Sunday, November 16, 2008

I tried to post something last night and it ended up on Wilder Allen Hatch's blog. I will try again and see if it gets to where it is supposed to be on our blog.

We are in Seward now and enjoying the access to civilization that we have. There is actually a road that we can get on that will take us to Anchorage in two hours. We don't have that isolated feeling that we had in Dutch. We miss the people in Dutch and would have stayed longer but the President and the Lord figured it was time to move on. It was a sudden and expensive exit but it happened so quickly that only Darlene could have pulled it off by herself. She is amazing.

I am enclosing a few pictures of Seward. It is a beautiful place and we have room for anyone that wants to come visit. We have three bedrooms and only use one of them. It is only 900 square feet but we don't need much these days. We may consider downsizing when we get home, well that is a thought that I will not pass by my wife because it wouldn't fly but a guy can dream can't he?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bunker Overlooking Bering Sea
Pill Box On Ballyhoo
Underground Tunnel
Gun Mount
Too Tired to Go Further

Ballyhoo Exploration

The Spit at Dutch Harbor From Ballyhoo
Darlene and Laura Coming Out Of A Bunker On Ballyhoo

Remains Of A Sled Used To Bring Up Equipment Up Ballyhoo

The Clouds Upon The Water
We did have four days of sunshine during the month of July so we took advantage of two of them to climb to the top of Ballyhoo mountain where there are numerous remains of WW II buildings and military installations.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our Sunny Day Adventure

WWII Vehicle in July Fourth ParadeGrand Prize in Parade--Senior Center Bus
Mom by the Waterfall
Mom on a hill in Unalaska
Mom at the door of WW II Explosive storehouse

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Mom's new truck
Unalaska National Forest
Sommers Bay
The APL dockT

July has arrived but summer hasn't

We are looking forward to warm and sunny days but they don't get here until August or September just before the snow begins to fall in October. We have a new Mission President but we haven't heard from him yet. He arrived a week ago and is still probably trying to figure out what he has got himself into. Things are pretty slow on the island at this time as many of the members are on vacation, the activities at the PCR are few, Kids Night Out is off until school starts, and the Senior Center lunch program moves to UniSea Galley until the end of November. Many of the kids on the island go away for the summer months to attend camps and visit relatives in the lower forty eight. They have a mens softball league that plays on Wednesday and Sunday evenings but so far it has been too cold and rainy to venture out to watch them.

We did have a visit from one of the District High Councilors that comes here to work about once a month. He just dropped by to check on us which was nice.

We continue to search for people to share the Gospel with. It seems like every time we find someone to talk to we find another less active member. We are now aware of six members on the island that came here to work and don't have time for the Church. Some are working fourteen hours a day seven days a week. It is insane. Prices keep going up on everything here at a record pace. Gas is now up to $4.75 a gallon and milk is $10.00. Maybe we ought to drink gas it is a little cheaper but that may not be a good idea. We still have to have heat in the Church even when we keep it at sixty four degrees. Our warmest day thus far was fifty four degrees and we get one sunny day out of every ten or more. We would like to have a few more sunny days but we will make do with what we have.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Elbow report

Dad's elbow is doing well. He didn't have to get surgery and the antibiotic seems to be clearing up the infection. We have been to the Clinic the past two days for blood work to make sure the infection has been cleared up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Visit to the clinic

Mom and I made our first trip to the local medical clinic much to our dismay. After spending four hours there we were finally allowed to go home. Dad has a severely swollen elbow that has continued to swell for the past three days and it is warm to the touch so we thought it might be a good idea to check it out.

The doctor, yes an actual doctor, is indian and has braided locks down to his waste. He is pretty cool though but full of a lot of hot air. We did blood work, drained fluid from the elbow area, had and IV and X-ray. After all that time we found out that dad had a huge bone spur on the tip of his elbow. The doctor said no more throwing for you so I guess I can't plan in the over seventy league any more.

The part for concern is that there was some infection in the fluid and he was concerned about a possible staff infection so he took a pretty radical approach to the treatment in hoping to wipe it out before it got too bad which we thought to be a good idea. We go back early tomorrow morning for another IV and as long as the swelling hasn't spread we are okay but if it has spread he may send us to Anchorage to have some surgery done. We are hoping that is not the case. It made for an exciting day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Walk on the spit

The first picture on the previous post is our home that we plan to purchase and remodel for our retirement here in Unalaska. The second picture is Skyler Williams graduating from the Head Start program. Just think next year Emily will be graduating.

Mom and I just took a walk down the spit. The spit is a piece of land that juts out into the bay that is a little over one half mile long from beginning to end and about one hundred feet wide. We saw some sea otters in the distance and lots of flowers that are just beginning to burst forth. This is the first time in my life that I can say that dandelions are pretty. After going for so long without seeing anything green or blooming even the dandelions look good and no one tries to destroy them. They are thick everywhere. It is about the only thing we have on the Church property that is growing.

It is a beautiful day and the ocean is really calm so there are a lot of boats out fishing today. I don't really get excited about fishing but maybe when the salmon start to run hot and heavy I might try my luck. One of the men in town that has a boat wants to take me out halibut fishing but I don't think I want to get on a boat after my first and last experience deep sea fishing with Carl Glassford in San Diego years ago. I enjoy eating what they catch but am not really interested in catching my own. We shall see.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Natalie Carter and her two boys in their new Sunday clothes. They are a less active family we have been working with from Beaver, Utah.

The weather is changing gradually.

You have to love those King Crab legs. Yum, Yum.

Baptism in Feb. in the Bering Sea

Looking out toward the Bering Sea on a sunny clear day. One of the few we have seen.
Well June had arrived but summer hasn't made it's appearance yet. Everyone tells us that it is coming but we aren't going to hold our breath until then. Someone said the other day it usually comes around July 4th and is gone by the end of August. Supposedly they have really heavy fog during the summer months also when we aren't supposed to be able to see across the street. That doesn't sound too good.

We had Zone conference today and it was the last one that President and Sister Lewis will have with us as they will be leaving the first of July. They are from Bountiful, Utah and will be returning there upon their release.

Grandma is cooking fired chicken to take to some less active members who haven't been feeling too well lately. They live on the hill above the Church building here. We can look our of our windows and see their house. We just wish that they would come to church with us on Sunday.

We are able to do a little more exploring now as the snow has melted in the lower elevations. We met a man this week who was here visiting from Florida. He was here during WW II when the Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor. He had some great pictures and was able to tell us a lot about how things were then. There were probably 10, 000 soldiers here at that time which is almost three times the number that live here now. There is lots of evidence of the troops having been here. There are numerous collapsed buildings and pill boxes all over the island. We hiked up one road for a couple of miles and wondered how they ever got across the canyons. He showed us a picture of a suspension bridge that they built over one of the canyons. It was two cables strung from one side to the other and then they placed wood planks between the cables and wired them to the cable. At first they were crossing without any hand rail of any kind. There is no way that I would have done that. It was way up over the canyon and the wind blew and would make the bridge swing according to him. Wow. In the winter time he said they would ski down and across the bridge. He was here for two years and one winter he camped on top of Ballyhoo in tents and they had over ten feet of snow.

The history of this place during the War is very interesting. sometimes it is referred to as the "Forgotten War". The native people were removed from the island for their protection but the camps they put them in were terrible and many of them died. When they were allowed to return to their native land many of their homes had been ruined by the troops. It was not a happy time for the Aleut people here and their families.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Well today we experienced the greatest day yet in Dutch Harbor. The sun was shinning all day long. Sister Noel shoveled snow off of the back deck while I put together an invitation for her to deliver regarding the upcoming Relief Society birthday celebration we will have here in the Branch for all of the Sisters.
We are enjoying our time here on this beautiful Pacific island. We are beginning to feel more comfortable in the area and are starting to recognize people in the community. You have to learn what car or truck they drive then you know when they are home. If you see a car on the road you can usually know who is driving except for the company vehicles.
The snow has done a lot of melting the past couple of days but there is more forecast for later on this week. Hopefully the temperatures will be high enough that it won't stick around for long. Many of the local people say this is the worst winter for snow that they have had in a number of years.
We are looking forward to the warmer months as everyone tells us that the place becomes absolutely beautiful. The mountains turn an emerald green and the wild flowers are supposed to be just magnificent. They have wild blue berries and salmon berries that are second to none we have been told. Blue berries are the size of your thumbnail according to the local natives.