Is it me, or is panic running wild through the streets of Juneau? It seems like every other friend is loading a barge for other parts. There's no question these are strange and unsettling times, and almost sure to get stranger. I can certainly understand friends wanting to be closer to their families. Circling up to share the work, share the expenses, and reduce travel costs. But many people have told me they are leaving because they are worried about the price of fuel. And the avalanche certainly messed with everyone's sense of security.
But before you jump ship in a panic, ask yourself, where are you going that's better? California is on fire and it's only the first week of July. The midsection of the country was battling floods while tornadoes blew through Washington, D.C. Right now, Hurricane Bertha is headed for the East Coast. People in other regions have a lot of uncertainty hanging over their heads. Add to it the one certainty we all have, that fuel is going to go up, and it doesn't sound like the grass is any greener.
Every time I talk to one of my friends in other parts of the country, they say the same thing: "But you don't have to commute!" I know, we all gripe about the "long commute" from the valley to downtown, but for most of the country that is not a commute. And most people here haven't even begun to think about taking the bus or carpooling.
I know we live in a rain forest, that we don't have the option of solar anything in the winter, that it will snow. But our environment is still relatively stable. When you're planning, it's nice to have some things you can count on, even if it's that it's going to get very, very cold. So will it be fight or flight? I vote for fight.
Other things you can count on if you choose to stay and fight are: F ... Fresh air and fish. I ... Interconnection with friends near and far, thanks to technology, and connection to our neighbors. G ... A genuine life, polar fleece and Xtra-tufs work fine. ★ ... Help and heart through happiness and hardship. T ... Short travel times. Trees to fuel your wood burner.
When it comes to fight or flight, we've already shown the world that we can fight. Our 30 percent reduction in energy is, literally, the talk of the planet.
We know Alaskans are different. So you singles especially, stay and fight. Find someone who is resourceful and self-reliant to ride out this storm. What better attributes are there to have in a mate?