I had a month to mourn over leaving AK. I mourned for about 2 weeks and then the chaos of moving started and was a good distraction. By the time I was finished selling things, organizing what we had, packing 10 boxes of luggage to take with us, and cleaning all day for 5 days, I was DONE and was ready for our new desert adventure in Arizona. I'm grateful for the families who had us for dinner the week we left, Hullingers, Riveras, Snodgrass', Schanz's, and Gerber's. Friends are a huge blessing. Before we left I thought Jeff and I should do one more Alaskan excursion. We decided to go river rafting. We left from Chickaloon about an hour north of Palmer and floated down the river 12 miles. It was a lot of fun. We wore dry suits and helmets. The river was up 6 feet so the rapids were class IV and V instead of III and IV. I was happy with that but would have preferred even bigger rapids. It was a fun date just the two of us and of course the drive was beautiful.
I love this next picture. One of our neighbors caught this King Salmon. As you can tell it's even bigger than Jordyn. The guy filet it on his front yard.
Some other things about Alaska. We were there when they celebrated it's 50th year of statehood and were present this past winter when Anchorage broke the record for most snowfall. A week or so before we left a bear had broke into our neighbor's home. They had their windows open and it clawed through the screen, rummaged in their pantry, pooped on the carpet, and left through a different screen. Luckily they had been gone, but it scared everyone and I stopped opening our windows too. It had been a sunny, hot week and with no A/C you open your windows. I guess this bear has come back to this home. I'm glad not to constantly be on high alert about bears anymore. As I mentioned already it was hard to say goodbye, but I felt good knowing that I will see my closest friends again. People ask me if I'm glad I'm not the RS President anymore. To that I answer yes and no....mostly No. I thoroughly enjoyed working with and for those I had come to know and love. I invested a lot of time, energy, and dedication to those I served and it's hard to leave that. I learned a lot about myself and realized how much more I can do in serving others. And in a funny kind of way more people changed me for the better than I'm sure I changed others for the better. I feel that I got a brief and small glimpse of the joy and love Christ must have felt for those he served when he was on the earth. All these things and more I am most grateful to have had these experiences.