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Articles written by Maraley Mcmichael

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 By Maraley McMichael    Local    August 1, 2021 

A full day of people, stories at the Alaska State Fair

Since 2014, I've enjoyed working each Wednesday and Thursday morning in the Flower Department in the Barn at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. Wednesdays I fill the "vase" bottles with water and help...

 

A lifetime of Alaska fishing memories

I don't recall one of my first fishing experiences, but according to a family photo, grayling were caught in a little creek near Twin Lakes, about mile 28 of the Nabesna Road in the summer of 1958....

 

Sorting and stirring up memories

January 15, 1963: Dear Mrs. Ridener. It is cold up there. I do not want too go. But I'll have to. I love you Mrs. Ridener. I love the collass too. Your frend Maraley While going through boxes of...

 

An unforgettable Dougie MacLean concert

One of the best music concerts I ever attended took place right here in downtown Palmer at Vagabond Blues, back in May of 2017. From Scotland, Dougie MacLean sang and played his guitar. He said he'd...

 

All in the name of Grandma

"So, Mom, what do you want to be called when you become a grandma?" my daughter, Erin, asked in the weeks after we learned she was expecting our first grandchild. This question set off much...

 

Outdoor discovery becomes daily winter delight

Recently I came in from my afternoon snowshoe laps and quickly removed all my winter gear. While waiting for my tea water to heat, I pondered my enjoyment of my favorite winter exercise. I hadn't gone...

 

Warm memories of cooking for the crew

Not many 18-year-old girls that I know would take on the job of being "camp cook" for five construction guys. I don't know what gave me the idea I could do it. It just happened – the job fell into...

 

College graduation in the age of COVID-19

I sat at my dining room table this past Nov. 19, ready and waiting for the appropriate time to click on the link for our daughter's college graduation. Erin said she didn't know many details about...

 

Life and holidays at the Kenai Lake cabin

"My favorite place in Alaska is my Grandpa Clayton's cabin down at Kenai Lake," wrote Taral Clayton, my nine-year-old-niece back in 2004. "My Grandpa has a lot of neat things inside the cabin such as...

 

Every Thanksgiving memorable in its own way

Thanksgiving means different things to different people. For me as a child growing up in Glennallen, it meant a big turkey dinner that we always ate with just our family of six. Dinner was served at t...

 

Slana phone hack was retro, but effective

"Where have you guys been all week?" our son, Patrick, demanded when I answered the phone one morning back in October 1999. He was calling from his home in Colorado. "We haven't gone anywhere. Why,...

 

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...

 

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