These Are Good Days to Live Out In the Woods

One of my favorite sayings: “There’s a reason I live out in the woods.”

Seems as if those reasons have piled up lately . . . .

The Zeiger Homestead cabin

“Cabin, cabin in the woods…” a true refuge from the evil of the world (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Foremost on my mind: frugality just may have saved my aunt and uncle’s lives.

By now, you must have heard about two float planes colliding in the air near Ketchikan, Alaska. All of the dead and missing came from the same cruise ship my relatives are currently aboard.

They have cruised to Alaska before; in fact, on their last cruise, they rode the local fast ferry from Skagway to Haines, to visit our homestead (see Stepping Up My Half-Aunt). This time, they had a definite wish list, which included riding in a float plane (oddly, my aunt has never done this, even though she lived with our family in Sitka for many months as a teenager). When they saw how much such a flight would cost, they decided to forego that opportunity for now.

Now, a moment’s critical thought reveals that, statistically speaking, they would almost certainly have flown safely. A lot of float planes run daily tour flights out of almost every large Southeast Alaska town during the summer. Saying they’d dodged death is like driving by an accident on the freeway, and thinking it could be you—possible, yes, but statistically improbable. Still, it gives one pause.

The ship, incidentally, is the Royal Princess, making its inaugural voyage in Southeast Alaska. It’s a “megaship,” even larger than the two improbably large Norwegian Cruise Line ships that have terrified us lately. I had no idea we’d ever see anything larger than those two. Yet another reason to live out in the woods.

Zeiger Family Homestead view

When life gets too crazy, enjoy the view, and breathe deeply (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Further, someone opened up the door of a friend’s newly-purchased truck, and stole the window mechanism out of it! Some selfish bastard needed a part, but rather than paying for it himself (this person is almost certainly male) he decided our friend could bear the cost! A similar thing happened to me years ago, when someone in Juneau stole the light lens assembly off the back of my car, again to pass the cost of the part to me rather than pay it himself.

It makes my blood boil, particularly in the latest instance. Haines is a small town, so someone decided to screw his friend and neighbor to save a few hundred dollars. He didn’t even have the momentary decency to roll the window up before stealing the mechanism that does that! (Okay, he needed power to do that, but if he could remove the part that easily, seems like he could have figured out a way to secure the car first!) Now our friend, who has no insurance, has to figure out how to raise his window before the rains return today! Not, apparently, the thief’s problem. Seems his home town is his wrecking yard, full of parts for his needs, there for the taking. Must be nice to be that uncaring!

All of this comes on top of multiple daily outrages on the local, state, regional, national, and international level. Each one makes me try to remember to stop, breathe deeply, look around, and be grateful that my family and I live out in the woods!


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