Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaska: This purge won’t be a movie sequel

What’s forthcoming is a very rare occurrence and, in my case, uncommon as bifocals on a Shih Tzu puppy

It’s no big revelation to anyone that this last winter was a bit more of a challenge than usual.

It’s nice to step on the deck and view a flow of emerging greenery instead of glaciated backyards and driveways suited more for hockey than driving.

Such a display normally stimulates a slight twitch in my casting arm and kindles a piscatorian urge to organize the nest of secret lures slumbering within my grubby tackle boxes.

But, alas, this summer season will be a bit different.

What’s forthcoming is a very rare occurrence and, in my case, uncommon as bifocals on a Shih Tzu puppy.

Unfortunately, this upcoming quandary doesn’t involve a pup but totally different type of Shih Tzu and it hit the fan when my wife reminded me that we had several visitors heading our way this summer.

Not cool, because I had totally spaced out the fact that guests would be jetting our way and it will now require completely reorganizing the cabin rather than important stuff like our fishing gear.

Back in 2004, we were invaded by an old high school buddy and his friends but they didn’t require much more than a place to sleep, play poker, pop some suds, enjoy a cigar, tell lies, and nail some fish.

No problem. We just moved around gear and gadgets that had been accumulating in the basement for years, cleaned off a sleeping area with a magnum powered leaf blower and they were ready to go.

This time around my lady had other ideas about preparing our domicile-by-the-sea for visitors. The word “purge” comes to mind, not the movie scenario, of course, but things certainly didn’t bode well for the items she deemed “expendable.”

Once she laid out her plan of attack, it became obvious that we were going to be busier than contract rat assassins in a L.A. municipal dump.

It’s amazing how much “might need this” detritus accumulates as the years float by and, by the looks of it, I’ll probably end up going through a set of tires hauling discards off to various charity drop-offs and the yawning maw of the landfill.

Copious empty-bellied bottles stashed for the home brew kit glaring at me from its dusty corner in the utility room have been designated for recycling. The sizeable brew fermenter will be converted into storage container for an emergency water supply just to make it feel useful.

Next will be the old suitcases and travel bags that have been squirreled away for eventual restoration via duct tape and staplegun therapy. Those selected as indisputably dispensable will be laid to rest in the dump while reprocessing bins will be targeted for the stacks of yellowing boxes accumulated just in case they were needed to ship someone, something or another, for some reason or another.

It won’t be that tough getting rid of the paraphernalia taking up space such as old boots and shoes, 30-year-old carpet remnants, apparel sporting more holes than firing range targets and antiquated medical history tomes referencing leeches for treatment of everything from headaches to ear infections and hemorrhoids. As for the latter cure, the Egyptians should have stuck with their pyramid gig.

It was thought provoking when Jane suggested that I would never be able to reread the plethora of books I had rescued from the last distilling of my library unless I turbo charged my speed reading and took a run at Methuselah’s longevity record. Not only that, but, where would I find the time for new publications?

The library has been added to my drive-bys.

Hopefully, they won’t open the cartons until their next book sale. Between the horror novels, serial killer mysteries, sundry tales of the bizarre and humor for the mentally derailed, they may cancel my card.

The final liquidation will go to local second-hand charities.

I’m not going to go into any deep detail but let’s just say that the next time a time traveler from the ’60s wanders through this burg, they’ll feel right at home with some of our donated styles being displayed about the cosmic hamlet. Come to think of it, they’d probably feel that way now.

Oh yeah, if you are in need of a velvet painting or two, seed company baseball hats and dinnerware for the discerning cave dweller, shop around. It will all be available soon at acutely discounted prices. In fact, they may be giving some of it away.

Nick can be reached at if he hasn’t gone missing within an unessential stack of stuff in a remote area of the cellar.

More in Life

Lemongrass chicken skewers are best made on a grill, but can be made in the oven. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
On the strawberry patch: Tangling with waves

Lemon grass chicken skewers top off a day in the surf

This photo of Frenchy with a freshly killed black bear was taken on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 1

The stories were full of high adventure — whaling, mining, polar bear hunting, extensive travel, and the accumulation of wealth

Seeing God’s hand in this grand and glorious creation

The same God of creation is the God that made me and you with the same thoughtfulness of design, purpose and intention

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

Michael S. Lockett / capital city weekly
Gigi Monroe welcomes guests to Glitz at Centennial Hall, a major annual drag event celebrated every Pride Month, on June 18.
Packed houses, back to back: GLITZ a roaring success

Sold-out sets and heavy-hitting headliners

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
Music lovers dance to Nervis Rex at the KBBI Concert on the Lawn on July 28, 2012, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer.
Concert on the Lawn returns

COTL line up includes The English Bay Band, a group that played in 1980

Marcia and Mary Alice Grainge pose in 1980 with a pair of caribou antlers they found in 1972. The sisters dug the antlers from deep snow and detached them from a dead caribou. (Photo provided by Marcia Grainge King)
Fortune and misfortune on the Kenai — Part 2

In Kasilof, and on Kachemak Bay, in Seldovia and later in Unga, Petersen worked various jobs before being appointed deputy marshal in 1934

Most Read