“Push it in when I tell you to” she said… – an Alternative Lola Story

God’s gift to Alaska was not the town of Homer, or was I just being too negative on that cold December day when the two of us rolled into downtown Homer with sights set on cruising Homer Spit!

The trees ahead and the mountains visible across Kachemak Bay with their glaciers shimmering in the scant daylight told me why living in Homer was at least worth it, if you only were some kind of Landscape Junkie! I could just stand there all day, if only I could keep warm, and stare out at the beauty in front of me, keeping the wiles of downtown Homer at bay, at least for a while anyway.

Lola had pulled off to the side of the road to look under the hood of the Willies, while I took a short walk in the forest to take care of my own business, as it were. “Watch out for the Bears” she yelled to me, as if to say that she liked me well enough to watch out for me, or was it just her favorite spot to feed the local bears with her infrequent guests, and other passersby?

My view of places distant disappeared a bit as we drove through the hustle and bustle of downtown Homer. I wondered if they had stoplights in that town, while Lola just giggled saying, “They might even have indoor plumbing and running water as well” which might be a local joke, or was it just us that were laughing? We continued our drive along Homer Spit, a piece of land extending out into Kachemak Bay, which is thought to being left there by a glacier long, long ago. It had houses and business, a harbor and the odd this and that, which told me that it was better to be a tourist than a resident, unless you liked that kind of thing, which I didn’t and lucky for me, neither did she as well!

We made a 180, and started back when she pointed out a bar called the Broken-Winged Pelican. “I worked there once as a bouncer, or was that in another life?” If she worked there, then perhaps I was there as well, being all lost in the deja vu of the moment? “We might have been lovers in that other life”, a statement that I let slip out of my mouth and wander into her ears as she gripped the steering wheel a bit tighter, with nary a word uttered, which was as good a thing, as I could hope for?

She pulled off to the side of the road, and turned off the motor, while I wondered if our shared existences was at our road’s end? She opted though, not to answer me, not at that time anyway, and started to turn the key to get us out of town once again. “Damn Hamsters!” she yelled, and stormed out of the Willies, throwing up the hood while she tinkered with the motor.  “Come here, you” she said, as I got out to admire her fine form, bent over that ticking engine, while she said, “Take this screwdriver and put it here” said while motioning towards a thing-a-ma-bob with wires attached and performing no doubt an important function down there?

“Push it in when I tell you to, then take it out when its job is done!” said by the woman whose very existence was starting to overlap my own, especially when she would talk dirty to me like that! Her facial expression told me, however, that I needed to keep my mind on the job at hand and leave other things to well, other more suitable times….

The Willies roared back to life and we jumped inside while we still possessed an opportunity to shuffle off the mortal coils of city-living in this niche of Alaska, and move back to our own, more nondescript section, where the cars passing by might remark, “Was that a filling station, or just another bump in the road?”

She just looked at me before propelling us onward, saying, “Just where do you come from, if I might be so bold in asking?” while I could only muster the smallest of answers saying, “Up around Healy-Way” I said with the smallest bit of pride in my voice, while she only said, “I thought as much.”

I’d read my fair share of books in my life, but I never read one like Lola. She could say a short-something like that, making me wonder why our lives had crossed at that intersection called, “Conoco Junction” or whatever she wanted to call her Filling Station, perched on the edge of my uncertainty, while the rest of life flowed past me like an Alaskan River after the Spring Breakup. We might just end up doing the Fairbanks Fandango together, or would I just end up being another statistic in the newspaper under the column, “This Week’s Accidental Gunshot Death(s).

If the latter does happen, I guess, I’ll finally have made a name for myself, just not being able to cut out the article and send it to my proud mother in Healy, but hopefully, I went out with a smile on my face…….


Taking the Bus to…

All I wanted to do was to “take” the bus to Healy to visit my folks. That’s all. No other intentions than that, but not everything is as easy as it looks in Alaska!

As I stood there at the bus stop in beautiful downtown “somewhere along the Sterling Highway”, I remembered how I’d done, or tried to do this once before. An unruly bus driver got into a fight with me on the bus and we had to arm-wrestle as he drove. I was confident, however, this time, if I just kept my head down and watched my p’s and q’s, I’d make it to Healy by sundown!

I stood in line behind a fellow they called blind and deaf Dave. He was pleasant enough, until I tried to make light conversation with him. “What?” he yelled back, “Is that you Emma?” he’d say, then back away a bit and swing his cane threateningly over his head. I tell you what, not everyone in Alaska was on the normal-side, but people like him made me feel as if I was a bit farther in towards “normal” than Old Dave and Emma ever now or had been before!

The Kenai Bus Company had been trying to improve their image with posters featuring “Friendly Harv.” Harv was always seen smiling and shaking hands, so in that way, I hoped that “Harv” would be my bus driver today to Healy. That is to Healy Alaska.

When the bus stopped, Blind and Crazy Dave and Emma got on first, but when I stepped up and reached out my hand to shake the drivers’, his first words were “Oh, it’s you again” then pulling his friendly handshake back and pointing behind his seat. “I’ve got Old Slugger with me, so don’t try any of your Canadian Tricks like last time!” Old Slugger was a ferocious Bat Penguin with….well, that’s beside the point anyway. All I wanted to do was to……should I say “take” the bus to my folk’s place.

“Well Hi” said while peering at his nameplate…Shotgun Sal….”Uh. Sal. I’d like to….uh…..travel with you to Healy today. What about that?”

Sal just looked at me before saying, “Wasn’t it you who wanted to “Take” my bus from me the last time we crossed swords?” looking furtively about and readying his Penguin for any signs of trouble.

I just said, “That was an expression. An idiom perhaps, but we don’t need to get so technical about that, now do we?”

Sal’s face got all screwed-up first, then he reached under the dashboard and pulled out a diploma from Homer Junior College: “Graduate of Metaphors 101.” “Don’t talk down to me as if I were one of your Canadian Cronies! I know my metaphors and I’ve got the papers to prove it! What about you, you Commie-Loving, foreign type of Outlander? Can you match metaphors with the likes of me?”

I really hated it when others flaunted their diplomas at me, and especially those with Metaphors, but I didn’t want any trouble today, or I’d have to explain where that black eye came from when my mom greeted me at the front door!

“Been fighting again, Dear?” she’d ask me as she went to the freezer and got a piece of frozen quartz to put on my eye. Dad would only say, “Harrumph” then continue with “Was it Lola who gave you a shiner for cheating on her with that spicy number down the way, or was you just being a Wuss about you and your “Metaphor Envy” again?”

All I wanted was to “take” the bus to my parent’s place and experience Healy Alaska with its minus 40 degree winter weather, before Lola came out of hibernation again. Just a short, or a very long bus trip with the driver hell-bent to kill the both of us and Crazy Dave and Emma, who by now were making out in the back of the bus with Blind Dave saying,” Oh Emma. You’s never looked prettier than you do right now!” but Emma was tired of his playing the field with…

“Are we going to waste all day long with your subplots?” said Shotgun Sal, “Or are we going to hit the road for places unknown?”

I put my money in his “friendly” hand and shuffled my way back in the bus. Crazy Dave pulled out his cane again and yelled, “Get your own girl, ya hear?” while I decided to sit quietly and look out at the landscape of the Kenai Peninsula. Suddenly the bus hit a “bump”, but I thought Sal still had control when he showed up next to my seat, with a look that said, “Fried Onions for last night’s dinner, don’t make Sal a Happy Boy on his face!”

I wondered who was piloting the bus, but could just about see “Slugger” sitting on a pile of books as he–

“A Penguin is driving the bus?!” I yelled out, but Deaf Dave only said, “If she’s a looker and a cooker, then we’ll keep her, regardless of her religion!”

Sal looked like he wasn’t going to like what I was about to say, just as my father who would have said, “Was he a failed Canadian Geologist? Well, then at least you two would have at least one thing in common!” – when the bus hit another bump and careened off the road into the forest!

There I was in mortal combat with a crazed bus driver, and that was not a metaphor, his angry Penguin and Emma who just beat on me with Dave’s Cane….when the Police showed up at last…..

-and that’s what I told the fellows, Wally, Bent and Armand, who bailed me out of the local Hoosegow in downtown Soldotna. It was actually the Immigration Police who surrounded the bus and demanded that all foreigners come out peaceably, before they built a wall around us, keeping our undesirable elements away from the likes of other Americans! I kept on saying that I was an American, but nobody wanted to believe me, and to tell you the truth, by that time, I couldn’t really blame them!

So mom and dad. That is why my visit to you has been delayed for now. Say hello to my pet frog Ribbit and tell him that as soon as the court trial is over and done with, and I haven’t been convicted for Canadian Crimes against the US of A, then I’ll be traveling once again to the three of you in Healy! Just not by bus this time, OK? – your loving son……

PS. Sal was awarded the Medal of Freedom, awarded to those who “contribute to the security or national interests of the United States” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom_recipients)

-which must have been for keeping undesirable elements, like your dear son, away from other regular Americans….?

And then she said, do you have any….?

“Glacial Silt?”

“Well, my mother would have washed my mouth out with soap, or perhaps the ground-remains of that slippery rock called, called..now what was that called?”

Then my father would have entered the conversation by saying, “I bet you don’t even know your Pluton from your Batholith?” making my mom cry and defend me until she said, “why don’t you go outside and play with the other children with non-Geologists for parents, while I hit your father over the head with this Metamorphic Rock!”

The girl down the street was always getting me into trouble by saying, “do you have any?“, and then I was to come up with the answer. Well I suggested Glacial Silt, but she suggested something entirely different, and pulled me aside and..

“And what?” demanded Lola, knowing how his mind worked, and about 2 feet under that as well!

“Gosh Lola. That’s when I woke up, and felt all Geologically Frustrated!”

Mom would have told my dad, “the teenage years are the worst, you know?” While my father would just reply saying, “a tough trip down the river to Cooper Landing is what that boy needs! Just like my father did to me, and look how I turned out?” “Mom just bit her lip, kind of like you, when I would have said, Cooper Landing Alaska, but I didn’t this time, huh Lola?”

Lola just was about to bite her lip when…

We packed the canoe and dad said, “Now make sure you don’t get bit by any metamorphosed sedementites, but mom said, “Now don’t scare him like that, he is so sweet and innocent, and I could just…

“Yeah. Yeah”. said my father, “but we haven’t time for that now do we?”

Well, my pet Moose, Barney ran along the shore waving his Antlers Goodbye, when he ran into a tree! Well what with the twig-rain and the…

But my father just broke into my thoughts again saying, “And what kind of gravels of the Lower Kenai Peninsula did you see when we got into the canoe?”

I bit my lip and tried to remember what my Sunday School Teacher said about “obey thy father and mother” but I thought of being funny and said, “Uh. Greywacke or one of his cousins?” well that set my father off in such a way that the canoe was about to tip over, but luckily a woman fisherman, woman fisherwoman, I don’t know what they call it ok? Well, she was standing in the middle of the stream in these long rubber boots and…

-“but why did you wake me up with your yelling a moment ago.  Don’t touch me on my sub-strata you said, then I had to wrest the rock hammer out of your hand, before you, and then I said, “u…”

“But Lola. The crux of the matter lies back in that stream, you see? Well the woman yelled, “if you boys aren’t careful, you’ll crash right into that Schist sticking up out of the water”, but my father just yelled, “Young Woman, there are no Schists in this part of Alaska!” Well the canoe was just about to tip over, when Barney jumped into the river and saved the day, by dragging me up onto dry land again. My father was left behind to argue semantics and Geology with that fisherwoman, when she said to my father, “Your eyes are greener than the garnets in my neck of the woods!” Prompting my father to reply, “and where might that be?” As if they were going to make beautiful Geology Together or something? Well I reminded him that mom was still at home slaving over a hot bed of finely-grained granite, making him realize that….

-“but what does this have to do with you waking me up by screaming bloody murder?” asked Lola, with a look in her eyes like suspended ultra-fine glacial silt….

-and that was the story of my life in a nutshell….

Dreaming of Her Kenai Formation

I’d hate to say that I’ve been missing Lola, but the truth of the matter is….Yes! Surprised? Well, don’t be, but that condition has caused me some otherwise crazy dreams, and that was just as a starter to my woes.

A faceless woman appeared in my dream last night, touting the Kenai Formation and all of its glories. It might have been due to the last thing that I’d read, “The Soil Survey of the Homer-Nilnilchik Region, but not everything can be easily explained with….”What was that, you said?….Well, that was the Homer-Nilnilchik Region in Alaska!….Sorry about leaving that fact out!”

It might also have been due to the letter, I’d received from the Loam Sisters, Sandy and Silty, but I wouldn’t want to cause them distress, just because I have been having weird and kinky dreams about…..well, more on that later!

A knock on the front door is always a surprise, but last night was even more out of the ordinary. It reminded me of the conversation, I’d had with Lola just before she went into hibernation last year. She asked me point-blank, “Well, are you going to be seeing other women, while I am away?” The answer to that was simple and unequivocal “No, or yes, but not almost definitely without being subject to change!”

Lola just looked at me as if my butter had slipped off of my noodles, but I’ve always eaten them in a bowl instead of on a plate, which assured me success in whatever I chanced to eat! I reserved the right for strange women, or was it women strangers to be allowed to knock on my door, or the one connected to the house at any or all times of the day or night, if in fact they seemed to be lost, needing someone to hold the flashlight while they changed their flat tire, or perhaps just needing a hug or a pat on the back for support!

Lola just gave me one of her long looks, which didn’t make me no never mind, because even though she would be hibernating those many months, I’d still be traveling on the straight and narrow path that some people would call our relationship. In fact the fellows at the Bent Antler asked me a similar question the other day.

“When your Lola is away” Wally started to ask, with the others gathering around as if they could smell Infidelity Smoking in the next room, or something, “Are you really going to wait all those long and lonely months until she returns?”

I really wanted to mention the Soil Survey of the Homer-Nilnilchik Region as an answer to that question, but I thought some of the other fellows might make fun of my choice for winter companionship?

“Let’s say” said Wally, as he cradled his Kenai Ale in his hands as if he cradled something else entirely! “Let’s just say that a woman knocked on your door late one night and wanted a warm-blooded Alaskan Man like yourself to help her with this and that?” The others gathered around him wanted to cradle their Ales as well, but I was not one to be swayed by the thought of someone else close by me, looking over my shoulder while I was fantasizing over the Bedrock of the Homer-Nilnilchik Region!

“What if” continued Wally, as he ordered a second beer and cradled them both at one time, as if he were….

“What if she were swayed by an intelligent sort of bloke like yourself, sitting there all alone late one night in the cold cold Alaskan winter, with nothing else to help pass the time with, but an old Soil Survey of the Homer- Nilnilchik Region! What if…..”

I arose to answer the door, but the woman standing there was faceless and silent in her ways and means of being. I asked if she needed help, but….

“Well what was she wearing?” slobbered Wally, as the others stopped cradling their Ales and….

“Or was she wearing anything at all?” asked Bent, while he considered cradling a glass of wine or two, or was it better with two glasses of Cold Ale, to calm his unsteady nerves?

“Fellows” I said at last. “I think it was a vision sent to me by Lola herself!”

Bent and Wally just sighed and turned away saying, “Now he went and messed up a good story in the making by mentioning the Old Lady again!” The others went back to their mutterings about why there wasn’t enough alcohol in Alaska to drown their thirst, brought around by their own relationships, while I just returned to the woman at the front door in what some of us would call reality! She just stood there and said….

Then I woke up! “Gosh Lola was that really you there last night?”

She wouldn’t be responding, I know that quite well, but you know what? When I went to get a glass of milk, my copy of the Soil Survey of the Homer-Nilnilchik Region was propped up inside the refrigerator, next to the carton of milk!

I’m sure, Lola would have said it was an omen of sorts, but since I didn’t really believe in that sort of thing, I just wrote it off to being tired the night before and absentmindedly leaving my reading material in the wrong place before I hit the sack? Or hit the hay, but not having a roll in the Hay!

Lola would be looking at me in that way, she had telling me to stop while I was ahead, or was that behind….?…….

-but I don’t really miss her. Not really…..

“Along the Gravely Shores

of the lower Kenai Peninsula” was a song that was climbing the hit charts here on the Kenai Peninsula. I wanted to help it on its way to the Top 15, but was stymied when I decided to buy the tune “on-line” as it were. There were plenty of chances to do so, but the last time I bought some tunes, I’d just visit the Record Store in Downtown Homer, that is in Homer Alaska! However, the last time I visited there, a sign in the window said, “Closed indefinitely due to the Millennium Bug Problem! Come back in December 1991 and buy your favorite vinyl LP’s like you did before…..

Well, I didn’t and it didn’t either, but no matter, because I would just wait until the new store opened up in town, “Pay as you go Music” which seemed to be a British Company, with T. May, Proprietor. That will be on or about 29 March, but that date seems to be in doubt for some reason or another?- but I digress…

Today, I planned on visiting my two oldest friends, Mucky Pete and Sandy Loam. That crazy couple had a cabin not far from here, but when I had written Pete about my idea, he said “bring a log or three” won’t you? It seemed as if the usual social convention had been changed from wine or flowers to dried hard wood, but I acquiesced and did as he asked.

I arrived in mid-January, where the temperature was a pleasant -15 Fahrenheit. Why in Healy, that is in Healy Alaska, we’d be outside the lot of us and enjoying the local event, “The Mt Denali Come as your favorite Naked Geologist” event, with….oh yeah. It’s funny, but it’s as if Lola is yelling at me right now to “tuck in my shirt tails, or stop telling crazy stories”, even though she isn’t here at all in the flesh…..that reminds me of another funny story, but we’ll just put that on the back-burner for the time being, OK?

The front of Pete’s house was dark and uninviting while the back end seemed warm and bright. I knocked on his door, but only heard “Is that you Sandy? If it is, then we don’t want nothing from the likes of you!” then he – “Pete” I yelled. “It’s only me”!” Well, he lit a match and ran out of the front door dressed like a Grizzly Bear, well not a real Grizzly Bear, but

“Come inside! Did you bring the wood?”

Well, there we sat, rather close to a small fire in the fireplace, while Pete smoked his pipe and muttered about the Government. “So, Pete” I started to say, “How are you and Sandy doing?”

“Dang Women!” he yelled and spat on the fire, but that was a mistake, and we tried our best to get it going again.

“Hey Pete. You know what they say about small fires, don’t you?” said trying to calm him down a bit – “Native Americans (politically correct rendition) sit closer to a small fire, while “White Men (not changed” sit far away! We must be part of the indigenous Population, don’tcha think?”

“She was always harping on me. Telling me to tuck in my shirt-tails. Trying to change me. Well, I won’t be changed! Well one bright and sunny day, I told her that we’s was through! And with that said, she moved out into the back part of the house, alone!”

I thought about that minute, while Pete considered putting log number 2 on the fire, or should he wait until it was minus 42 outside?

“I was just going there to say Howdy. Any messages?”

Pete just shuffled his feet, then considered spitting again, but waited until a better moment came along, like in the summer?

“No” he said at last. “No messages.”

I walked around to the back door and knocked. A voice wafted out saying: “If that’s you Mucky Pete, I’ll blow your head off with my shotgun with that being the first and last word you utter!” I just called out “Sandy. It’s me. Please don’t shoot, OK?”

The door was thrown open with Sandy coming out of the well-lit and warm part of her existence, a shotgun in hand, and-

“Come on in you” she told me at once “and we can pretend we are White Men and sit far away from the fire!” It seems that Sandy inherited the firewood, but Pete wasn’t about to ask her for any Charity! As we waited for the warmth to catch up to us she said, “I really miss reading “our” favorite book together, as she pressed that magical tome against her breast and started to read its title, “Along the gravely shores of the lower Kenai Peninsula!”

“Did he say anything to you, like he was sorry for being a Moose’s Snout, or…..”

I just shook my head and wondered why relationships were so complicated? Why back in Healy Alaska – she stopped me and said, “You don’t need to say Alaska, you know?” – we’d just kiss the girl we liked and if she didn’t throw you into the Nenanna River then….but we aren’t in Healy, Alas-uh, you get the picture, don’t you?

“Well. I guess, I’d better be getting back to Pete” I said, but she happened to drop the book on the shotgun, causing it to fire inadvertently!

“Sandy!” a voice yelled outside. “If you had gotten yourself shot and killed, I swore I’d bury you in the back yard under our authentic imitation Canadian-made sundial from China like I promised to do!”

They just stood there. Shotguns pointed at one another, with Pete trying to tuck in his shirt-tails with his other hand. I smelled reconciliation in the air, or was it gunpowder? No matter. I just bowed a bit and moseyed on down the road before they shot each other, or made up in spades!

I walked back to my Caribou still whistling that Top-15 hit, “Along the Gravely Shores….”and thought of Lola while doing so…..

-and that would not be the last time that I did either of those things, you know?….

The Aloha Moose Horn

My eyes hadn’t quite focused on the day, when the first sounds penetrated my mind with a “ding” then a “ding-ding” telling me that someone was outside, wanting fuel for their internal combustion beast, as it were.

I pulled on my jacket, then into my shoes, as I heated up some soapy water and poured it into a nearby bucket, waiting for the steam to invigorate my face, and my hands, preparing them for the cold outside. I started to pour the water over the icy car windows then pulling out my squeegee and rag, getting ready to scrape off what bits and pieces of Alaska, that had gotten stuck onto this iron-horse of sorts, when a shout came from inside the office, stopping me in my endeavors!

“What in Denali Blue Blazes do you think you are doing?” words that could have come from my newest love, as she strode towards me with love and passion in her eyes, or….

“This is a Filling Station you dolt! Not a Service Station of long ago! We don’t do service with a smile around here, and if you can’t unlearn such behavior that your sainted parents might have taught you, then this side of Homer Alaska and you are not going to be best buddies anytime soon!” I tried not to take her words in a negative way, but what with the cold creeping back into my fingers, and the fellow behind the windshield giving me a look that could kill small white rabbits dead and gone, I decided to back off and let my new filling station teacher teach me her right from my so so wrong.

“We” she started to say as the motorist having paid his debt to society, and to my host, moved his iron beast again onto the road to Salvation, or Homer Alaska, if we really needed to be specific about it, with her continuing to say, “We are guardians of this Great Nation’s Fuel Supply. Something that I for one do not take lightly. We are guarding this national treasure from nearby foreigners, motioning to the East, but referring to the Ruskies to the west! “Uh” I said,  after feeling like saluting her US Flag Tattoo, or saying the Pledge of Allegiance, if I still could remember it that is, “That way is Canada, not Russia”.

“Canadians, Russians, makes no difference to me?” she said, as I wanted to shake, or nod my head as the case might be? “They are still considered foreigners whose presence would encroach upon us, wherever and whenever!” I was mildly impressed at her use of the word, encroach, but my admiration would have to wait until my indoctrination was over and done with, before I found the courage to tell her just what I really thought about her…

“My first question now concerns your dip-stick”, she said as if we had just shot the breeze about dip-sticks, and reservoirs and where and when it was proper to place such things?

Her eyes were ablaze not unlike Mt Redoubt Stratovolcano when in its eruptive state, but I took that to be a special part of her, and not anything to be feared, just yet anyway! “You take it and put it here”, showing me a long stick, greater in size that I could profess to having, and placing it down a hole in the ground until it struck oil, or gasoline as the case might be.

“Do you own a dog where you might call home?” she asked, as we pondered the situation we’d gotten ourselves into, falling asleep on her sofa, fully-clothed and no funny business to remember, something that might have warmed the cockles of our hearts, telling us in no uncertain terms that we wanted each other, right here and now, tearing off every last stitch of clothing, showing the people of Homer Alaska, at least those cruising by that filling station at 5am that dark December morning, that our love  knew no bounds, or….

“A dog”, she said again, waiting for my thoughts to settle, like dust from an Alaskan Tumbleweed blowing along the streets of Destiny, somewhere else on the Kenai Peninsula! “A dog”, she said a third time, but not waiting for my thoughts to finish, she grabbed me, well in a delicate place in order for me to reorganize my thoughts, without further delay! “A Dog”, she said a bit louder, not yet yelling, but then it was all in the way you thought about it? “A Dog that might be missing you right now, looking at its lonely dish, wondering when its owner would be feeding it, telling it about being the best thing that ever happened to your sorry butt of a life on this planet! Do you own such a beast?”

It sounds nice, I thought. A dog being that much more faithful than my wife, who left me for the bright lights of Anchorage, while I was on my way towards civilization, well that part of it called Homer Alaska, to fill my gas tank, and my stomach, especially after the power company killed the electricity, and the desire to sit and look at the TV thinking about what we used to waste our time on, the old lady and myself, while the bedroom screamed at us for our neglect, and the sofa felt the brunt of our, our

“No dog, I guess?”, she said “Well, seeing as how you still haven’t done me wrong like the Soldotna Seven, then I guess, you can hang out around here a bit more? What say you about that?”

I had gotten stuck on that term, the Soldotna Seven, but seeing as how we’d only known each other just under one-day, I figured if I was lucky, I’d learn about them sooner or later?

“Come on” she said, and went into the nearby garage to a rather largish jeep, her Willies! “Let’s cruise Homer Spit” she said, as if we were a bunch of High School Kids, mooning the local population with our wiles and ways!

“What is?” something I said while just about touching a knob on the dashboard, labeled, “Moose Horn”, causing her to say, “touch that and you are a dead man!” I just kept pointing at it, wondering if anyone would lay flowers on my grave, while she continued saying, “Well, if a Moose comes along, you just pull it and it sends out a mournful wail, either scaring it away, or drawing it closer!”

“Oh”, I said then added, “Sort of an Aloha Moose Horn, being both a hello and goodbye type of thing?” said while she just looked at me and said, “You’ve got a lot of things to learn boy, and if I don’t shoot you first, we might just make it together….”

-“you never really know about things like that…..?

“Want to know what I’m wearing?” She asked

Alaska. Winter…..Need I say more? Well, like it or not, I will!

Lola was in the deepest hibernation, I’d seen in years. So angelic was she, lying there, lost in her dreams, not possessing one violent thought or action during the entire winter! I’d still tiptoe around, not wanting to wake her, lest she’d find a revolver under her pillow, or a 30 caliber strapped under her nightgown, just in case an intruder entered our lives….

I had just gotten back from the Bent Antler in beautiful downtown Homer, where my buddies Armand and Wally had been shooting the breeze about who saw what, and how it looked.

“I swear I saw it, just the other day” said Wally as the others in the bar gathered around our table and listened intently. Hanging on each and every word, though some of them were born doubters, never believing that such a thing could be seen in the middle of winter?

“I was up on the ridge overlooking Homer”, began Wally. I wanted to say “Homer Alaska” but I didn’t want to interrupt the excitement of the moment, but made a mental note of that to tell them later, if it showed up again? “It was the exact same spot that me and the Misses used to make out in the old Chevy! There we were, perched on the edge of the cliff, going to town and back again, when she’d say “How come you never say you love me anymore?” The others looked at him and shook their heads in unison, knowing how difficult women could be at times like those, what with our hands doing what they did best, then to be asked silly questions when all we wanted was to-

“I just said, Honey. I meant it when I said it all those years ago, and that hasn’t changed now has it?” She might have used that moment to tell me how she had been admiring the lubricating oils of the traveling Gun Oil Salesman, but how was I to know that they meant more to each other than-

“-but just what did you see the other day?” interrupted Armand, whose Chablis had just about become a dry memory of vineyards past, when he signaled to Bent, he needed a refresher and make it a double this time! Bent just looked at Armand saying “That is true love isn’t it? A glass of Chablis and the companionship of your best buds in the best city in the whole world! Homer, Alas-“

Dang it! Now someone had stolen my punchline, but that’s the way it goes in the big city, doesn’t it?

“Well. Me and old Betsy” he started to say. Betsy was the name of some foreign pickup, a sorry testament to the likes of that old Chevy, most likely pushing up Piston Rods somewhere in the wrecking yard outside of town. “We looked up into the sky and I yelled out – Thar she blows! With that being loud enough to scare a local herd of nesting Penguins, who was out on a lark after escaping from their badly-mended Penguin Fences” looking sharply at me, as if I was the only one who had difficulty with his Penguin Fences and all?

I tried to protest, but the others only sided with him and all. Then he said, “Yeps. It was the sun. Old Sol as we called it up north and he was a shining and a blazing like it was nobody’s business!”

The others started to ask excitedly, “Was it yellow, or all orangish like the time, when the Supermarket next to the Fire Station burned down, but they never woke up before it were all ashes and all!”

“Well” said Wally, after taking another sip of his Beer, allowing time to reflect on what he saw as the others started to talk about the other sightings of “Old Sol” that they had heard about at their Daddy’s knees, or whenever it was way back when?

Then the old cellphone rang, startling me such as I knew Lola to be asleep and the rest of my contacts being around me in that pleasant room with pictures of Famous Penguins decorating the walls and halls!

“What are you wearing right now?” a raspy, but somewhat sexy voice asked me, while I sat there waiting for the rest of the story to take all of us to the heights of ecstasy, here in the dead of an Alaskan Winter! “Want to know what I’m wearing?” the voice asked me, but I was still stuck on the first question, what with my Imitation Grizzly Bear Moccasins and 12 layers of clothing, just in case the winds outside decided that I needed a bit more cooling off than….

“I’m lying here. Naked as a Jaybird, needing a man to warm me up like only a man can do” said the voice again, amazingly like Lolas, but just a bit sexier than normal, which made me say to the fellows, “Uh. I’ll be going now, but I can’t wait to hear more about that story another time!”

Armand just looked at me while he swirled the Chablis around in his glass, “What Lola wants….. ” making the others make obscene noises like Alaskan Penguins in Heat, but I was bound and determined to rescue my love, no matter what sacrifices, or layers of clothing it took to do so!

My house is dark and my pots are cold..” Evil Ways by Santana

“Lola” I called out, although there wasn’t a sound. Not a mouse squeal. Not a lizard’s gasp, not even the whoosh of a skating penguin to break the silence. “Lola. Lover Boy is here!” sounding a bit less sexy than the voice that had caused me to leave the Bent Antler Bar in the middle of a Classic Tale of Sunlight in the Winter, but I was still willing, all the same.

The sound of a rifle being cocked was the next thing, I heard.

“Uh Lola” I said, but didn’t want to get any closer than necessary, when her voice shot out in the dark, “What are you wearing, you violator, you!”

I turned off the phone and turned to the others saying, “Sorry about that boys. Wrong Number, that one!” then ordered a glass of Chablis, which made Armand’s eyes sparkle like the Aurora Borealis over the town of Homer, and that was “Homer Alaska” I yelled out, as the others toasted each other, with one of them yelling, “Come on Wally. Why don’t you start that story over again? We all need a good dose of Old Man Sol, don’t we fellows?”

Yep. Nothing is better than being together with my best buds, on a cold Winter’s night in Alaska, while others will be sleeping and dreaming the whole winter away!

-but I never did get to tell her what I was wearing, now did I?…….

Dear Friend

Next year in September 2020, I am planning a visit to the USA. I’ll be flying from Denmark to Sacramento in California, ending up in Placerville, where my sister lives.

I thought, I’d just drop in on you while over there, with this being my tentative plan:

I can’t be exact as to my final arrival time and date, but rest assured if the traffic will cooperate, I’ll be meeting you at the Moose is Loose Bakery in Soldotna as planned! I don’t know how long I’ll be in Alaska, but given a rest area or two, I’m sure we’ll be able to meet and greet each other the first day, and perhaps the next as well, before I take the trip back to my sister.

My only real concern is traveling through Canada, as it seems a price has been put on my head by various WordPress Bloggers up there! I’ll try to drive at night while in Canada, and will be learning a few words in French to help disguise my true intentions.

If for some reason or another, like an earthquake, or volcanic eruption, you can’t stop on by and share a Maple Bar with me, then I’ll understand completely! I’ll leave a Maple Bar around the back in a plain, unmarked bag especially for you, if you happen on by, when the bakery is closed, with my name inside and a passport photo that purports to be yours truly.

I’ll be ending this letter now, but I’ll be thinking of you, each and every time you post something on WordPress, as well as your continuing efforts to get my name cleared in Western Canada.

Yours warmly…..

Ins and Outs

It seems as if everyone and his mother was pushing Moose Grass these days. If I only had a Susan B. Anthony for every time I’d heard about Moose Grass, then I’d be……at least $5 richer than I am today!

“Moose Grass in the Springtime” or “Anti-Penguin Dust to keep those voracious predators from your prized blades!”

Then the TV-ads with scantily-clad women, running and frolicking about on a fresh lawn of Moose Grass, while…..That reminds me of something, but I can’t quite put my finger on what?….

Well, my task was to get Moose Grass to grow indoors, making the house ready for Lola’s return around “Fur Rondy on 22 February”. I know what my friends would be saying about that, but…..

“We realize that you worship the “Grass” that your Lola walks upon, but growing it indoors? Don’t you think that living alone the whole winter has addled your thoughts?”

My thoughts weren’t any different, than when she went into hibernation, I’m sure of it!

“Get the ins and outs of Moose Grass from the people in the know! Moose Grass isn’t that difficult to grow, if you know the secret that is and our experts can help you, Yes, You too can master the Ins and Outs of this…..”

It seems a local celebrity was touting some of these secrets on her Website. It seems as if she always were writing about the ins and outs of things, but with title like Caribou X-rated X-ings, how could anyone misunderstand her message anyhow?

“What do you think about that Lola?” …..no answer, but I was a patient man, and I’d get an answer sooner or later!

  1. Dour and suspicious
  2. Rifles pointed
  3. Sexy and willing
  4. Angry and uncompromising
  5. Passive and demure

That is the list of my Lola-Photo collection. All of them nicely framed and signed, carefully placed in and about our home to remind me of her, when she isn’t right here by my side!

I’ve had some difficulty finding the perfect place for Number 5, but given time, I’m sure it’ll come to me!

I decided to sow my Moose Grass tonight by the light of the Full Moon and give it all the…Picture number 1 came to mind….”Really Lola. It says here in my Moose Grass Manual that the Full Moon has magical strengths and portents that……what was that, My Love? “Is Portant a French word?” I didn’t know that, but those foreign influences do tend to creep in under the covers now and again causing…..No, I have not had any foreigners creep under my covers and….That was just a figure of speech…..No, not her figure, but….Now where was I?

I decided to place Photo number 3 out of my mind for the moment being, otherwise I’d…

“Moose Grass Fertilizer is recommended by the leading experts of the trade. We’ve got an exclusive interview with Mr. Rump who says that even the President of the US of A uses Moose Grass Fertilizer on his hair, because it resembles the richness and fullness of an Aircraft Carrier’s Deck, with its…”

Now they’ve even got the President involved with Moose Grass! What do you think about that Lola? Fake News, or….?Photo Number 4 told it like it was without adding anymore sugar to the frosting! “What exactly did that mean?” he asked Lola, whose Photo Number 2 suggested that he didn’t know what he was talking about, but then we’ve been down that road before, haven’t we?

Photo Number 5 came to mind once again, but only because it didn’t seem to fit anywhere in this current conversation with the non-existent Lola? I’ll just take it into the kitchen with me while I whip up a good batch of Caribou Rings and Moose Munchies! Then we two, or six, depending on the mood of the moment, can spend some quality time together until

“What?” Can’t you keep track of which photo I’m referring to?, PageUp helps sometimes, but then I just make up most of this stuffs as I go, anyway, so just choose one that you think fits and it will!

I don’t know but perhaps it was better that Howie didn’t get sent to Lola’s mother for the winter? I sure could use a bit of repartee right now and Howie was always a good one for…”What?” Another French word? I guess, I’ve contracted some sort of French-Canadian Flu which makes you want to speak French, then put a Danish Flag on your Website? “What?” No, I am not going to do the same thing, because even though I live in Denmark and…”Oops. That was giving too much info away! I do live in Alaska in my mind, but sometimes I take a gander at other places and…..”What?” No, not French-speaking places, or…

I can see that the original idea for this blog has gotten muddled about, and the main topic, “Moose Grass” has gone flying by the wayside! I think it’s better to let this blog alone for now and take up the subject again at a later date.

I am happy that I’ve worked in Moose Grass, Ins and Outs and Penguins, otherwise I’d deem this particular entry into Lola’s World a failure!

End of blog…..

The Flight of the Snowbird

“Please fasten your seat belts when the fasten seat belt sign comes on, making sure that your seat belt is securely fastened”

I always worried about taking a trip on Snowbird Airlines. It seemed as if they repeated themselves just once to often for their own good? If I did the same as they, then I’m sure some of my fellow Alaskans, that also lived in Alaska, that is Alaska USA would do something to me that….now where was I traveling to again?

“Flight 1956 will be winging you away from the cold that some people call Alaska to the warmer climes of the Lower 48”

A woman next to me said, “If only someone did a DB Cooper on this flight, then we might just end up in Hawaii instead!”

I just blew into my inflatable blow-up pillow, readying myself for the long flight ahead. A fellow in the seat in front of me looked behind at me saying, “Kind of reminds me of Inflatable Inga! She loved the way my hot air made its way into her cracks and ripples, and when we went at it, well….you had to be there to see just what she could do with her…..

“Attention. The Captain has just turned on the fasten seat belt sign, which means that you need to remain seated, with your seat belt fastened while we….”

I tuned out the loudspeaker, the woman next to me, whose only wish was to grab the buttocks of some young Hawaiian lad, and the man whose memory of an inflatable Scandinavian named Inga, were left to their own madness on the outside of what I could think about as the plane started to taxi down the runway. The stewardesses started to peddle Jimmy Carter Peanuts, and Bill Clinton Cigars while I waited to see if I was going to be ordering a cold Alaskan Rum with ice cubes no less, letting me drift off into a dream of a girl named Lola, and her less than inflatable talents that could…

“Hey Buddy. Is this seat taken?” Before I could answer, a rather largish fellow sporting a cap with a picture of an American Eagle, holding the American Flag in its talons, while gently landing on a map of the United States with colors like an American Flag sat down beside me, spilling my Jimmy Carter Peanuts on my carry on bag, with its many flavors of Alaskan Alcohol purchased at the Duty-Free shop!

“What’cha got in the bag, if you don’t mind me asking?” before I could reply he had fished up the Commemorative Whiskey from the Kenai Peninsula, where I made my home in the Summer months when the temperatures were on the positive side of zero!

“Where is that saucy stewardess?” he asked, but as I craned my neck, looking for her, he had popped the top off the bottle and was admiring it for its taste being vaguely reminiscent of scantily-clad Cannabis workers, running through the fields wearing their stylish leather aprons, while the sap flowed freely onto their….

“Here’s to you and yours!” he said as he tasted, what used to be a present to Mom and Dad back home in Seattle Washington, or was it really Montreal Canada where my good old Dad had run away with an office clerk, who…

“Smooth. Really Smooth!” he said, then belched a big one, reminding me never ever to drink that drink again, lest I wanted to remember my traveling companion on the flight away from Alaska, USA?

“You don’t need to keep on saying Alaska, you know?” he said to me. “We all are Alaskans aren’t we?” said with his voice raised, which then caused my bottle to be passed from passenger to passenger until the stewardess stormed over to me saying, “You know that consuming Duty-Free alcohol on the flight is not allowed, don’t you?” I just nodded, or shook my head, but it didn’t seem to matter as the fellow in front of me suddenly said, “Is that really you Inga?” which made his eyes grow wider and wider with that thought, just before he grabbed her on the….

“Hey Buddy” said the fellow next to me. “We Alaskans don’t do things like that to pretty women from Alaska, you know?” which made the fellow in front of me to say, “Oh yeah? Well, I can take on the both of you, with my right fetlock tied behind my back!”

The whole of the cabin was in an uproar, while I found myself in the middle of a Caribou Stampede, what with fetlocks being thrashed about, and tempers flaring with the thought of flying away to warmer climes being the last thing on my mind!

Lola just turned over in her sleep mumbling, “Serves you right, you low-down, miserable polecat of a Snowbird you….!

Snowbird” is a North American term for a person who migrates from the higher latitudes and colder climates of the northern United States and Canada in the southward direction in winter to warmer locales such as Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt of the southern United States, Mexico, and areas of the Caribbean. Many “snowbirds” are from either the Northeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, or Canada. ( -and they didn’t even mention Alaska……)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowbird_(person)