Keystone Drive, Soldotna, Alaska
Through the years, a few of our friends have met to celebrate our birthdays. With our busy summer schedules, if we did not do take the time, we would not see them and friends are important. We decided to meet for birthdays at different restaurants, but on this occasion we were invited to Judy and Jim Platz, beautiful bed and breakfast, Call of the River, on the banks of the Kenai River, to celebrate Susan’s birthday.
Everyone brought a favorite dish or casserole and we had a grand time catching up on the news. Dolores brought her Pinni machine and all the ingredients to make a wonderful sandwich. I made the birthday carrot cake. I am sorry I cannot remember all the other delicious food that every one contributed, because Bernie made this day hilarious!
Susan, Marty, Dolores and I arrived first. We were given a tour of the Bed and Breakfast and were setting around waiting for Bernie and catching up on the gossip, when the phone rang. It was Bernie in her high pitched, in a tizz, voice – “I am gong to be late!! A Trooper pulled me over!” Where are you asked Judy? Just about two blocks from you Bernie says! “ And Please don’t tell anybody, I am so embarrassed!” Well that request lasted about a minute as Susan got Judy to tell the whole story and we all laughingly said “Oh we have to see this!”
Keystone Drive was completely torn up for road repairs. There was detours, flags and warning signs up and down the road. Reduce your speed limit to 25 was one of them.
Seems like Bernie, in a rush to get to the birthday party, was gong slightly over the speed limit and got pulled over. At first when she saw the flashing lights, she thought it was a pilot car, so ignored the red and blue flashing lights in her rear view mirror.
When she realized it was a trooper and he was after her, she pulled over. She rolled down her window and the first thing that fell out of her mouth was “I am going to a birthday party and I have a hot casserole and I don’t want it to get cold!” The trooper said “You were going 5 miles over the speed limit!”…Bernie says “But I have a hot casserole for lunch and they are waiting on me!” Then a second thought hit her – and she asked “Would you like to come to lunch with us?” Taken by surprise, the trooper declined her invitation and let her go with a warning to obey the signs.
Then she and the trooper looked up the road and there was Marty, Dolores, Susan, and I in the middle of the road waving at her-beckoning to hurry, jumping up and down, pointing and laughing. Judy stood in her yard, not joining us as she was slightly embarrassed at the antics of her guests!!
Dolores recalls this event as one of the funniest of her life. Bernie finally showed up, her casserole was still warm and wonderful.
And this is just one of the many stories about birthday parties!
A note about my last story-About Learning to Live off the Alaskan Land. Several local friends reminded me that there was indeed grocery stores around. Tanglewood, Old M&M in North Kenai and a store in town. Because we had, at the time, six kids plus two adults and a few guests off and on in a boom-oil town community meant that I cooked all the time.
So did my friends for their families and guests.
To help alleviate the price of groceries locally and have a varity, we traveled to Anchorage -”about 200 miles” to get canned goods, laundry soap, and shop for clothes for all the kids to school.
We all piled into the 4 wheel drive 1968 Ford Pickup-new then-and yes all eight of us! Some of those trips left permanent marks in the dash board of the truck – teeth marks! No doubt from boredom or seeing the roads covered with ice and snow.
The old road was “twisty and turny” full of switch backs, narrow, steep two lanes and most of the time full of ice and snow.
Who ever sat on my lap left the teeth marks – I think it was Susan!