f2fb friend #233 christy russ lives in homer, alaska, so i was out like a shot from the house at six a.m. central standard time and aiming for chicago’s o’hare airport. the six hour flight was fun because the world touring cast of the chippendale’s dance troupe was seated all around me. they seemed to have incredible trouble getting into and out of their seats, particularly if they had to negotiate over the laps of one of their fellow dancers. but they had such good humor about this, giggling and poking each other–i wonder if all dance troupes have such joie de vivre.
after the flight, there was a little tussle because i couldn’t remember which rental car company i was using. it was fun getting to know the agents from alamo, enterprise, budget, thrifty, avis, economy. then there was a five hour trip south west toward homer, alaska. homer boasts the land’s end restaurant which is — wait for it! — the western most part of the state of alaska which can be reached without using a ferry or plane! it’s the end of the road.
christy is the sister of f2fb friend #84 cory russ rickerson, who teaches in madison wisconsin. christy grew up in winnetka and northfield and it takes incredible courage to come to “land’s end” to live. she did this a year and a half ago and now works with the developmentally disabled in homer. i had met her at her mother’s funeral and then again at a fourth of july softball game. but because her and cory’s mother was at one time married to f2fb friend #100 bill seymour, she and i have a lot of friends in common. so we end up noticing what each other is up to through facebook posts.
after dinner, i returned to my hotel–the best western–and fell asleep fully clothed with my shoes still on, holding my toothbrush, thinking i really should take a shower. i woke up two hours later not remembering where i was. suddenly convinced i was dying–heart attack or anaphylactic shock from the seafood i ate with christy, i went out into the parking lot for some bracing alaska air. i considered whether homer would have a hospital. if they did, would it be open? would the emergency room nurses laugh at me? would i die out here? would joseph and eastman retrieve my body?
there were several men in a second floor bedroom partying and hanging out their window. we chatted. i went back into my room. i thought, “i’m really scared out here at the end of the world as i know it–and i will be above the arctic circle tomorrow! i can’t do this sort of stuff!”
and then i took an ativan, got six beads into a rosary and went back to sleep. the next morning i begin a five hour drive back into anchorage, a three hour flight to kotsebue and then a half hour puddle jump to nome to meet f2fb friend #234 ian coglan. he’s a missionary who works at the kicy radio station.