It has been over a week since my last entry; I want to assure everybody we are alive and doing well...sort of. The picture on the left was taken just a few minutes ago, 23:09, or 11:09 PM. I will post the two other pictures as well. For the past week the air temperature has been above zero, right around 10 degrees. Then today it jumps up to 35 degrees, everything is melting and will be a great big mess if it keeps up. But the forecast is for cooler temps tomorrow, back into the teens.
To answer many questions that are out there, let me try and answer them en-mass.
First, concerning Kim: Her lungs seem to be stable at the moment. She did not have to have surgery this past December. She did have two teeth pulled Thursday though, so she is still a little dizzy with the pain medications. On another front, we have been waiting for her to have a hearing on her SSI Disability claim since she fell back in 2003. The company that oversees the paperwork and meets with the official Judge pulled out of Kim's case last month. Now we have a hearing next week in Fairbanks, so we get to represent ourselves. We are not real hopeful for her to get SSI, since their definition is TOTAL disability; i.e. can she flip hamburgers? Our major hope and prayer hangs on the Bi-Polar diagnosis, if the judge will see that as a total disability. The main difference between the Church's definition and SSI, the church defines "anything that disables and impedes from what she has been trained and educated." So the church could see a disability, but SSI would not. Of course she has to apply for SSI in order to be on the church's disability. Of course this hearing in May already has cost us the air fare to Fairbanks, $1,100.00 that we really do not have just to throw away. We were told that we could ask for help since we are more than 75 miles away, but I am not holding my breath. We will see how it all falls out next month. Of course, planning for the worst case scenario, Kim loses her disability and we lose her $2,000 a month to help out to pay off her medical bills from Seattle as well as last year in Anchorage.
Sam is finishing up his school year, they have about three more weeks before finals. He tried to make up credits so that he could graduate next month, but just is not going to get there. He will be two credits short of graduation. So he will be returning to school August 17th, and then in December, he can choose to graduate then, or stay in school until next May. We will see how that falls out then. Other than that, he is the normal teenage trying to get out of as much home work and house work as possible.
I myself am surviving. Kim and I just finished up on a Creative Writing class on how to write our own stories. We turned in twenty page papers at the end of our short five week course. Each week, we had to turn in five page reports on different understandings of writing, (voice, point of view, etc.), then we could put them all together and connect the different papers into one big one paper. The teacher is hoping to "publish" the class papers sometime this fall. Again, we will see if that happens.
Another excitement for this last couple of days is that Willie Hensley was up here, speaking at the college's commencement and then a book signing day at the library. Willie Hensley was one of the main forces in helping the Alaska Native Lands Claims Act get through congress and then President Richard Nixon's signature.
Otherwise, I have a new assignment; I will be heading out to Louisville and then Chicago in July for a Cross Cultural Training. The time in Louisville, Kentucky is with other Presbyterians; then in Chicago will be with other people who serve or will be serving in cultures that they (ministers and missionaries), did not grow up in. I have six books that I need to read before hand, plus a few others that are recommended. It will be a challenge for this slow reader.
Well I think I have gone overboard in the information if you are still reading to this point. I will try and post some more pictures tomorrow....
Peace and blessings.