Despi9te common sense and restraint, our family decided to take that trip of a lifetime before we packed our second son off to college.  We decided on this plan six weeks go. Typical Anderson affair, we were in a rush to live in the moment, before our family of five is reduced on a daily basis to one last son—and his several friends who live here part-time.  (One “son” even annotates the grocery list.)

One cannot describe the beauty. It has to be seen or heard.  Alaska’s beauty is like music, it rushes the senses, its immediate.  Wide skies, rushing waters, soaring mountain peaks.  All in a single view.

The people.  At one point, I turned to my husband and said: “I think all these people are on happy pills.”  He did remind me that it was summer and Alaskans are living in the light some 20 hours a day.   Everywhere we turned we found kindness and perseverance, hardworking, enthusiastic Alaskans, anxious to share their state’s wonders.   photo 3

The enthusiasm was contagious. At one point on the turquoise, fish-teeming Kenai River, our illustrious fishing guide John blurted out: This is so cool. I have every single rod, reel, and lure out on my boat, out…and in use.”  This was not a man looking to limit his effort or cleanup, but to expand our adventure.

I promised John and some of our other Alaskan friends a box of Among Friends baking mixes.  I’m sending my boxes off tomorrow with a good deal of happiness myself. I want to send my gratitude—and some Michigan love – to the people who shared their state with us.  Hey, we were formed by a glacier, too.

As for me, on vacation, I limited my baking to one big batch of Phil ‘em up cookies—and a size 12 hiking shoe soaked in a rushing mountain stream.  Both were necessary for hike number two up the Mountain.photo 5