Thursday, June 5, 2008

Alaskan Mommy Blogs

As usual, I started something without knowing what I was doing. Not unlike the time I decided to paint my bathroom walls tomato red, I created this blog on a whim. Why not? I had come up with a fabulous idea to write about life as a mother in this great state of Alaska. My friends and family could check up on our latest activities. Strangers would flock in droves to my blog, eager to read about life on the last frontier. After posting for a couple of weeks, with nary a glance—let alone a comment—from a single soul, I grew curious. Perhaps no one could find me. I knew what I would do . . . I would google "Mommy Machine." And if I wasn't there, surely I would find myself at the top of "Alaskan mommy blogs."

One, there's nothing new under the sun. The Mommy Machine is the title of someone's first novel, as well as the title of someone else's diet blog. Great. Way to do your research ahead of time, Kim.

Two, approximately 3.7 million Alaskan mothers are blogging. Yes, I'm aware we're a state of less than a million people. My point is that there are many Alaskan women blogging. And it's not just a matter of quantity, but of quality. Alaskan Scribbit writes one of the top ten mommy blogs. On the entire, vast internet! So much for a unique perspective. Again . . . way to go, Kim, with your original ideas.

Three, I'm both depressed and comforted by the fact that so many women are photographing and writing about the exact same subjects as I. My individual voice is nothing special, new, or even heard in the blogiverse (honk if you're reading this), but I am indeed a member of a larger chorus singing a meaningful song about motherhood and the importance of family.

I've been known to brag a time or two about my being born here, being raised here, and being married to my Alaskan high school sweetheart. I've walked the beaches across Kachemak Bay, picked salmon berries at the side of a lake in Ketchikan, and ridden my bike down a dusty road outside of Haines. I've lived without running water, grown my own vegetables, and shoveled snow when I was 8 months pregnant. But just when I start thinking I'm the real deal, I run across someone like Brightonwoman, a self-described "granola mom" living in Pelican . . . or Amanda, a photographer raising her kids in Craig . . . or Patience, a wife and mother leading a thoughtful, gentle existence in the big city of Anchorage . . . or Subarctic Mama, a published writer chronicling her hilarious comings-and-goings in the Frozen North. They are living just as authentic an Alaskan lifestyle as I, probably even moreso. I mean, I sew. But some of the women I read about? They not only handknit their family's wardrobe—they shear the wool from mountain goats and weave it on looms they've fashioned from the whale ribs that their children beachcombed during a homeschool science lesson. I'm talking hardcore survivalists living year-round in the dark Barrow.

Alaskan moms. There's a mighty big range of 'em living in this great state. Some are mild-mannered, many are outspoken, and most are devoted to God. Some reside in big houses, others dwell in tiny cabins, and the toughest hang out in fish camps all summer. Some were born here, while others made their way up the AlCan to establish their new homes. They're as varied and unique as the wildflowers that dot the tundra, marshes, and fields across Alaska.

But a few qualities about Alaskan moms are identical. They all love their children. They all work very hard to make their world a better place. They all recognize that their daily lives are different somehow than those led in California or Virginia or Montana.

And they all blog.

Dinner last night: ham turnover, corn-on-the-cob


Scribbit said...

The important part is that you've started something that's important to you--I hope you enjoy blogging and the blogging world as much as I have, it's been a wonderful thing for me.

Kim said...

Well, whaddya know?! It's Scribbit!! Thanks so much for popping in and for the kind word!

I am enjoying blogging, although I have discovered it at probably the most inopportune stage of my life what with my toddler twins and all. I don't have a lot of time to devote to it, but I do try to write a little something each week day.

It's been interesting trying to find "my voice" and figuring out WHAT to say and HOW I want to say it—usually with pictures, which is fostering an interest in photography that I didn't realize I had before. I've always been the one in the family to grab a camera and take pictures, but now I find myself thinking more about composition, lighting, etc. and I want to learn how to be a better photographer.

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