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Thread: moving to Rural Alaska

  1. #31
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    i am a psychotherapist and have the opportunity to take a job supervising the paraprofessionals that do the basic Chemical Dependency work, basic screening and assessments for other things.I will provide counseling for the communities around the Chemical Dependency, Trauma and Depression issues rampant up there. The Physician's Assistant in my clinic says that no one has been working with the kids and there are lots of trauma issues: accidental deaths, suicides, abuse etc. for these kids to manage.
    For me, it is the chance to get all my graduate school loans paid off in two-three years so we can retire, a career move upwards to go from straight clinician to a supervisory role, which gives me a place to pass on to another generation my skills, an adventure ( if i gotta work in an agency, i'd prefer it to be an adventure), the pay is great, the benefits are great ( i'll actually get some retirement set aside), the housing is corporation owned and is nice and Heat is covered in the rent which is less in St. Mary's than it is in Bethel and actually gets less the longer you work for them, and the folks are great.
    downside: the community is SMALL, less than 700 hundred, amenities are the post office, the AC store (grocery), the Yukon Trader ( not sure what they sell), a very small Catholic chapel, the Community hall and an airport 6 miles out of town., i'll be away from family though i have 4 1/2 weeks paid time off a year so trips home will happen. Husband is still working here and he works at a university and we have one more daughter working on her college degree to use his staff discount. He is very high level Asperger's and change happens SLOWLY so my going up and his visiting is the process for that to happen. He wants the quilts to stay because that is how he stays connected with me. I also am going to be leaving the icon of Mary and Christ that i brought home from Germany. " it is too big to pack". That response being typically Asperger's, after all i shipped it home from Germany. What he really meant was " you brought that back for us and i want to keep it since it reminds me of you"

  2. #32
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    i'm lucky, St. Mary's actually has their own water and sewage plant so no bought water that sits in a cistern until i use it. i'm excited. Haven't been working for past 4 months so limited on what i can spend to ship but i come down in May for a daughter's college graduation.
    i am accustomed to self-sufficiency living, though not hunting. Canning, sewing, fishing, meat animals, canning garden; been there ,done that. I figure i'll just make REALLY good friends with the local hunters and get my game that way, though i'm willing to take up bird hunting, which is really good there from all reports. That and fishing, i've been told one of my first major purchases ought to be a boat. Hmm, i live on the Yukon river and Andreafsky confluence and am allergic to beef, pork and chicken. yeah, i'll fish and go for ducks, ptarmigan and rabbits.

  3. #33
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I admire your spirit and determination. Good luck and be safe.
    Got fabric?

  4. #34
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Wow, that DOES sound like an adventure! I have a quilting friend who lived in AK for 9 years, it was only supposed to be 18 months but she LOVED it. All 3 of her boys were born there. She and I chatted a bit about Alaskan life a while back. She doesn't watch those Alaskan tv shows all the time, but she did say when she catches one and hears the native Eskimos speaking - just the sound of their voices! - a feeling of happiness and peace comes over her. I thought that was one of the absolute sweetest, nicest things I'd ever heard anyone say about a region. She said she'd go back in a heartbeat, regardless of the cold or the long dark winter days.

    Hopefully you won't be allergic to moose and caribou! And what a wonderful opportunity, to be able to serve and help a community that so desperately needs what you have to give. Another quilting friend of mine has a therapist daughter who moved to Alaska, she works with children born with fetal alcohol syndrome, another great need in that state. She loves it there too!

  5. #35
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    Oh! I do not envy you at all. I would love to see that state in the summer, but I don't think I could ever live there. I'm like ontheriver, I hjate the cold, lived for 9 years in the east, and I hated it, too mucvh snow and cold. I prefer my Tx. weather in the winter anytime. We have snow and cold, but it doesn't last too long where I live down here, and I've seen it snow a couple or three inches and be blistering cold, and the next day, the sun is out and warm enough for a windbraker only. Wishing you luck, I think I would definitely take plenty of quilting stuff with me, long days and nights, especially if you are snowed in, and can't get out much. I would absolutely go cabin stark crazy. Keep in touch and show us the quilts you make. Blessings for a safe venture.

  6. #36
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    I think your reasons are very sound for doing this and it's going to be a fantastic experience! I bet there's even a book in it for you. It will also be interesting to see what the local fabric and design heritage is and how you can learn from them and share your way of quilting with the folks who live there. I envy you!

  7. #37
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    I have heard that wool is the easiest to hand quilt though i have no practical knowledge....what an adventure that awaits you!!

  8. #38
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Will you have good internet access while there?

    We lived in Northway, AK for the first few months we were married back in 86 and that was a big enough shock for me (n the summer). Biggest shocks were the cost of things at the grocery store and the primitiveness of life up there. I quickly found myself without much to do so I ordered a set of embroidery floss (all the colors) and began counted cross stitching. I also scoured the woods for berries to make jam or other things tasty. My DH was working as a mechanic on a road construction job. When school started I substitute taught in the public school in Northway. It was so different. I had subbed in the lower 48--even special ed junior high kids (read...badly behaved) but I had never had such a tough group as those kids--they were unresponsive to correction by me.

    However, it was so sweet--they were as cute as could be and some of the girls just wanted to to touch my silky blouse. I think it was polyester--a silky type and pantyhose seemed to be something new for them too. We left when my husband had an accident on the job at the end of September. It had already started getting cold. We moved south to the Big Lake/Mat valley/Anchorage area for the rest of that first year of our marriage.

    I read your note to my DH...he said you might need another therapist to give you therapy by the end of your two years! Enjoy your adventure. My DH still wishes he were there many times. (But not as far out in the bush as you are going to be, quite honestly.)

    If looking at the AK state fair quilts is any judge, there are a lot of quilters up there. I used to think it would be hard to be there during the winter, but I've learned to turn on lots of lights and stay busy and now I'm quite happy being in the house. Our winters here in Poland can be bad--dark at 3:30-4 pm and light at 7:30 am. It is much better now. I saw light out the window at 6:10 this morning and it isn't getting dark til after 5 pm, so things are getting better already.

    Enjoy your two years there. It's definitely a different way of life than most of us have!

  9. #39
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    You can use quilts for packing things. Then, when you get there, unpack your dishes, etc, and you will have your quilts as well.

  10. #40
    Junior Member Sarint's Avatar
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    SO sorry that you can't take your quilts. I would take as much fabric as possible with me and do some quick rag quilts to get started.
    Last edited by Sarint; 02-12-2013 at 01:22 PM.

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