Today in Sitka, two people are meeting to spend some time together. I’d never want to get in their way, but I would dearly love to see and hear what’s going on.
Aly is flying home to Alaska from college for the summer. The best flight to Juneau for her routed through my old hometown of Sitka, with a 5 hour layover. I contacted an old friend and asked her to meet Aly and visit with her until her evening flight to Juneau.
This friend was my first real girlfriend, from when we were both 16 years old. We lost track of each other after high school, but reconnected several years ago, long after we’d both married other people and had our wonderful children. Aly had only met her once previously, but seemed anxious to spend time with her.
Our relationship was as much a friendship as a romance. We certainly didn’t behave as well as our parents may have hoped, but our shared interests probably helped us avoid the kind of trouble kids that age can so easily get into. The friendship has endured after many years. The two families rarely get together, unfortunately. This lay over is a rare opportunity.
Today, two people I love, one from my past, the other my present and future, are running around one of my most beloved former homes. I don’t know what they’ll do, other than spending part of the day at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, an organization in which my friend is heavily involved. She and I attended this camp, held each summer on the campus of Sheldon Jackson Junior College, as kids. My father worked there when we lived in Sitka; our family formed part of the staff and faculty community, and the campus was my home and playground. Now, the college is gone, and the campus has been turned over to the camp. I would give a lot to see the restoration and changes that have taken place there. I’m eager to hear Aly’s impressions of it.
I doubt Aly will learn any uncomfortable secrets about her father’s past. She’s not likely to ask, nor will details likely be volunteered. But, I’m delighted that they have a few hours to spend together in such a wonderful place. I can’t wait to hear all about it when Aly comes home tomorrow!