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Articles written by Maraley Mcmichael

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Christmas was truly special in Alaska

As a child in Anchorage, Seward and then Glennallen, I remember many magical Christmases. Then, in third grade, I got into a big argument with another student about Santa. I was devastated after a...

 

Grandma's tiny house

"Would you be willing to drive to Slana and help me retrieve the little 1955 camp trailer?" I asked my son Patrick. "Sure," he replied. He had just told me he was coming to Alaska this past August, on...

 

A working adventure in King Salmon

During my senior year at Glennallen High School, my husband-to-be, Gary, was hired by Woodruff Construction, who had the contract to build an addition to the high school end of the K-12 building. Afte...

 

Tales of The Beast and its admirers

While looking through a box of artwork a while back, I came across an 11-inch by 14-inch pencil drawing of "The Beast." At the bottom right corner were the words: "To Pop... Christmas 1990...love,...

 

Kitchen table became a venue for international sharing

Many diverse conversations took place at our kitchen table when my husband Gary and I lived in Slana, partly because we ran a bed and breakfast in an area of Alaska that is off the beaten trail, but...

 

Fishing for lures leads to a scary swim

To get to his construction job site those early summer mornings in 1974, my husband, Gary, could either drive 24 miles into Fairbanks and then another 25 miles to Eielson Air Force Base, or drive 4 mi...

 

Greenhouse job planted fond memories

"If you have room, would you like to take a petunia wave basket?" asked Evelyn Bush, a former employer of mine. "You can't just give away baskets for free," I replied. But when her granddaughter,...

 

These insurgent mice were thorough

“Gary,” I said to by husband, “I think a couple moved in while we were gone, and not only had babies, but invited the whole extended family.” It was early April many years ago and we had just returned to our home in Slana after an absence of...

 

Memories of the 1964 Earthquake

While reading in my bedroom late in the afternoon of March 27, 1964, I suddenly felt the room swirl. I had enjoyed the day off from third-grade school work since it was Good Friday. Our family lived...

 

Finding a home for all of those cookbooks

"Did all these cookbooks come from one collection?" I inquired of the lady behind the desk. Several rolling carts filled with books spilled out of the small room labeled "Friends of the Library Used...

 

Hunting with Dad: Moose and memories

My daughter and I were visiting Dad and Mom in Homer one weekend in early January 20 years ago when I was startled awake by the phone. The clock showed it was almost midnight when I picked up the...

 

Generators as an Alaskan way of life

In October 1999 my husband Gary and I moved from Palmer to Slana, which was at that time one of the few places left on Alaska's road system still without commercial power. Residents ran their own...

 

Wood cook stoves and Alaska Thanksgivings

My husband Gary burst in the door of our cabin, peeled off his outer gear, and said, "I volunteered us to cook the turkey in our wood cook stove. They'll do everything else on their Coleman stove....

 

A lifetime of Halloween birthday parties

As all people who have birthdays on holidays know, there are good points as well as drawbacks. Through out my life, my birthday has always had an air of anticipation, excitement, and no lack of...

 

A soft spot for rebuilt school buses

One evening last winter while searching my TV recordings for a certain movie I wanted to watch, the words "Bus Life Ever" caught my eye. Curious, I clicked to learn more and soon was intrigued. It was...

 

Alaska State Fair, a family tradition

My first experience at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer was back in the mid-1960s as part of a group of young 4-H girls from Glennallen. A couple mothers drove us in to Palmer to see our projects on...

 

Resurrecting details from a long-ago family hike

While looking for something else, I recently came across a photo that instantly brought back many good memories. In the photo, my Dad, my three siblings and I are standing by the Resurrection Pass signpost during the last family hike I participated...

 

Pop quiz: Alaska highway numbers vs names

My husband, Gary, and I sat visiting with two couples after dinner one June evening several years ago. At the time, we were operating Nabesna House B & B out of our home in Slana. One gentleman...

 

I now pronounce you man and wife

It was 45 years ago this month that I married Gary in the front yard of my home in Glennallen. As the wedding party stood and all the guests sat facing toward the grove of poplar trees, frogs croaked...

 

One woman's junk is another woman's dream project

Since our move back to Palmer from Slana in 2011, I try to ride my bike around our subdivision on a daily basis unless the roads have ice and snow or if it's very windy. One day while riding in early...

 

Flight delay leads to fascinating encounter

My husband dropped me off at the Anchorage airport for a flight to Denver early last November. It wasn't until after I'd gone through TSA that I learned my flight was delayed for two hours. I wasn't r...

 

Surprise package delivers unexpected family treasure

One early January afternoon a few years back, I picked up a small box from the dining room table where my husband always piles our incoming mail. I was surprised to see the return address of one of...

 

Jewel's concert, imagery leave lasting impression

In late November I sat with my son and his friend enjoying the ambience of the historic Paramount Theater in downtown Denver. We waited with quiet anticipation along with the rest of the sold out...

 

Christmas form letters leave treasured legacy

Form Christmas letters. Whether they arrive by snail mail or email, people seem to either love or hate these annual family newsletters. Let me just state up front that I am a fan. Because my mother...

 

Food stains and memories

While growing up in Glennallen, I was involved in 4-H and took several classes including basic sewing. The year I turned eleven (1966), I decided to make cloth placemats and napkins for our family of...

 

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