Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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03/15/2009: "The anti-back spasm"

Almost 2 years ago a masseur rubbed a muscle in my back the wrong way and it started to spasm, like when you have a charlie horse. It hasn't stopped, and the more stressed out I get, the more it spasms and sometimes actually pulls ribs out of joint. It's very painful and limits what I can do physically.

I only bring this up because this weekend I went to Gustavus where my husband's family lives. It is the kind of place that I think most Outsiders think of when they dream of Alaska. We flew there in a tiny 4 seater, me sitting in the co-pilot seat.

At the cabin, food is kept in a cool room rather than in a refrigerator and drinking water is collected from melting snow in a big white bucket.

Aaron and I slept in the loft of a tiny a-frame cabin with the pop and crackle of a wood fire below us and it was sooooo cozy.

While there, we didn't listen to the radio, or television, or check our email or go to movies.
Instead we:

went foraging for a Tlingit delicacy at a secret location in Glacier Bay National Park
went cross country skiing in 5 feet of snow
read and read until overcome by sleep, the sun on our faces
walked down a long snowy beach at sunset
snowshoed to a remote field and practiced firing a .22 and a 30 ot 6 rifle (I got a bull's eye!)

I realized on the flight home tonight that my "bad spot" (the area that spasms in my back) hadn't hurt the entire time we were there. That, despite sleeping on a thin mattress on a wooden floor and despite being more active than I've been in months, I felt good. REALLY good. And oh so deliciously relaxed...and inspired.

blue-foggy-mountain-scene1 (25k image)

blue-foggy-mountain-scene1 (25k image)

snowy-beach-trees-pink-clou (14k image)

snowy-beach-yellow-grass1 (30k image)

snowy-beach-yellow-grass-pu (9k image)

snowy-beach-yellow-grass-bl (20k image)

waves-in-sand-beach-gustavu (46k image)

bouy-truck1 (31k image)

Replies: 5 Comments

on Monday, March 16th,">alisa said

Beautiful photos Elise! Isn't it amazing all the colors the sky can be?

on Monday, March 16th, Elise said

Hi Alisa,
Yes, it is amazing. All of the scenery photos were taken on the same evening, the sky kept changing and changing. I took a ton of other photos but these are the ones that I may use for paintings.

on Monday, March 16th, dad said

that ot/6 didn't put you on your back did it? you should have gotten a bulleye your dad fired expert in the milltary it runs in the family :D

on Monday, March 16th, Elise said

Hi dad,
I got the bull's eye with the .22

I didn't want to shoot the ot/6 because my arms weren't really long enough and it had a pretty strong kick.

But Aaron got a bull's eye with the ot/6 which was pretty impressive because he had the target at 75 yards (deer range in this area) and he hadn't fired it in a long time.

I guess every girl really wants a guy like just like her dear old dad!

on Monday, March 16th, Elise said

btw, Aaron is complaining about me bragging about him because the target wasn't set very far away (intentionally) but I was impressed by how accurate his aim was.