Saturday, November 16, 2013


We moved. Not to a different town but to a different house. We moved across town to a new 4-plex housing unit built by our school district for the teachers. This was a move unlike any move I’ve done before. Mainly because I couldn’t find an excuse to get out of it.  Well, I had plenty of excuses. She just wasn’t buying any of them.

Housing availability in most Alaskan bush village is a tricky deal. Land ownership in the village is not obtainable for individuals, so we can’t buy a house up here. The Native Corporations own the land and they usually build the houses and sell them to native residents. When the government began to build schools out here, the teachers needed places to stay, so the school districts built housing for the teachers to rent. So yes, we pay rent on our teacher’s housing. It is subsidized, but I could rent a house in Oklahoma for about the same as I rent here.

The housing that I lived in for almost 3 ½ years was a half-mile walk from the new school. It was located near the old school and we are now moving in to the housing the district just completed at the new school. The old housing was just that, old. I think my house was built in the late sixties or early seventies, as part of the BIA school they had here. It had issues, but mostly it kept us dry, warm, and the toilet flushed when we pushed the handle. We would get snow through the ceiling in the kitchen if the wind was blowing in a certain direction, but that didn’t happen often. The rugs in the bathroom would freeze to the floor in the winter, making that first step out of the shower a second wakeup for the day. But it served us well. The half-mile walk will not be missed in the winter storms.

The move itself is a long process. There are four families moving up to the new housing. We don’t have any vehicles for the move, except the ATVs. So, we have been shuffling plastic totes on the back of the two ATVs for the past week. And we still are not completely finished but close. And it’s been an ordeal. It is exhausting, complaining, as I tend to do. Monica claims she is getting tired of it too, but sometimes she lies. Also, it takes a lot of effort on my part deflecting angry glares coming my way. It seems as if she’s almost annoyed with me.

This is what has been keeping me off the floor.
I'll take blame for some of this sadness but not all.
Now we have a new house. And most importantly, we have new furniture. Our old furniture was awful. It was uncomfortable, falling apart, and I’m certain contributed to my hair loss. It did keep us up off the floor, but barely. My chair was held together by duct tape and I had to use extra pillows for cushions. The couch where Monica ruled the house from also used old pillows and cardboard for support. Now we have new furniture that reclines with footrests. The only problem is that they are made of microfiber. When I stand up out of my chair, between the fleece and microfiber, I have enough static charge to power a Prius for 50 miles. But I usually use that electrical charge to shock my hand on the refrigerator door. I think I am going to put duct tape on the handle.
New chair, new house, old me.

The weeklong move using four-wheelers is nearly complete and I am enjoying the benefit of being less than 50 feet from my place of employment.  Now, when I forget something back at the house, like maybe pants, I can go back and get them. Instead of when we lived across the village, I would just have to figure that whatever I forgot must not have been that important. Also, the school is going to strictly enforce the “wear pants” rule. I’m anxious to see what ‘strictly’ means.