2016 Nostalgia

We have now surpassed a whole year since we’ve added anything to, what has become, our Latvian Alaskan family history blog. When we made the decision to come back to Alaska (now 19 months ago) we were peddling our bicycles through El Salvador. It is difficult for Ance or I to put into a cogent string of words what all this has meant in the small cosmos of our lives.

Over these past 19 months, we’ve become dirty capitalists bastards, purchasing a duplex in Anchorage, Alaska and renting out one side to a great couple and their child. I’ve somehow found myself as a business analyst at a telecommunication company (and now a quality control analyst), while Ance worked two jobs like a maniac and gave birth to another beautiful daughter. She did so with such grace and nonchalant poise, many seemed befuddled the day Ophelia Virginia Kvasnikoff came screaming into this wide strange world at 3:40 AM on December 18th, 2016.  Some didn’t realize she was pregnant.

All the while, Augustine keeps growing into this spectacular human regardless of her father’s faults and mistakes along the way. She’s trampled her way through preschool and now is almost through kindergarten. She tells me fantastic things and gets thoroughly irritated with me when I can’t quite seem to piece together the random stream-of-consciousness stories cobbled together that include dragons, girls, princesses, Smurfs, and trolls.

I’ve gotten fatter and lazier in the city, and Ance has gotten more wonderful and extraordinary.

For 17 months, we witnessed my father wrestle terminal cancer with my mother by his side. Mom was like the gritty cornerman for dad. Only, she championed for him to take his damn pills (not, go for the jugular) and dad wasn’t going toe-to-toe with Ivan Drago. The fight he had, we couldn’t really see the punches, except to see how much they hurt. I’ll admit – I can’t really believe he is gone. It is strange because his impending passing was what brought us back here to Alaska. We all saw it coming.

Dad had been throwing punches at cancer everyday that I knew him as my father. My money was on him outliving me and kicking that pansy-ass cancer D-bag back into that soiled pit of despair and piss from which it crawled. I can’t say much else other than it gives me joy to know my daughter got to spend time with her Uppa. At times he glided on the edge on happiness as if months of confusion and suffering had suddenly vanished like smoke. We’d play SkipBo, I’d get my ass beat. I’d drink a beer and smile to myself, watching him talk and laugh with Augustine, while they “read” the Far Side calendar.

When we were counting how many people would be part of our family when Ophelia was born, I said to Augustine that we have 5 – Augustine, Ophelia, Ance, Uma, and myself. “We have six dad. Uppa is an angel that lives with us and protects our house from danger and bad guys and angels are part of our family too. Like Uppa.” What makes this pronouncement so interesting is that (Ance and I being godless heathens) we have never really talked about angels or god at all, she’s just taken bits and pieces she has heard and seen and made dad the guardian angel of our little home off Muldoon and Duben street. I blame my auntie and cartoons.

Throughout this past year and some change, we’ve tried to keep up with at least a modicum of adventure throughout our transition to ‘responsible’ adults wanted to share our photo memories. We hope you, your family, and everyone out there are doing wonderfully spectacular (oh and fabulous).

– The Latvian Alaskan Family

January 2017

Some outdoors and shameless baby photos!

 

December 2016

Christmas? Babies? Cutting down trees? Elves? Gingerbread? Good golly miss Molly.

November 2016

Hatcher Pass, Latvian Independence day and the month of Herman Moonin Jr.’s passing.

October 2016

Halloween, a road trip to Valdez, and a hike up Mt. Magnificent.

September 2016

A month of some hikes including Arctic Valley and an overnight backpacking trip to Symphony Lake – not to mention a visit (multiple actually) to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer.

August 2016

Augustine starts Kindergarten, a trip to the Alaska State Fair and a hike up Mt. Magnificent. Let’s not forget some of the first photos of Ophelia Kvasnikoff in mamma’s tummy!

July 2016

The Fourth, Bear Fest in Eagle River, Augustine’s 5th Birthday with friends, Laurie visits with a trip to Whittier,  and David and Chelsea come for a visit and epic three day hike from Eagle River to Girdwood via Crow Pass Trail.

June 2016

Summer Solstice, flowers, sunshine and a triathlon Ance kicked my ass in.

May 2016

A new home, new garden, and a hike up Mt. Baldy.

April 2016

March 2016

Easter, Fur Rondy, and some epic sledding up Hatcher’s Pass!

February 2016

Paula from Latvia visits, a hike up North Fork, Eagle River, and a trip to Homer.

January 2016

A trek up Mt. Baldy and Turnagain Pass.