Senior Voice -

Former Alaskan now in the Land of Lakes

 


Moving from Alaska to Minnesota was both difficult and easy. In a way, I figured I had done enough time in the Great Land and there are lots of wonderful things to see in the other 49 states.

I spent nearly 49 years in the 49th state. I lived in Fairbanks from September, 1967 to August, 1976, when I moved to Anchorage.

Moving to Minnesota was easy because I grew up in Faribault, graduated there, and my nephew still lives there. My grade school chum, Marie, still lives in Faribault.

Moving to Minnesota was difficult because I made so many friends and went to so many places in Alaska while I was there.

One of the funniest things is that I moved to a place named White Bear Lake. When I first started visiting my nephew in April, 2015, I couldn’t figure out why so many homes and businesses had statues of polar bears. Then I read this:

The name – Bear Lake – appears on an 1843 map drawn by explorer JN Nicollet, who followed the fur trade route from St. Anthony Falls to Madeleine Island. White Bear Lake is taken from the Dakota word ‘Mahto-mde,’ which roughly translates into ‘Bears Lake.’

Future newspapermen, land speculators, resort owners and visitors would come to call the entire area White Bear Lake because the body of water was the largest reference point in the vicinity. The lake would also become well-known for its legend, which results in the spirit of a white bear haunting Manitou Island.

There are several versions of the Legend of White Bear Lake – the most popular of which was made famous in humorist Mark Twain’s 1883 book, “Life on the Mississippi’.

– From: “White Bear: A History,” by Catherine Carey

My condo hasn’t sold, but I was ready to leave, so I did. The two cats, Abby and Oly, came with me and I love the fact that this independent, senior complex allows cats and dogs. I’m looking forward to having all my boxes arrive with my artwork, my mother’s dishes and her silverware.

In Alaska I worked in public broadcasting; at the Alaska Women’s Resource Center; on lots of political campaigns; and I ran for office (unsuccessfully) a couple of times myself.

2016 is certainly a year to remember if you pay any attention to elections. Be sure to vote for the candidate you think will make the best public official for your district. Senior voters are super voters and we can be relied upon to vote.

Theda Pittman is, among her credentials listed above, an occasional Senior Voice contributing writer.

 
 

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