We love flat rate shipping. Cargo is dreamy. Go, barges, go!

June 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM | Posted in We Have a Bear on our State Quarter | Leave a comment


Thing 1 and Thing 2, my twin 2-year-old nieces brought their parents to visit last week.  And they left a few things behind when they went home to Bethel, Alaska.  Now, if I were The Guy Who Can Fix Everything or totally bonkers and if it were winter, I could drive there on a snow-go (snow mobile for you laypersons) in three days or so.  But since I am rational me enjoying a balmy 50 degree day, I’m going to use the mail.

Have you ever lived in a place that didn’t have a road connecting it to anywhere else?  It has its ups for sure.  Communities tend to be close-knit since not just anyone can traipse in and out at their leisure.  Tanks of gas tend to go further since driving distance is physically limited–the longest drive you can take in Dillingham, Alaska is under a half hour.  But it isn’t so awesome when you’re out of YOUR shampoo which they do not sell in town.  Or when you can’t send flowers to your mom in return for her lifelong restraint against whapping you over the head with a bazooka.  Or when a pet needs a veterinarian.  And don’t even try to find a Starbucks or try to pay less than 8 dollars for a gallon of commoner, non-organic, just plain regular milk.  You probably can’t even get the fancy stuff.  Then there are those times that planes can’t fly due to weather or volcanic eruption or whatever.  Hope you don’t need fresh fruit and vegetables because in about a week there won’t be any in the local stores.

The lack of connecting roads makes the mail and cargo in Alaska interesting.  I’ve sent decorative gourds, pears, bags of rice, a freezer, salmon scale samples, a single granola bar, rain gear, shop towels, hollowed-out eggshells for Easter, canned salmon, disposable gloves, boat parts of every variety, cell phone parts of the wrong variety and then the right one, Cheerios, and rubber boots along with, you know, bills and regular letters.  During her last visit to Anchorage, my sister and The Tall Guy arranged to send themselves a car on the river barge next month.  My mom is here now and is mailing herself a box of artificial flowers to put on the graves of our dearly departed next Memorial Day.

Later today, I’m going to be mailing homemade odor-eaters comprised of epsom salts and wintergreen essential oil in cheap cotton socks that I will simply rubber-band shut since, unlike Dawn, I don’t do that sewing thing.  My brother is working up on the North Slope (where the polar bears are) and has paralyzingly stanked-out work boots that he is newly aware of since he’s got a girlfriend now. His co-workers will probably give the mail carriers a hero’s welcome.

Alaska’s motto is, “North to the Future,” but it should probably be “If it fits, it ships,” written in black Sharpie marker and covered in clear packing tape.


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