About birthday presents

Around 1986-87, Nikiski, Alaska and Boulder Point homestead

“How in the world are you going to haul a pig?” one of my friends asked me. “Besides, Susan and her boys were coming from Fairbanks to help celebrate Gail’s birthday.” (June 13)

“I’ll just put it in the car, take out the backseat and put in a box for the pig and two milk crates for the boys to sit on.” I will never be able to describe the look on his face! If I would have said a chicken or a rabbit or a duck, a cat or dog… but a pig!

I went to pick Susan and the boys up at the airport. But first I had to take the back seat out of my old green LTD. I struggled, tugged, pulled and pushed and finally got the huge backseat out, got in my car and headed for the airport in Kenai. I had the foresight to put the milk crates in the back for the boys to sit on, in the absence of a backseat.

Joe and Mike, ages 7 and 4, came running out of the airport to greet their grandma.

When I explained they had to sit on milk crates in the seatless back seat because we were going to Sterling to pick up a pig for Gail’s birthday, Joey looked at me with great suspicion, and with eyebrows raised, looked right in his Mom’s eyes and said, “Dad’s not going to like this!”

I was so glad to see Susan and the boys and busy jabbering that I did not pay much attention to the total disgust of two little boys that had lived in the city all their lives, dressed in nice slacks and cute shirts with perfect manners, being pushed into the bare cavern of a back seat. Then their Grandma telling them “just sit on the milk crates, we are going to go to Sterling and pick up a pig for Gail’s birthday. But first we have to pick up pig feed at Cadre’s in Soldotna.” Again, total silences. Off we went stopping to pick up a bag of pig feed, drove on out to Sterling to pick up the little birthday piggy!

We picked out the little pig, but there was a problem! The two milk crates, the bag of pig feed, and the box for the piggy to live, did not all fit in the back of the car. So this old Grandma in all her wisdom, took out one of the milk crates, parked Mike on one crate and told Joey to sit on the bag of pig feed next to the little pig in the box and off down the road we went to deliver the birthday pig! But not before I heard Joey tell Mike, “Dad really is not going to like this!”

We delivered the little piggy to Gail who lived back at Boulder Point on a homestead. To get there was a 2 mile rutted, dusty trail that sometimes had big holes full of standing water. So the trip was most difficult I am sure for two little boys trying to sit on a sack of pig feed and a milk crate. Gail was totally surprised, the pig was happy to be out of the box. The boys were very happy to run around looking at all the animals Gail had in her yard. It soon came to an end, they had to climb back in the seatless backseat, get back up on their milk crates for a ride to Grandma’s place.

Back then in the days of “do what you can to get by,” we had to make do. But in today’s world, I would have been put in jail for child endangerment and animal cruelty!

This story has been told many many times in our family, and was requested by friends and family for me to write this. Yes, it is a true story!

Happy Fourth of July and God bless America!

The Pioneer Potluck series is written by 50-year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski. Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her mother, a self-taught wonderful cook. She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day. Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci.net.

More in Life

The Recycling Bin: Rethink your lawn

Consider rethinking the lawn. Americans spend over $30 billion (yes, billion) a… Continue reading

A different kind of stash

A few weeks ago, my bride picked up a chest cold that… Continue reading

Poet’s Corner: Bittersweet

Bittersweet By Lori Lindsay, Soldotna I didn’t know my life could change,… Continue reading

“UFO” — If you’re looking for engaging sci-fi, look elsewhere

I’ve always been a big science fiction fan, but lately I’ve been… Continue reading

Pioneer Potluck: About memories of Grandpa and Grandma Cogswell

Grandma Freda Cogswell was my mother’s Mom. She was born in 1895… Continue reading

Pioneer Potluck: About your very first day at school

I was five years old when I started school, no pre-kindergarten, no… Continue reading

There is a Word for It

Visiting with my friend the other day, she used the word “slumgullion”… Continue reading

‘The Nun’ — a rollercoaster of scares

This time of year, heading into the Halloween season always makes me… Continue reading

A woman ties a ribbon to a memorial to Katie Kennedy at this year’s Burning Basket, Dream, on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at Mariner Park in Homer, Alaska. The photo shows Kennedy placing her bra in the 2017 Burning Basket. Kennedy died of breast cancer this year. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
An intimate view of the Burning Basket from formation to flames

The image came via text in early June: a lilac-painted 1972 Volkswagen… Continue reading

Most Read