Considering that my last post was on July 21, 2015, you may think that I abandoned this blog or was ill, or died. Rather than abandonment, it was as if I had shifted focus, or taken an extended vacation. Except, I was not enjoying luxurious travel or idle pursuits.
Weeks ratcheted past as I toiled at rewriting essays from my MFA thesis into a memoir. Eventually, I realized I had to do more than just delete headings and check for consistent verb tenses. I needed to rediscover connections that reflected my fussy interaction with the house and garden, but also gather a broader history, and grapple with the nature of Alaska, and how time passes.
In real life, we ride a wave of time. Or, time is like a wind that rushes past. We drop into past times when remembering, watching a movie, reading history—or living in an old house.
What lives in the house belongs to the house. No. The house belongs to the people. A house is a shell of protection and comfort. No. A house is habitat, but not a living being. A house cannot repair itself, regrow a broken window, or heal a gap in the roof.
– from unfinished Alaska Memoir, Katie Eberhart
When we moved in, in 1983, the house was already old, having been built in 1935 for the Matanuska Colony. The original log structure had been repeatedly covered over, leaving us to discover the stories beneath paneling and siding, picture windows, stairs, and peeling wallpaper.
My manuscript is currently being reviewed by an editorial consultant. So, for now, I’m vacationing from my memories—raking pine needles after a wind storm and playing music with my friends.