It still baffles me that my mother wrote her letters and impressions about Alaska ALWAYS planning to write a book about her experiences and hauled them all with her throughout all her MANY moves and wanderings for 45 years – yet she dated nearly nothing. I found these two separate pieces of her writing and decided to include them with her early writings right after she reached Alaska.
August 5, 1957
[Linda note: This is undated – this is approximate date placement, written on my father’s old Los Angeles letterhead paper]
From where do dreams come and can one trace the beginning of a dream to its origin? Perhaps some can, we can’t. Bill says he had wanted to go to Alaska for as long as he can remember. I only know I was not content to remain in California for the rest of my life – it did not answer my needs or the [sic] of our family. Bill felt the same way – neither of us had come to California from our choice and both had remained because it had seemed impossible to do otherwise. – I’m afraid we were drifting along discontented, but not enough so to up and do something about it, so we dreamed. We had both always wanted to travel and even now we still have a dream of traveling over Europe and seeing more of the world we live in. Perhaps this dream will be fulfilled someday too!
But Bill transferred the idea of his dream to me and it became my dream only after I found out what Alaska was truly like. [The following is also written on this paper:]
Bill: [nothing written after his name]
Me Over-emphasis on materialistic living – using juvenile restlessness
Not enough space for growing children [washed out ink/word] themselves – room for boys to hike and explore and discover the wonders of nature.
Such a long distance to travel in order to enjoy winter and summer sports
“A way of life”
Children want to feel a part of their family in play as well as work, they like to feel necessary – more opportunity for this in a new growing land
possible date August 5, 1957
[Linda note: This is also undated but perhaps belongs with these last comments. The words are written in pencil on a restaurant placemat.]
It wasn’t until the other day that I was certain of my own reasons for wanting to go to Alaska. How many times I have tried to weight the pros and cons but all the while there was some intangible
[Linda note: last word is crossed out, sentence is not finished, on the lower half of placemat is written the following:]
Up until now it had been a dream of which to dream never knowing whether the dream would become a certainty and not even knowing for sure if we perhaps just wanted it to remain a dream. Everyone must have something of which to dream – was our dream of going to Alaska – only that.
Today we [sentence not completed, this is all that’s on this side of the folded-in-fourths placemat. On the other side is her bright red lipstick ‘kiss’ mark with the following words written in ink:]
“What greater happiness can come to a family than the arrival of a baby! Surely it’s a sign that God has blessed the marriage. A baby is God’s masterpiece, a wonderful creation of his infinite mind. He has said, “Suffer little children to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven”…No baby can ever be far from the throne of God, the Source of all life, of all Creation.” – From the writings of Norman Vincent Peal