I'm working as a Fish Culturist at Hidden Falls Salmon Hatchery in a remote spot near Sitka, Alaska! AM I CRAZY!? I'm starting to think so...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Whirlwind couple of months

WHEW What a whirlwind couple of months! I admit that I have been a blog slacker but my mind has been on other things… You all know what the main thing is!

On a beautiful, sunny April 18th day, Adam and I set out to go beachcombing for glass bouy balls. Little did I know I would be coming back to the hatchery with something much greater than a glass ball! We walked the beach for this elusive glass bouy ball, which is really just a glass ball used over in Japan as bouys. They are quite cool looking and hard to find. As I am checking every nook and cranny of the beach driftwood and up into the woods, I’m slowly lagging behind Adam. Finally I catch up to him. Right at that time, he proclaims “Oh I think this might be a piece of a glass ball!” I stand up on a log to wait for him to show me. When he gets to me, he said “Well… I didn’t find a glass ball… but I did find this box” as he pulls out a classic “ONLY ONE THING CAN BE IN THERE” kind of box! I was pretty surprised! I was convinced that I would know exactly when it was coming… I would see Adam acting different or something. But I was surprised… didn’t expect it at all!

After pulling out the box, we all know what happened after that! I couldn’t stop giggling… I just couldn’t believe it. Some people ask me if I cried, but when he asked me to marry him, I didn’t. Not until later… We kept walking down the beach, talking about things. He told me he wanted to call Dad and get his blessing, but our phones just went down the day before, so he had to email him and had just gotten a response back that morning. THAT is when I cried. Even writing this it STILL makes me tear up! I’m not sure why. Maybe because that type of thing is sort of “old school” and I thought it was awesome that he wanted to do that.

SOOO the whirlwind wedding planning begins! Anyone who knows me knows I watch tons of wedding shows. It’s a big joke at the hatchery about how much I watch the wedding dress show “Say Yes To The Dress.” As much as I watch these kinds of shows, you would thing I would have a pretty good idea of what my wedding vision would be like. I thought I had a good idea! Well once I became faced with REALLY planning stuff, I think my vision went away. My “vision” has changed a million times. Try finding the perfect wedding venue in Maine from Alaska! The only way to really do that is online… This is when it becomes complicated because we have very limited internet! Compound that with the fact our cell phones went down for about two months! (Thankfully they are back on and working now.)

So here I am, sitting in Sitka right now writing this. We are leaving tomorrow to head to Maine to plan out our wedding and I STILL don’t really know! I have some places in mind to visit, some photographers to visit, some dresses to try on… I really hope the trip is fun and not stressful, and we figure out everything we need to so I can feel calm again!

Ok, now onto other things… let me back track again… Work has been pretty busy for me also! As I said before, I have been taking care of the little coho for the first time. I have really enjoyed it but it’s new and can feel stressful at times. Making plans about how long fish can stay in certain containers and when they need to move is all new stuff to me. I’ve fed fish before but never had to be the one to figure out where to move fish. It is getting easier though. For a while, even my vacation time was up in the air because I wasn’t sure if my fish needed to be moved during that time. Anyhow, I’m on vacation right now so that’s been worked out obviously! I have lots of Coho planning in my future too because Ben, the former Coho person, has left. We have known for a while that Ben and Jacquie and the kids were ready to move on. They are moving to Idaho. It’s sad to see them go because we have gotten really close to them in the past few years, but everyone has a time limit when living remote. They reached their time limit. We all wish them the best of luck in Idaho and we are really excited to see them in a year at our wedding!

Since Ben and Jacquie are leaving, we decided to move to their house. It is bigger and probably nicer. We are a little sad to leave our perfect hatchery view of the weir and the bears but it will be nice to have a bigger place. We are moving there, then our duplex neighbors are switching sides to our side of the duplex and a few of our seasonal (they are a couple) are moving into Dan and April’s side of the duplex. Since we are on vacation right now, we are holding up the moving process, but we thought it would be too chaotic to try to move the past few days.

Speaking of the past few days… WHEW… are you ready!? It’s been an interesting past few days. First of all, Valerie has been here visiting! My first visitor in 4-1/2 years!!!!!! Can you believe it!? I barely can! I came into Sitka last weekend to greet here when she arrived. I was excited to see her when she got off the plane! Ok honestly, I teared up a little! Who am I!? I’m turning into Grandpa Moser… tearing up at everything! I guess it was just really good to see her. We went out to the hatchery the next day. The weather was alright for her vacation. The first day it was really nice. We went to the warm springs. After that, it was cloudy and sort of rainy. The wildlife didn’t exactly cooperate though. We only saw some whales from a distance. We went to the sea lion rookery (that I showed last blog) but didn’t even see anything! We went back a few days later and there was only one. BOO! We set the longline a few times and didn’t really get anything good! Finally we got a decent sized halibut. We saw bears too everyday but I was hoping some small cubs would come out so she could see how cute they are. She is coming back with about a million pictures and some pretty amazing bear paw slippers, so be sure to ask her about them!

Now, onto some biggggg news. Not as big as the engagement news but still pretty big. A few days ago, we got word of the resignation of NSRAA’s Operations Manager, Lon. He is moving on to work with the Sitka Sound Science Center. The next day, we found out that Scott (our manager) took that Operations Manager job so he will be moving to town. That left the Hatchery Manager job up in the air. Adam thought about it for a day and has decided to take the job. So Adam is the new Hidden Falls Hatchery manager!

Everything has just happened all at once! Ready to recap just this last week!?

Valerie visits, Lon leaves, Scott decides to leave to take the job in town, Adam becomes the manager, we go on vacation, The Gilles leave, we are planning a wedding, and moving houses!

It has been all at once, bang bang bang! Crazy!

So now I come back to me sitting in Sitka… waiting to leave. I’m excited for vacation, but it’s hard to leave my fish in the hands of someone else. With this whole job switch for Adam too, it’s hard but we’ve had this trip planned for a while. We couldn’t have predicted this to happen. Adam officially becomes the Hatchery Manager on July 1st and he won’t even be in Alaska! Scott won’t leave until after spawning so Adam will have a bit of time to learn as much as he can from Scott. It’s weird because even though it’s a huge thing, I don’t really feel like it affects me that much. It’s all on him. But it will be an adjustment for me too, being engaged/married to the boss. It is hard sometimes to separate relationship and work stuff.

Anyhow, I’m sure I will see you all in just a little while. We will be in Maine from June 30 – July 7 and Michigan from later July 7 – July 13. Hopefully I can fit some fun things in there besides wedding, wedding, wedding! Venues, photographers, dresses, dresses, DRESSES! Adam hasn’t been to Michigan in the summer… any fun ideas for us to do!? Maybe spending the night somewhere nice?


Anonymous said...

Maybe you could go up north with Adam when you are in MI.

And as a side note... unfortunately, sometimes you relationships with other coworkers changes because you are married to the "boss." Its a tough position to be in somedays when you just want a friend...

Anonymous said...

I have JUST NOW finally been able to read this...GEEZE! :)