ‘Second’ awaits . . . His return!

Pioneer Peak Sunrise – Palmer, Alaska

Behold, He cometh with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him” – Revelation 1:7

Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!