Hey everyone! We arrived in Kodiak in good order, but the computer here was only working on and off, so I have not updated in awhile.

Let’s see: starting with the ferry. We boarded the ferry in Homer, AK, at 10:30 pm…in broad daylight. It was large, able to fit 148 cars. Government paid for us to have a mini-hotel room, too, so after we watched the ferry take off, we went in to our beds and slept the trip away. Two others watched the proceedings, too: 2 bald eagles just sitting on light posts peering down condescendingly at us. At midnight, it was still light out. It was also possible just to sit in a chair, or put out a sleeping bag on the deck and sleep in the stars. We had a decent breakfast onboard, too…a tad expensive, but it was on a boat.

After breakfast, having arrived in Kodiak, we climbed up and under and between all the cars and boats on the car deck and waited in our car, watching a video on Leah’s portable DVD. (First on, last off…they can only move two cars at a time. You drive up on large a circular pedestal, which spins the two cars around to line them up with the upper deck, then you drive off. Very fun!)

We were greeted by Rich’s commander, who is a very sharp, and kind, man. He waited 3 hours for us: the boat arrived late, then we were the last off, of course. He escorted us to the guest house, and there was a very nice gift awaiting us from the legal team here. It’s a simple room with a roll-away for Leah, and a full kitchen on every floor.

We spent the day getting a temporary Alaska license plate and driving around looking for houses on sale. Most of them had already sold, so we called a real estate agent the next day, and spent time that day driving around looking at the houses she had given us. But that was only after we did the important things…Rich and Leah took a chartered halibut fishing boat and caught 40 pounds of halibut in the Pacific. Very cool.

The next day, the real estate agent took us around at the houses we had selected from our curbside inspection, and we made a bid on one. We’re still in negotiations, but should be set in the next day or two.

It’s a very cute split-level house with three bedrooms, one bath, a 1/2 bath in the garage, and a HUGE “crawl space”. We may use it for our library of books, it’s that huge, and it’s heated. The current owners have a model train in that space. The only quirk is that the washer and dryer are up on this little ledge. We’ll have to extend the ledge so I don’t fall over backwards getting laundry out. Every house has some cute little quirk like that. Its back deck has a massive amount of salmonberry buses underneath it. We’ll enjoy that!

Salmonberries are very good…if you get the ripe ones. They’re ok if you get the pink ones, and bitter, bitter, bitter, if you wait too impatiently and pick too early.

The ocean and the mountains. I never dreamed I’d have both, but God is infinitely generous. The mist is down around the mountains in the morning, and gradually crawls off through the day. Some of the mountains are snow covered, and some are carpeted in the most luxurious-looking grass.

We found Frontier Southern Baptist Church, which was bragging last week of having 22 kids in VBS. They have around 9 in their youth. The pastor is bi-vocational, and has an obvious love for his congregation. There was a mission team up here from Texas running the VBS, as well as doing some basketball clinics and evangelizing along the canneries and docks.

Wednesday, they had a churchwide supper. I’ve never been to a church supper where the only meat available was wild-caught. There was fried halibut, fried salmon, and venison chili. Tasty, indeed! Then the kids went out and gorged themselves on the salmonberry bushes behind the church.

They like their salmonberries here, but someone has to be a VERY good friend to let you know where to they go to pick wild blueberries. 😉

The Texas missionaries took over the Sunday services, so we’ll have to attend this Sunday to see how things normally are, but if his choice of people to take the pulpit is any indication, we’re in for some very Biblical teaching.

However, no one, not even the pastor, wears ties, and you’re lucky to see anyone not in jeans. This is island living, for sure.

Leah has her first violin lesson today, and is looking forward to having her hip heal up so she can run track. They are also very much into their track here, which is a good thing for our girl.

Magpies are everywhere on the island.

We love y’all, and miss y’all, as usual. We’ll post pictures whenever we are in a position to get our own PC set up. It’s still on the way from Tacoma.