Friday, September 16, 2016

It's been a really long time since I've posted anything on this blog. This year has been really one of the worst of my life. My momma was sick this year... and in March she died. She was my everything. She was my only real friend.

I think I always thought that when she died, I'd be this blubbering mess, unable to function. But.. strangely.. I haven't. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure if I'm doing the right things, I'm not even sure if this is how I'm supposed to feel.

It feel like I'm in a dark hole. Sometimes I feel sick with the blackness that is pulling me down. Then other times, I feel normal.. like nothing ever happened.

How is it ok to feel that way? Like nothing ever happened? Everything happened. My world crashed down. Maybe I feel relieved. At least I know she's safe and in a place that she's happy. My father never cared about that.

Sometimes I feel sad for him. But other times, I feel nothing. I feel nothing but anger towards him for everything he did to her in the last years of her life. I owe him nothing. Sometimes I want to pack up and move back to Alaska and be done with him.

I just keep waking up and going through the motions.

I keep wondering if someday, things will be more clear to me. Why can't I feel her? Why can't I know that she's right there with me like everyone says.

I'm tired of trying to understand why this all happened.

I'm tired.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Law Enforcement Memorial Speech

Law Enforcement Memorial Week means more to me this year than it ever has before. When I was first asked to say something at this memorial, I really didn’t know what to tell you. I still really don’t. Law Enforcement Memorial Week is meant to be a time of reflection and remembrance for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s something that I hope that you never have to experience. I hope that here in Lyon County we only have to participate in Memorial Week, not make it be a part of our lives. I hope that we always stay safe.
In my 8 years as a dispatcher, I could never be prepared enough for what has happened to me in the past 5 years. Nobody ever sits you down and prepares you for what it’s like to be involved in a in the line of duty death. Nobody gives you any tools to cope. Nobody ever tells you how much your heart can hurt. The possibility of a death is always there, always implied, but you always hope that it won’t be your agency, your family, and your friends. A death changes the way you look at your job in law enforcement and how you do it.  You question your every move. You reevaluate everything.  “Why do I keep doing this?” “Can I really keep going on?” “Maybe I should just find another job.”
Fourteen days ago, two Alaska State Troopers were gunned down in the line of duty after responding to a call for service with a man brandishing a gun in the village of Tanana, Alaska. These two troopers were my former co workers and my friends. I knew them, knew their families.  Sgt Scott Johnson and Trp Gabe Rich were good men and squared away troopers. Both of them pushed me to be better, learn more and see the world in a different way. They both demanded excellence in themselves and in there coworkers. I’m a better dispatcher knowing them.
Sadly, the death of my two friends is not the first time I’ve dealt with deaths in the line of duty. In August 2010, I took a call from the police chief of Hoonah, Alaska, screaming that all of his officers had been shot. All of them were dead. I was new to Alaska. I had no idea what to do. It was my first officer involved shooting. Everything I did to help them, I question to this day. It was the worst call that I have ever had. What I didn’t know until much later was that both Sgt Anthony Wallace’s mother and Ofc Matthew Taroka’s entire family watched them get shot in the street. My pain could never equal that. I cannot imagine to this day what that was like for them or what their life has been like since.
Later in 2013, our agency dealt with the deaths of VPSO Thomas Madole, who responded to a domestic disturbance in the village of Manokotak, Alaska. He was shot before he made it to the front porch.  A month later, former Kansas State Trooper Tage Toll responded to a call of a man stranded on the side of a mountain top in Talkeetna, Alaska. Shortly after picking up the man, the HELO that Trooper Toll and Alaska State Trooper pilot Mel Nading were in went off the radar.  They never were heard from again. Trooper Toll used to patrol west of Manhattan during his time at KHP. He used to tease me horribly about being a Jayhawk fan. We used to have some pretty rousing conversations as the KU/K State games approached.
The commonality with all of these men was that their deaths were only a direct result of them doing their jobs. They weren’t being reckless. They weren’t doing anything extraordinary; they weren’t doing anything that they hadn’t all done a million times. But because of one thing that went the wrong way, seven men will never return home to their families.
On Saturday I watched grown men weep at the sight of their brothers being carried past them into the funeral. I hope none of you ever have to witness that. I would pay a million dollars if I never had to listen to another last call over the radio.  I sat along with 6,500 people and tried to understand. I tried to figure out what to do next. Can I really do this again?
It’s easy to believe that the world is full of evil. It’s easy to succumb to bitterness. I’ve learned after all of this how unfair life is. Nothing in this world is guaranteed. Nobody’s life is guaranteed. But what I saw this week reminded me of why we do this job.
Thousands lined the streets to watch the procession of my friends from the airport to the funeral home. I saw women who brought lunch for the trooper’s everyday last week. I saw loads of people pulling into our trooper post putting flowers around a makeshift memorial in the front of the building. I saw a elderly lady, in her eighties maybe, watering some of the older flowers in an attempt to make them last.  People sending all of there well wishes and kind words from across the country. It taught me that for every person who hates us, a hundred more understand our struggle each day to protect them. They care about us and want us to succeed.
This has all made me understand that the best way to honor my friends is to continue on. Sgt Johnson always taught us that no matter what is happening, the world still goes on. The world still needs us. We still have to be there to guard the gate.
Please be safe friends. Watch out for each other, protect each other..
As we would say in Alaska.. “Stay frosty”..

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kansas. The Next Frontier.

A few people have asked how things are going in the great big flat land.

They a pretty much how I left them. Flat. Hot. Flat. Hot. You get the idea.

Things are slowly starting to look up and a few of the reasons that I moved here are starting to slowly fix themselves. That's good right?!?!

It's definitely hard to ease yourself back into society. Getting used to traffic, a lot of people and the go go go of daily life. You definitely see how much you slowed into being in Alaska. I miss the slow pace a lot.

But basically everything is the same here as when I left. All is flat and Kansasy. Is Kansasy a word?

I'd like to start writing again on the regular. Maybe some tidbits of what I have noticed with a fresh pair of eyes about 'Merica.

I'm watching the ACM awards (since I'm in the country, I must do as the country folk do..) why is Lionel Richie singing like every performance? Did he become country while I was gone? You'd think he was Shania Twain as much as everyone getting down to it. Martina McBride looked like she was going to weep from joy. I mean I like Lionel and all but it's sorta like when Darius Rucker decided to be Darius the serious country singer.. Dude.. your Hootie. You can't just wash that off.

OH MY GOD he's singing another one!

Ok back to the writing.

I've learned that I love tomatoes. The red kind. Not the pink dried out shipped from the states in dry ice type. Yum. Red. Red is yummy. I learned that I also really enjoy buying food that doesn't go bad after two days. DID YOU KNOW THAT FOOD ACTUALLY LASTS MORE THAN A WEEK in AMERICA!?! Epic thought. I know.

I also have relearned that I enjoy walking. It's nice to know your not going to get ran over by a drunk driver, mauled by a wild animal or shot at by stray bullets. Oh and you wont freeze to death. That's sort of a bonus. But on the flip side, that did make walks awfully fun.

So my neighbors are pretty decent.. so far. Nobody is crazy. Nobody looks at the sky. Nobody has the last name Neck. I'm thinking I should move to a more high crime, low rent area to foster some better blog material.

Anyway, keep checking back. I'll keep writing if you keep reading.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

the prairie is calling... and i must go

Most of you already know by now that I am leaving Alaska. I came here in Sept of 2009 with a dream of doing something amazing.

I feel like I have.

I have seen some of the world’s most beautiful and untouched landscape. I’ve done some things that people only dream about doing. Traveled through Canada and all over northern Alaska, sailed on amazing boats and seen amazing animals that up until the past few years I’d only seen in picture books. I lived in a land where people came to vacation.

I made my dream job a reality. Some one asked me before I left what my career goal was and I made that happen and more. I went farther than I could have ever hoped in a short period. I worked hard, I paid attention and I hope did something good. I met some of the most amazing people across this state because of it. I even end up on TV a few times. Whoduthunkit?

I’ve learned that I can drive home on ice roads in -50 and be ok. We’ve learned how to create a more self-sufficient life, to cook more, use less and be more independent.

I’ve gained so much. I’ll leave with much more than I came here with.

Not many can say that.

I’ve always known that I was meant to see and do things. I was meant to go to lands that I have never been to explore. I never knew if I would ever have the courage to do that, or have the means, but I always knew that’s where my heart was.

When the crazy idea came about to move to Alaska. Most people thought we would be back in 6 months. Some called us crazy. Some didn’t believe we could do it. Nobody really thought we would stay as long as we did, even us.

We aren’t leaving Alaska because we couldn’t make it.

We are doing just fine.

However their comes a time when one must make a choice about what is best for everyone. When one must do the adult thing. When one must follow their heart.

So, our time in Alaska has come to an end, for now. 4 years and some change isn’t bad. Not bad at all.

To me, this is just another chapter in the journey. We know now that we aren’t “stuck” anywhere anymore. We can DO anything we set our minds to and believe in enough. That was always the message we wanted to send, is that no matter what you’re your circumstances, you can do anything in this world. ANYTHING is possible.

We may be going home for a while, but we will definitely leave again.. for short spurts and then maybe another long one..… vagabonding through the short time god gives us… which may lead us back to this great state someday. Who knows? That’s the exciting part of an adventure. You never know where it will take you.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Indigenous People's Day and Columbus Can Go Suck It.

Today's Columbus Day.

I personally believe that Columbus was a tool and if you don't like that.. well.. I don't really care. If you ask me, I don't believe a guy who enslaved, raped, hung and slaughtered innocent people should get a "day".. but hey maybe that's just me.

My father was Native American.

I'd venture to say that's about the only part of him that I am proud to claim.

I wish I knew more about my culture. I know that my mother is white and my father was Cherokee. He wasn't full blood, but I know it's quite a high percentage. I know that my grandma and grandpa were on the Cherokee Dawes Rolls. There families settled in Oklahoma sometime before 1900. I know they lived a few towns from each other. I know that there is a discrepancy on how my grandfather's name entered when they entered and settled in Oklahoma. That is part of the reason I could never prove my family tree. 

My grandfather died a long time before I was born. I know my grandma liked to cook and loved my father. I know that she died in her 70's. I think she knew about me when I was a child and maybe I met her, I'm not sure on that. But I remember seeing pictures of her when I was older and she always looked like she had a happy heart. I'm glad to know that at least I came from that smile that I saw in that old photo. Maybe she loved me. I'm not sure.

I've always wanted to know more, but was never exactly sure where to start.

I've always felt proud that I had Cherokee blood inside of me. It's always made me feel closer to nature and to god. I am proud to know that I came from a line of people who fought for what they believed in and where and still are passionate about what was right for their culture. People who believed and still believe in sharing and helping a neighbor.

I found this picture today while looking at some articles about Columbus Day. It's a family from Noatak, AK circa 1929. I love it. The mom is so beautiful!

courtesy of Wikipedia!

Being in Alaska, I've met some incredible native people here. There are so many people in this state doing amazing things for the native culture. I wish I could tell you about them all.

The area I live and work in is mostly Athabascan but I have been so fortunate to meet and know people from the Yupik, Inupiat, Haida and Tlingit cultures. My friend Lena often writes her Facebook status with English and Native words. I love learning about the different cultures that I serve in my job capacity. I know about things now that I would never have knew otherwise.

Knowing that in one state each region and culture has it's own way of doing things.. It's so vastly different, but also very similar.  It helps me feel more connected something that I've known so little about in my life.

Columbus once said, "The Indian's are so na├»ve and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it.  When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone...."

It's called being a good human being asshole. Columbus had a lot to learn about that.

As for me, this girl is going to celebrate Indigenous People's Day and Columbus can go suck it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tattooed Lady.

I'm watching the news today and am again angered by something I'm pretty passionate about. It gets me all fired up.

When I was 19,  I got my first tattoo.

My mother was livid. My father did not talk to me for 3 months. I guess I was surprised by that. I never got into trouble. I never did ANYTHING crazy in high school. I was going (most of the time) to college. I really didn't understand why they were so upset. My mom said once, "Don't you know that people with tattoos have trouble getting loans and good jobs?" "Nobody's ever going to hire you looking like that." "I don't want to see you all tattooed up in a wedding dress!"

I don't blame my mom. This was new territory for her. I'd never done ANYTHING remotely as crazy as getting a tattoo. I think they both were in a little shock. She didn't know any better.

I don't know why I got the tattoo. It wasn't anything meaningful. It was a small tattoo of my name of my left arm. It was all I could really afford at the time. I've always joked that when I'm 90 at least I'll be the only one who remembers my name. :)

But what I loved about it, was leaving the shop knowing that I had created a life event. I remember everything that happened when I got my first tattoo. How good I felt. How much those four little letters hurt and how just when I didn't think I could do it, it was all over. It was like a little achievement all of my own.


But soon, I had to learn what the word "cancer " meant. I found that my skin never healed. Cancer left me with large welts all over my body that will never go away. The one thing that helped me deal with those ugly scars, was tattoos. See that little button looking thing between the butterfly's? That is one of the smaller ones I have on my body. They range from that size to 4 inches. I look like I've been shot in some places. On the inside that's how I felt.

The one thing that always made me feel beautiful was covering or masking those places with tattoo's. I know that the first thing I see when I look at the picture above is my tattoo's. Not that little scar mixed in between them.

Tattoos healed me in a way. They gave me self confidence. They gave me a reason to talk to people. They gave me a reason to feel beautiful again.

So 9 tattoo's later..

*I have a good job that serves the public.
I was once asked if I had knew I was a sinner after an elderly woman looked at my tattoo's in distain at a local WalMart.. (yes, by the way I do know I'm a sinner.)

*I've gotten 6 loans and a few credit cards in my life
I once heard a man call me "Tattooed Trash" within ear shot. (why thank you!)

*I got married .. and showed my tattoos and no one fell over!
A lady from a church I went to asked me if I was one of those "goth girls" when I told her how many tattoo's I had.

*I love god and I think god still thinks I'm pretty awesome.
I was once told that only criminals had tattoos. (which is pretty amazing considering my profession)

*They all still look pretty amazing... even my first one .. 14 years later and I love them ALL for different reasons.
"You know those will look terrible and you'll regret them in a few years.." (hmm.. still waiting)

So after all that, what's got me all fired up from the news you ask???

The Army is getting ready to pass a ruling that new recruits will have to PAY to have their tattoo's removed to get into the Army.

New members will not be allowed to have visible tattoos on their arms, below their knee's or above the neck. "Solders should be recognized for their achievements, not their appearance," the Army said.

WTF. First, who in their right mind is judging a SOLDER for the fact that he or she has tattoos. You'd have to A. Be pretty stupid,  B. Be pretty judgmental and C. Be pretty damn un-American to talk crap on a solder with tattoos. It NEVER should downplay or disgrace their achievements in ANY way. This isn't 1952.

Secondly, what does it matter? Don't we have more things to worry about than a man/woman who WANTS to serve his or her country that has a tattoo of a skull on their arm? Personally I'd want a person like that protecting me. It shows me they've been through some pain in their life.. and their not afraid to take on a little more.

I really don't understand why a tattoo determines any level of competence in a job... especially in our nation's military. Do you think that Al-Qaeda is going to judge us because we have solders with tattoo's on their arms? Will Syria shoot off their chemical weapons at the sight of a solder with a neck tattoo.

I think we are pretty safe to assume they don't give a crap. Their gonna hate us tattooed or not.

Save our money that you are spending (and trust me you are probably spending a lot of our money) passing a ruling that is a waste of time.

Tattoos aren't the enemy. It's probably time we focus our attention a little more on the actual ones.

I saw someone post recently on Facebook about Miss Kansas and the fact that they thought that the reason she didn't make it past the Top 10 (or how ever far she got) in the Miss America pageant was due to the fact that she had the serenity prayer tattooed on the side of her body. "It looked slutty!"

How's that? She's a fan of a PRAYER. She has a powerful message that MEANS something to her on display for other's to see. It's something she's proud of.

That's the best reason to have a tattoo. And it doesn't make her look slutty... it makes her look committed. She took words that she found inspirational enough to wear on her body FOREVER. That's pretty legit if you ask me and sexy.

I get that people say it's defacing your body. I get that people think it looks trashy. People have the right to their opinions. I won't judge. I just don't have to agree.

I went through a lot to get my tattoos. A lot of pain, a lot of money, a lot of life experience, a lot of time.. but I don't regret any of my tattoos. Never have. Never will.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The First Snow.

You didn't think I'd be back again did you?
Well I guess I fooled you. Maybe it's the weather and the fact that we had a 3.whatever magnitude earthquake today (that I of course did not feel) is making me feisty .. :) but I figured we could discuss..
The S word.
That's right.. Snow. My tongue is starting to burn off just saying it.

 My drive home today. Under all that beautiful slushy snow was a nice layer of ice. Yippy!
It was the first snow storm of the year. Mind you.. it was a little one. But the first snow is always the hardest for people.
People forget how to drive. Everyone slides off the road. Nobody knows what to do. The first snow storm of the year separates the men from the boy's so to speak.. or the drunks from the sober people.. depending on how you look at it.
It’s kinda funny to see the differences in how people drive. The teenagers (fast, but a little cautious), the soccer moms (slow, but slightly hurried), the new solders from out of state (HOLY CRAP, they are crazy), all take on driving here differently. Ohhh and Subaru drivers.. They are well.. a little different. (sorry Alaska mom!)
I personally fall into the grandma/slow driver category. I'm not ashamed of that. I just drove 45 mph home on ice covered roads that have not been sanded, graveled or treated in any way. I feel like if I'm gonna drive on an ice rink, then I'm gonna to it carefully. Now summer.. that's a whole other story.. :)
But on that same note, nothing.. and I repeat nothing.. to me in Fairbanks Alaska is worth getting to at 75 mph on a black ice covered roads. I try to be cautious, because I don’t have snow tires yet, I like my truck and frankly I’m too young to die.
Now don't get me wrong here... I love the snow. I really do. I think it makes the whole world beautiful. All the junk in people yard, the thousands of junked cars, old motorhomes, the hideous shacks that people call home, the dog crap piling up everywhere.. All covered by nice beautiful snow. It’s gods little miracle. But I hate the ice. I hate ice fog. I hate ice. Did I mention that I hated ice?
But what people don’t understand is that a snow storm in Alaska, isn't just getting pretty snow and building snowmen. The first couple of snows are not terrible.. but then it starts to get hardcore. It's like a snow storm in ‘Merica x 1000. This happens almost every day at a certain point.  That can be downright awful. I once had to have my car pushed 15 miles in almost a foot of packed snow by a large Dodge Hemi truck. He literally pushed me all the way home. We got stuck just outside my building on the road. Seriously.
My cousin who thinks she knows everything, told my mom once, “Well what did she expect when she moved to Alaska?”
Dude. Nobody can plan, expect or understand what it’s like until you are white knuckle driving down the highway at 20mph on a snow covered path that DOT thought it would be reallllll funny to carve out for you.
You aint that funny DOT. Aint funny at all.
See that smoke in the air? It's called ice fog. It's Satan's version of a frozen hell. It's basically every unhealthy thing that can't evaporate so it freezes in the air. Did I mention that North Pole has some of the worst air quality in the world?? No wonder I am sick all the time. Santa is one cruel dude in the winter
Or how about when it’s -50 and your car is creaking and cracking as you try to get your vehicle to drive over 45mph down the highway. But you can’t and then your vehicle politely tells you to f-off because it’s so frozen.
After a while, that loses its excitement.
The first heavy snow happened on September 22, 2013.
That’s basically 7 months before life is normal again. 7 very long months.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lady Who Looks at the Sky could be a Seal in Another Life..

It's amazing to me when I check back on this blog occasionally, that each day, I have at least 40 people take a look at this blog. This year alone, over 5,000 people stumbled upon this little stretch of internet property that I call my own.
I haven't written on this thing in a year.
That's crazy to me. Honestly all 5,000 hit's could be from my mother.. but hey, I'd like to think I'm just that cool. Actually I know I'm not that cool.
This year has been pretty hard for me. It's maybe been the reason why I haven't been here. I felt all dark and brooding. I've really had nothing of interest to say. My well had dried up. I was a shriveled prune. I walked to school and back both ways for 20 miles in the snow.... I .. ok.. no.. I'm being dramatic..
I have been working at a pace that nobody should really in their right mind be working. For a long time, my life consisted of getting up, going to work, going to sleep and waking up to do it again. For months. Very few of those months didn't have one day were "going to work" wasn't an item on the agenda.
When people say "your sucking my will to live", I now know what they mean. It's definitely not something I would wish on anyone to have to put themselves through.
I think doing that caused me to loose some of myself that I used to think was pretty great. I lost my excitement for things. I still haven't gotten that excitement back.. (but I'm working on that.. more later..) Truth be told, working in the last great wilderness and never getting to see it, takes a toll on you. It's taken a fairly heavy toll on me.
I don't write that for you to think.. "Oh poor Rocksee." Please.. don't. But I wanted you to know why I've been gone. I've wrote a few times on this blog that I was done writing.. and we all know that I wasn't.
When you write.. your story never really is done.
This year wasn't all Lamesville.. there were good parts..
I saw this girl..

It was epic. It made me realize two things. I need to find a way to be independently wealthy, so she and I can travel around the world like two little rubber tramps (no, not the bad kind of tramps! get your mind out of the gutter! :) If you haven't seen Into the Wild you wouldn't get it..)  and I miss her desperately. She just gets me. It was nice to be with someone who understood me and I didn't have to pretend, or try hard to make them be happy with me.. She was just happy to be around me. I didn't have to try so hard all the time. It was a refreshing change.

But getting back to this year.. and stuff that's been going on..

It's taught me a lot about who I am and who I want to be. I've been trying to stand up for myself more. Sometimes you have to, regardless of conflict. I HATTTTEEE conflict... and I've been really trying to remember that I need to work on making myself happy, not just trying to make everyone else happy all the time.

I've learned I have a low tolerance for bull shit. (Sorry for the French ma)

I've learned I don't like mean, depressing people.

I've learned that I thrive when I put myself around positive ones.

I've learned that I miss writing and seeing how much putting words out there really has meant in my life.  I'm not the worlds best writer, I've never aspired to be. But I've learned that writing makes me feel more complete, it's like my crack. Or maybe just cheap therapy:)  I'd love to have more time to do it more often. But to be truly creative, I need to have a quiet piece of time carved out to do it. More often than not anymore, that isn't possible.

I read a great blog recently by someone I'm growing to admire greatly. One of my favorite quotes from it said,  "Without taking time to be still and listen to your heart, the inner place that the truth is held, you may continue onto the worst result – giving up just before you reached your greatest."

It's done some amazing things for my thought process.

I'm trying to listen to my heart and my head and do things that make me happy. I feel like I'm making some small steps in that direction. I've been trying to believe in being happy. If I'm happy and I choose to be happy and do things that make my mind and heart happy, then I should be golden. The doors have been starting to open.. which is always a good thing.

What does all this babbling mean?
I dunno. I hope you get it. I'm going to try really hard to post a few times a month.. Maybe more.. Maybe less.. No pressure.  
The point is.. I feel like for the first time in a while, I am on a upswing. I've realized that I'm important to. I'm going to stop feeling like what I want to do and be isn't as important that everyone else. I'm going to stop sitting around... and I'm going to get out there and do something.
Side note, I secretly I think seals have it made. Who wouldn't want to lay around naked all day on a rock napping occasionally and watching the ocean.. I know I would. :)
Oh! and a celebrity on my blog, "Lady Who Looks at the Sky".. has officially moved out.. BOOM!
AND TO ANOTHER COUNTRY! Thank you baby Jesus, teenage Jesus and adult Jesus for that little miracle!
Let's talk again soon.. Whatcha say?