Friday, July 10, 2009

My "hometown"

spit called sisualik

So, I have a question....is your hometown the place you were born, raised, or spent the most time at? Or is it the place you consider yourself calm and free?

camp houses

The place you have no worries, and no enemies? How about the place that makes you the most comfortable?

I was technically born and raised in Kotzebue. I've spent the majority of my life here. I went to high school here, and when I left, I came back to Kotzebue. I still choose to live here with my family.

an old house, now a storage area
This used to be someone's house...its now our cold storage.

But, the place that I consider my hometown is Sisualik. Its a spit of land about 10 miles north of Kotzebue. If you're going up the coast toward Kivalina, you'll hit Sisualik first!

old dog houses

I spent every summer ripping myself to threads because I wanted to be in two places at once. Chickaloon and Sisualik. I am truly an exact half of each of my parents pasts.

trails to walk on

Because we lived in Kotzebue, with my mom's family for my lifetime, though, I can do everything they taught me. I can skin sew, kavraq, cut fish, mend nets, crochet, kayak, build things, run dogs, pluck ducks, hunt, skin a caribou, etc. Because of my life at Sisualik, and my life with my Aana Katak, its not so much of a talent, as its our way of life.

my swingset

I do have four freezers. Two for "eskimo" food, and two for "other food." Right now, our Eskimo freezers are full of, Fish, Seal, Ptarmigan, Ducks, Geese, Fish Eggs, Fish Bellies, Seal Oil, Caribou (we're almost out of Caribou!) Rabbit, Beluga, Black Maktak, clams, crab, etc.

hanging meat

My other freezers? Chicken Nuggets, Mini Corn Dogs, Eggo Waffles, Pizza's, A case of bread, three gallons of milk, sausage, edemame and vegetables. I love me some mini corn dogs!

queen seat

When I grew up at Sisualik, it was (and still is) perfectly fine for a six year old to pick up a 410 shotgun and walk a mile toward the lagoon, to shoot at ducks. Its perfectly normal for a ten year old to grab a rifle if there are caribou outside the camp. All of us grew up with full knowledge of guns. We fear and respect them. We clean them after being outside near salt water, etc. My children all have guns. The twin's didn't grow up with us, so they are limited in their gun handling to pellet and BB guns. (Kaisa is too, she's so flighty)

modern day toilet

Spending time at camp is just the way it is. Sisualik is the original area where people from all over this region met to trade, dance and sing. All feuds were put on hold for the trading time, and as many as 4,000 people were here at once, including Russian eskimo's from Chukotka. My grandparents remember being children and trading Russian goods with them. A few years ago, the Chukotka Eskimo's came again by boat and were met with open arms and welcome faces when they landed on the beach. I was a lot younger, but remember it, and remember they gave us all pins!

playing rook

Anyway, its Friday, and I'm brining my daughter to Palmer to attend a Bible Camp next week. What I really would like to do, is go to Camp though.

basketball rim

Imagine life. No cell phones, no cordless phone, no TV, no cars, no exhaust, no fridge/freezer, you're essentially forced to spend time with your family, and forced to cook a real meal. You're forced to do fun (FREE) things with your kids. You eat what you catch, or pick, and every day the kids swim in the ocean, and everyone is greeted with a Sauna (say it right... s-OW-nuh) at the end of the day.

sauna and wood

And the end of the day is whenever you feel like it... Its good for your soul.

1 comment:

Rocksee said...

Reading you and Cathy's blog makes me love Kotz and all the little towns around it. I love all the history and the tradition that is wrapped up in such a great place.. This is a WONDERFUL post!