North Nikiski, Alaska
I am surrounded by wonderful, fun loving friends and relatives.
This is a recent escapade with Dolores, my Alaska friend of 40 years.
Dolores and I are scheduled to have cataracts removed this month by different Doctors. We were comparing and when it came time for Dolores to have one eye done last week, I volunteered to take her to her surgery. She is to have the other eye done next week – all done in Soldotna at the hospital. Mine will be done in Anchorage.
She had her designated driver, me, all set up for weeks. There was to be 4 appointments. I am very glad to drive as it meant that I could see what I was going to go through. I planned for weeks to be her designated driver.
That was before we found out about her schedule! Dolores was assigned for the first operation of the day at 8 am. Wonderful, Dolores and I say – get it over and head for home early!!
However, that meant Dolores had to be at the hospital at 6:20am in the Alaska dark, for pre-op. That means that we have to leave Nikiski no later than 5:35 to drive 30 miles to Soldotna. That also meant that I had to leave my house 5 miles from Dolores at 5:15 – no later!!
I have complained all winter I could not see at night, but I was given “night glasses” and I was so sure I could see to get Dolores to her appointment. Dolores comments, later, that no one had a inkling of the truth lurking under the surface. And Dolores adds, “That’s an understatement!”
To begin with, Bob was so kind to loan us his big 98 Olds 88 that rides and drives like a dream. He wanted Dolores to be comfortable on her way to the hospital. I do not particularly like to drive it!! But I left my trusty Subaru parked and headed out to pick up Dolores. I could NOT find the high beam switch – no mater how I tried. I stopped and looked with a flash light. I drove to Dolores’s on low beam – thinking when I get to Dolores’s I can find the high beams and I can SEE better!
I park at Dolores’s. I jumped out and grumble about how I cannot find the high beams. Dolores says let me look – sure enough on the steering wheel leaver, one click forward and one click back. We laugh about that and I proceed to drive my dear friend to the hospital.
I drive carefully and deliberate because it is inky dark-black – no light, just Alaska dark! I am looking at the yellow line and the white line. I am dong fine I THINK! Dolores says we make it one, two, three miles and then we were cruising into outer space!!
We got to the over head street lights in Nikiski and cars with bright lights coming at us. I completely loose all sense of where I am! I cannot see a thing!! Then, finally I see I am in the center median in Nikiski! I was so shocked! Dolores says her feet started to twitch when it dawns on her there is a problem with my driving and how the heck did I lose the road!! Dolores says to me, very calmly, “Annie, uh …YOU better let me drive.” I agree! I
pull over on the bike path at the Methodist Church and we switch seats. Dolores, an extremely good driver, takes off like she had driven Bobs car for years. She can see perfectly fine in the dark! She gets us to the hospital with time to spare, amid my saying I am so sorry and I cannot believe I could not see and again I am so sorry. Dolores bless her heart laughed all the way, reassuring me that it is OK.
Since, in the daylight, my vision is restored, I drive Dolores home from the hospital with a huge patch on her eye. She is delighted to have one eye done finally.
We do stop to see my daughter Susan at Fireweed Greenhouse. I expected Dolores to blurt out about our escapade to Susan as soon as we open the door, but she was gracious enough to wait until I half told on my self. Then she intervened and told Susan “Your mom is not to be allowed behind the wheel of a car at night again until she gets her eyes fixed!!
Dolores, the very great sport, was laughing and saying it just was another hilarious round for the scrapbook of “Alaska Escapade’s of Misadventures.” Believe me, it is filling up!
Dolores finally told me to stop my sniveling and being embarrassed, but every time we look at each other, she tells me how funny our latest adventure was! Although she adds that she did not need to test drive a strange big car in the dark while trying to keep an important appointment under stress of eminent surgery.
How in the world did this happen that the person that was supposed to drive her to the hospital was the PASSENGER!!
The follow up appointment the next day, I picked her up in the daylight and we sailed off for the Dr.’s appointment. I had no problem seeing and I was driving my old trusty Subaru. Of course we had lots to laughs that morning also.
Dolores has so kindly offered to drive me to Anchorage for my appointment to have my cataracts removed. HUMMM should I even consider this and will HER eyes be healed enough??
Saga of Annie and Dolores to be continued!!
The Grannie Annie series is written by a 47 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
Cookbooks make great gifts!
The “Grannie Annie” Cook Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.” They are available at M & M Market in Nikiski.