Friends, I am going to do my best to give you the highlights (and just the highlights) of our last few months. This is one of those posts that may be a little boring, but it should catch you all up and get this blog presentable (it’s kind of like getting your house presentable, you need to do it before the guests come over, but it’s not exciting : ) And I even have similar distractions while I work, the sounds of PBS kids, a little girl’s sniffles, and a puppy’s intermittent whining (WAIT! Do you have to go outside to go POTTY!?!? AH! Let’s RUUUUUUN!)
But ya’ll are my friends. So I know that you will read with a gracious spirit :)
The Call of the Wild
So we’re in Alaska…yes, Alaska. We got the “call of the wild” (as Paul called these latest Air Force orders) on January 5th, had our household goods packed up and shipped and and were on the road/boat a little over a month later. That’s just how the Air Force works sometimes and I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the suddenness of it all. We were two and a quarter years in Ohio and, well, now our life there is part of the Snyder family history…has been for 3 months. That’s insanity.
The journey across country and up the coast of Canada was not one to be particularly envied, but we made the best of it. We drove from Ohio to Washington state, drove onto the ferry to sail two days up the coast, and then, you guessed it, more driving (2 days!) to Anchorage, AK. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the things we could enjoy along the way (see my Instagram feed below). We scanned the flat plains of KS (so flat!), survived the winds of Idaho (“did we just lose our luggage!?!” thankfully, no it just sounds like that when the wind slams into the side of our car!), slalomed through the mountains of CO (breathtaking and dangerous!), watched the fog roll in to Seattle (creepy!), rose and fell on the swells of the open Alaskan waterways (puking!), drove through the desolate and frozen tundra of Canada and Alaska (where’s the bathroom!!), limped our car through -27 degree weather (but the car started! praise God it started!), all the while wondering what time zone we were in (sorry to those of you who got a text or a call in the middle of the night : ).
What did we learn? I’d advise any other month than February when planning such a trip, but the scenery was still lovely, cold, windy, with most of the tourist attractions/traps closed, and…it was still lovely: ). Our children can play on their tablets for 8, 10, 12 hours nonstop–and get upset at you when you point out the Rocky mountains going by–what’s wrong with them? When the captain says “Open Ocean ahead!”, immediately proceed to your bunk and sleep (do not pass go or collect 200, but do grab the “white bag” for the kids on the way : ). Canada has no bathrooms, evidently their bladders are much more sturdy than we Americans–hats off to you crazy Canuks. If you’re from the east coast, all your texting and calling should be between 11:00am and 2:00pm, just in case. In the Air Force, your family is your home because life will not be “normal” for months and months as you PCS. Grace covers a multitude of sins so it’s best not to make too much of things on the road. And last but not least, God was very good to keep us safe and mishap free during this crazy journey into his will!
We arrived, somewhat bedraggled, but still breathing. Our stuff however was a little bit slower on the uptake. So we stayed in temporary housing for two weeks before moving into our newly purchased home in the town of Eagle River.
This was exciting…but would have been more so if the moving company knew where our household goods were. It’s a strange type of fear that says, “Hmmmmm, all your belongings could be lost, misdelivered, or at the bottom of the ocean!!” (Admittedly, that last one is unlikely, but the freakish things that can happen to military goods are no joke–and they are all categorized on the pages of our military FB friends!
To pass the time while waiting for our goods to arrive we (rather impetuously) adopted a puppy. Ellipsis (following our tradition of grammatically themed pets names) is a black mix of lab/husky/newfoundland/shepherd. She has sharp little teeth and a very snuggely personality (two things which makes for somewhat painful interactions…but we’re working on that : ) Along with training her, I spent those few weeks exploring my new city, cleaned and prepped our home and helped the boys get used to life at public school. The boys and all the other students walk to school every day (a new experience for them), notwithstanding the bears and moose that roam our streets (no seriously!). I, of course, was a nervous wreck during their first week but God quickly gave them new friends and great teachers. Turned out I didn’t need to spend so much mental energy freaking out.
Our goods arrived in April and even arrived somewhat intact (there is always damage). As to that, our family motto has become “it’s only stuff” and besides it’s not even our stuff at the end of the day (it’s Gods!). Thinking this way helps cover over the nicks, scratches, and missing Legos–though the kids were harder to convince about that last one: ).
Paul jumped into his new position immediately and is enjoying his new unit on the base. Since he is not pastoring an Air Force chapel service during this assignment, we spent the first two months church hunting. There will probably be a blog post about that experience in the future, but I’m happy to report that we’ve found a place where the worship is uplifting, the sermons are thought provoking and where we see opportunities to quickly get involved in this community of believers.
So that’s our life in a nut shell! I wanted to give you a nice, not-to-long update so that you’d know how to pray for us (and I know that many of you were, even without the play-by-play : ) This new home is surrounded by beauty and I know that we can learn to appreciate God’s creation in a way we’ve never been able to before. I look forward to the upcoming adventures.
[Side note: If you really want to follow along with our life (adventures and all) the best way to do that is to subscribe to my instagram feed (again, see below.) That’s my go-to social media site where I chronicle our life.]
And, speaking of adventures, we always have a spare room ready for any guests that would like to visit! I can promise breathtaking views and basic bed and breakfast amenities if you stop by. Of course, our kids will talk your ear off and you might get licked by our puppy but we’ll try to make your visit enjoyable.
So hello from Alaska! We made it! God was and is always good, always.