"CLOUDS IN THE LAKE" story
I find it quite amusing talking to people about Alaska because it is difficult to understand something when you have not experienced it. How do you explain to someone about the gain and loss of daylight, that the body desires to hibernate in the winter, yet needs very little sleep during the long days of sunlight. During our first summer, the family was working in the yard when Dad said, "What time is it? We have been working a long time." It was about 3 a.m. but the sun was high in the sky and bright. From then on we understood why people taped foil paper over their windows and used the clock exclusively. How can a baseball game be played at 12 o’clock midnight with no lights? It is truly a fascinating place to live.
When my family moved to Alaska in 1959, it had just become the 49th state. This was prior to the discovery of oil at Purdhoe Bay, or Sagavanirktok, located in North Slope Borough, north of the Yukon River. There were few people. It was truly a wilderness.
One of my family’s favorite places to go for a one-day outing was the lake on Chena Hot Springs Road. My middle brother is and always has been the mountain man of the family. It is said he can catch a fish without a rod and reel. Fish just come to him and it is quite unique. He was the one responsible for us having fish to eat. Dad would gather wood and make a campfire. Mom brought the iron skillet, potatoes and onions, and fried them up over the fire. I loved to clean fish, so this was my job. By the time the potatoes and onions were ready, it didn't take long to finish the meal. There is nothing like the taste of food cooked over an open fire.
My middle brother and his wife went back to Alaska a few years ago and took some pictures of the lake, and inspired
"Clouds in the Lake". This 18" x 24" (45.72 x 60.96 cm) oil painting was hanging in my gallery one day as a man came in and said, “This is a painting of Alaska, isn’t it?” I told him yes and asked how he knew. He said, “The clouds. They are not visible in the sky, only in the lake. There is something about the atmosphere in Alaska that when photographed, the clouds do not show up in the sky.” Some of the people who see this painting may understand, but I don’t. It is just the way it is. What a fascinating world our creator made for us to enjoy!