There are days when you know you’re just too tired to deal with even one more minute of whatever came your way… Or might in the near future. In that moment, you look for the exit.
We’d spent the majority of the day doing what we were ‘supposed to do’ and feeling exhausted from the night before. Whining wasn’t getting either of us anywhere fast, and we’d stopped telling anyone about the ‘issues of our arrival’ even though we really wanted someone to just say, “It’ll all be okay.” Nobody did.
We weren’t complaining, we just wanted to be heard.
So, I called the phone company to find out why my phone wasn’t working properly. After being informed that I was in a foreign country… Alaska? Really? Alaska? A foreign country? I gave it up, turned it off and stuck it in my purse. Done.
The bell dinged and the Oasis was closing down for the night. We walked to the car in what was left of the dwindling daylight, September nights are still pretty bright until well after 9:30.
Buckled in and rolling down the road, we were headed for the motel suite that overlooks the air force runways. Tatia kept driving. She drove right through the gate and crossed a big bridge over the bay. Lights all over town came on and we kept driving. Through the streets, ultimately headed toward the bay, the wheels kept turning.
From the highway Tatia said, “I’m going to turn onto Airport Road.”
I happened to notice the name of the street, “You mean Aviation Avenue?”
“Yeah, that…” She drove down a road that kept getting narrower and narrower. In front of us the bay loomed.
She turned right onto a narrow road with no lines, “This isn’t the right road.”
We kept driving.
“Oh, those are pipers,” I recognized the pontoon planes tied up at boat houses.
Tatia started laughing, “I don’t know where we are.” She admitted after giggling like a school girl for a while. We giggled. We drove through a section of Anchorage where houses were small, surrounded by vehicles and toys, fenced off with gardens in the back. The hills were shallow but many, and the roads twisted and turned through the neighborhood, mostly dead ending on hilly slopes, until we found our way back out to the highway.
We giggled and she drove until we found our way back onto the base.
We’d played at the Oasis until it closed, enjoyed a magnificent sunset amid the clouds growing over the hills. The drive into Anchorage offered a change of pace. The highway, complete with an Alaska version of Colorado’s fifth season (road construction), and the tour of the piper aviation section of the bay were each amazing in their own way. By the time we arrived at the motel again, we were exhausted enough to sleep the night away and awake in time for revelry.
No. I may not ever get tired of hearing the bugles play.
There’s this amazing feeling that comes with knowing that you’re walking among soldiers, men who have chosen to serve their country. The peaceful feeling of children playing in the grass, views of aspen turning gold and pines that will be greener by spring, along with the sight of a soldier in the line of duty, or a plane lifting off on the runway… it all feels safe and secure. In the same moment, the uniformity of life on the base strikes me as limited. These men and their families live without color, without freedom, without the liberty they fight to protect, while they protect it for the rest of the people in our nation.
Is… the oasis… closing?