How to heat a log cabin

One of the things I miss most about Alaska is Big Lake. From when I was born until about 1989, we had a cabin on Long Island, which I’ve written about previously in these pages. Now, Alaska has four distinct seasons (although spring is ugly, summer is short, and fall is a few weeks of…

A question of haunting

I recently went back to Anchorage for the first time in six years. I flew Delta from Seattle, and I kept thinking how weird it was, because the Delta I remembered from Anchorage hadn’t flown to Anchorage from Seattle in daylight hours since the early 1990s. It must have felt even more strange for the…

In memory of a tree house

Ingratitude must be a universal emotion among children, and the primary manifestation of this is that despite free room and board, they’re constantly looking for alternate accommodations to call their own. Couch forts, play houses, tree houses, secret blanket and furniture constructions in basements or attics – the want of an independent domain is one…

Reflecting on past New Year’s Eves

I’m not usually drunk at midnight on New Year’s Eve. But I’m usually blackout drunk by 1 AM on New Year’s Day. I think this is because I typically buy good Champagne (Dom Perignon or Veuve Clicquot) for the party, and when I notice the majority of the guests have taken only a sip of…

Memories of my very Alaskan Grandfather

At my Grandfather’s funeral, I couldn’t keep my fingers out of the 7 Layer Dip. It was November 1990, a funeral home in Palmer, Alaska (I don’t remember which) and it was cold. I don’t remember whether somebody had made the dip or whether it was store bought, although he was originally from Wisconsin and…

On Pancakes and Log Cabin Capitalism

A few months ago on Facebook, while making Krusteaz pancakes, just as I did this morning, I mused that in the three decades I’ve been making pancakes, I had never realized two things: they’re from Seattle (I was born there myself, so you know they have to be good) and there are actually measuring instructions…