Hello, all! Greetings from Alaska, again. Today is an odd day around here. People have begun to see light at the end of the tunnel. It hasn’t been an easy summer, I guess, for a lot of the employees here at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. A lot of people have left the lodge sooner than they intended, whether due to needing better pay, a loss in the family, a year-round job offer, or just a decision that this wasn’t the place for them. Some will leave before the end of the season to go back to school, and some will be here until the end. For many of us today, the following image sums up the mood:
I think first of all, the realization that it will be August in just a few days has put the heart back into a lot of us. Despite the difficulties, we are making it. Time is passing and soon this summer will be behind us, for better or worse.
Secondly, something was done today that made us realize that it will all be over before we know it. They posted on the wall a list of all the employees and their departure plans- last working day and when they were scheduled to be on a bus. Naturally some of them needed to make changes, inform management of different plans, etc., but for the most part, the crowd around the list of names on the wall reminded me of checking to see who made the cheerleading squad or got cast in the lead role. It seeemed to catch people by surprise, either way.
For the last few days, a quote has been flitting through my head, provided by my all-time favorite TV show, M*A*S*H. It’s from the episode where they are interviewing them for the documentary, the black and white episode. Hawkeye says, “I think…I’ll never forget the day I go home. Right now I can’t imagine it.” Now please don’t think I’m comparing a summer working at a cruise hotel to a tour of duty in the Korean war; I think you know better than that. But the sentiment is the same. The sense of anticipation, of accomplishment, is the same. The sentiment. Knowing we have made it through something that isn’t exactly easy for everybody.
After we all spotted the list for the first time, I can’t speak for anyone else, obviously, but as I was walking up the dreaded hill back to housing (yes, it’s still not something we look forward to- I’m still red-faced and sweaty by the time I get back to my room) I was listening to my iTunes on my exercise playlist, and an oldie but a goodie came on: “Ain’t Nothing Gonna Break My Stride,” by Men At Work. That one always seems to help push me, always makes me strut a little, and today especially, the lyrics “…the road behind was rocky, but now you’re feeling cocky” were particularly pointed.
As anyone who knows me well could tell you, I can apply music to just about any situation in life. For example, the last two times I have been on one of our motorcoaches riding back from Talkeetna, I have been composing my own version of the “bus driver safety speech” (which all the drivers have to give, and most put their own spin on) to the music of Les Mis! I’ll share that one later, but it just serves as an example of how anything involving music fascinates me. The point of all that was to explain why I was struck by another song lyric that crossed my radar yesterday. It was my day off and I took the opportunity to ride on the Alaska Railroad. I will cover that in a separate post, but the song lyric was from a great song I’ve always liked, “Time of Your Life” by Green Day. Someone had scribbled it on a pizza box I saw sitting on one of the tables on the train:
I was just struck by those words and how accurately they summed up this summer so far. I also noted, for what it’s worth, that was my twin daughters’ senior song. Hmmm…..
Anyway. I know I still owe you guys a post about my big flight tour and my other day-off adventures. I will get on those right now. I just wanted to share this day and this feeling with you while it was fresh in my mind. I basically compare it to cresting the top of the highest hill on a roller coaster. This is the pause before the mad rush to the final run. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, the second wind. In other words… we’re gonna make it!
Thanks again for reading!
Until next time,