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Articles written by Maraley Mcmichael

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Ladies' nights out were rare, memorable

Every woman needs a ladies night out once in a while. I experienced one such evening in the fall of 2004 during the years my husband and I operated Nabesna House Bed and Breakfast out of our home in...

 

Berries bring out the good in us

One morning in August 2012 I answered the ringing phone and heard "Hi, this is Kim. Gary and I have been picking blueberries in Hatcher Pass and we have more than we need. Could we bring you some?"...

 

When bees and bears collide

During our first summer of trying to be self sufficient and live off the land, my husband, Gary, decided to keep honeybees. The year was 1974 and we lived 23½ miles out of Fairbanks on the...

 

Memories of Dad and a life well-lived

I sat listening as Dad recited verse after verse of "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" by Robert Service. During my month long visit with him in October 2005, I had been surprised and amazed several times....

 

Spring crane sightings prompt reminiscing

"Look! Look! Look!" I excitedly exclaimed to my almost 16-year old son as I pointed to the field on our left. We were driving past one of the many grain fields in the Matanuska Valley where we live....

 

Washing was part of the price of log homes

I welcome the sight of springtime sunlight streaming through the south facing windows of my home, but along with that comes noticing dirt on the window glass and a thicker than usual layer of...

 

"Please return" letters yield surprise family treasure

My mother's handwriting jumped out at me as I pulled out the contents of a 1960s-era postmarked envelope. What a wonderful surprise, I thought, as I read her letter and set it aside. I was half an...

 

Ice fishing trip was an all-around success

By Al Clayton, Sr., as told to Maraley McMichael. Recent clear sunny days in make me think of going ice fishing. I've made many winter fishing trips through the years, but one in particular stands...

 

Rides with Patches had their bumps

By MARALEY McMICHAEL Senior Voice Correspondent "This is not working, I can't handle this all the way to Texas! As soon as we get to Kamloops, I'm going to find a veterinarian and see if we can get...

 

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...

 

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