With Gratitude, we bid a fond farewell to 2013

In Adventure, Travel Stories by scott

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Thank you, Dear Readers, for following along this year. We’ve done plenty of traveling—and have much for which to be thankful. Below are a few “gratitude” snippets from fellow readers. Thanks to all of you who shared—including those that asked not to be published!  Photo info: top…just a candle on our kitchen counter. Below right, Mt. Augustine, as seen from the Homer Spit. Bottom left, Mt. Fairweather, as seen from Alaska Airlines flight #67. Funny, when I’m grateful, my eyes and my heart turn to nature. How about you? Here are some excerpts from the mailbag this week:

“I am very grateful that my son and his wife were able to come home for Christmas. This was the first Christmas we have all been together in 3 years. Everyone got along beautifully and there was no drama. I could not have been happier.”  –Denise D.  gratitude 2

“I am grateful for my twins’ 7th birthday today. Takes my mind off of the pinball circus of Christmas shopping I just completed. I am grateful for passing my finals week at UAA~ only 6 classes to go! I am grateful I have a job to spend my money on said kids J. I am grateful for heat in my home, food in my belly, and gas to keep me chug-a-lugging on snowy, icy, and wintery roads. Most of all, I’m grateful I can share all the things with family and friends, especially the deer I shot in Oklahoma…Big Shout Out to the Alaska Air ladies and gents who made my flights to and from Dallas so pleasant!!” — Erina N.

“I am extremely grateful and thankful for Dr. Denise Wurth at Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) – in July 2012, she took the time to listen and refer me for an echo gram of my heart which resulted in open heart valve replacement within ten days!  Plan to celebrate 50 years of marriage on May 21, 2016!  Enjoy my dear sons and their families and our two grandchildren.  Sounds hokey, but I am happy for life and celebrating the birth of Jesus.” —Lillian D.

“I always thought I was a grateful person till I went to the Philippines the summer of 2012 on a mission trip. I realized that I took for granted the everyday things that others don’t have. I have learned to be grateful for clean water, air conditioning, a house with doors and windows, shoes and clothes, transportation, food to eat everyday, and the list could go on. I am very grateful to have a church home, and wonderful family and friends. Most of all I am grateful and thankful for God sending his only son Jesus Christ to die for my sins.” —Donna W.

“I am 71…..and I am so grateful that I can still get out and run my sled dogs….There may be times I need help to get the sled up on the top of the dog trailer, and I can’t run for miles like I used to be able to do, but I can still take them out and enjoy this beautiful country of ours in the winter….They are my pride and joy…Oh yeah, I enjoy snow too…” —Bonnie F.

gratitude2“This Christmas I’m grateful that I can walk.  July 2010 I was in a small airplane crash that smashed both of my lower legs.  As I awoke after the emergency surgery to stabilize me, the surgeon said there is a good chance I would loose one or both lower legs.  Now it has been ten surgeries, with implanted metal reinforcing and two artificial joints.   I do not have to strap on my feet in the morning, as I still have my own feet.  I got out of the wheel chair just in July this year, and with plenty of physical therapy, I’m now able to be vertical and walk.  I walk with a bit of a limp and can’t go too far, but I can go around a big box store, or the 2/3 mile to and from our rural mail box.  My dog is thankful that she gets to go on walks with me.”  —George S

“I’m thankful that we live in Alaska and have at our beck and call one of the best airlines in the country, Alaska Airlines.  And that they have one of the best mileage programs, one that truly encourages me to travel more, if I didn’t already want to enough.  As we go past Jan 1st, I literally cannot wait to get cracking on my next 50,000 Alaska and partner miles to hit Gold for 2014.  Get ahead of pace!  Travel early and far!  Go the long way to your destination!  I’ve already got Mexico booked for January.  Travel, for me, isn’t just a way of getting from A to B.  The getting there is half the fun.

“Thanks McMurren!

“PS.  I did pick up one of the Delta $245 flights to SF for April (via Minneapolis!).  It’s not the first time I’ve jumped on a bargain over the years because of your email… Belize last year comes to mind.  So thanks to you for your efforts as well.” —Ivan M.

Thanks again, Dear Readers, for sharing some grateful snippets. As promised, I will send along some swag later this week. Here’s to a prosperous 2014! -s

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