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Minister’s Message: Walk in the light this Christmas

The Bible says the Lord God will be the light and those walking in that light will forever rejoice

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Charles Arthur Riddiford, for whom the first post office in Cooper Landing was named, served with the U.S. Postal Service for more than three decades, mostly as a postal inspector. He achieved nationwide notoriety in the early 1920s. (USPS historical archive photo)

Riddiford: Story of a Name Change — Part 2

Generally speaking, Charles Riddiford did not seem to be an imposing figure

Charles Arthur Riddiford, for whom the first post office in Cooper Landing was named, served with the U.S. Postal Service for more than three decades, mostly as a postal inspector. He achieved nationwide notoriety in the early 1920s. (USPS historical archive photo)
Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaskas: You are never that far from home

It is a time to express the depth of our affection for each other and to strengthen the bond of family

Nick Varney
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Minister’s Message: Embracing the awaiting awe

It is a common practice for me to share words of encouragement with those who find themselves in need of medical attention

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This is the military plaque placed upon the Anchorage grave of Arlon Elwood “Jackson” Ball. (Photo from findagrave.com)

Human Complexity: The Story of Jackson Ball — Part 4

Summing any life is never easy. There is always, it seems, more to the story.

This is the military plaque placed upon the Anchorage grave of Arlon Elwood “Jackson” Ball. (Photo from findagrave.com)
Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Life in the Pedestrian Lane: A few more pills

All the people I visit with these days have the same story

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
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Minister’s Message: The hope of Christmas

History tells us that Jesus factually lived and later died on the cross. Therefore, the Christmas story is true history

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Will Morrow (courtesy)

Older and wiser, or not

Turning 50 has been a more laid-back experience

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Charles Riddiford, far right in the back row, posed for this Spokane Post Office staff photo in 1898 when he was just a clerk. The photo appeared in a 1922 edition of the Spokesman Review, along with a discussion of the post office’s tremendous growth.

Riddiford: Story of a Name Change — Part 1

So who was this Riddiford, and why did this name hold such sway at the site of Joseph Cooper’s boat landing for more than a decade?

Charles Riddiford, far right in the back row, posed for this Spokane Post Office staff photo in 1898 when he was just a clerk. The photo appeared in a 1922 edition of the Spokesman Review, along with a discussion of the post office’s tremendous growth.
Paper chains made of gratitude strips adorn a Christmas tree at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna. (Photo courtesy Meredith Harber)

Minister’s Message: Grateful and kind

What if, instead of gathering around tables and talking about what has already happened TO us, we challenge ourselves to return kindness to the world around us

Paper chains made of gratitude strips adorn a Christmas tree at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna. (Photo courtesy Meredith Harber)
This photo from the early 1960s shows Jackson Ball enjoying the Christmas holidays with his eldest three daughters. His fourth and youngest daughter was born less than a year and a half before Ball’s death in 1968. (Photo from Ball Family memorial slideshow, 2022)

Human Complexity: The Story of Jackson Ball — Part 3

Misfortune was written across the recent history of the Arlon Elwood “Jackson” Ball family

This photo from the early 1960s shows Jackson Ball enjoying the Christmas holidays with his eldest three daughters. His fourth and youngest daughter was born less than a year and a half before Ball’s death in 1968. (Photo from Ball Family memorial slideshow, 2022)
Nick Varney

Unhinged Alaska: Some things never change. Nor should they

In the dawdling days prior to Thanksgiving, things are usually as serene as a gentle snowfall within our modest piece of nirvana

Nick Varney
This is an early photo of U.S. Army soldier Arlon Elwood “Jackson” Ball in uniform. The patches, ribbons and medals on this uniform demonstrate that he had not yet served overseas or been involved in any combat. (Photo from Ball Family memorial slideshow, 2022)

Human Complexity: The Story of Jackson Ball — Part 2

Perhaps going to Alaska was the fresh start he needed at this time in his life

This is an early photo of U.S. Army soldier Arlon Elwood “Jackson” Ball in uniform. The patches, ribbons and medals on this uniform demonstrate that he had not yet served overseas or been involved in any combat. (Photo from Ball Family memorial slideshow, 2022)
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Minister’s Message: God’s selfie

I can think of no one word that encapsulates our age, that defines our collective priorities and focus better than that innocuous little term

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Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Noise

The first 10 years we were in Alaska we lived remotely

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1945, Arlon Elwood “Jackson” Ball posed for this photograph, demonstrating his five years of military service through his many ribbons, badges and patches. (Photo courtesy of the Ball Family Collection)
After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1945, Arlon Elwood “Jackson” Ball posed for this photograph, demonstrating his five years of military service through his many ribbons, badges and patches. (Photo courtesy of the Ball Family Collection)
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Minister’s Message: Hope as an anchor

The Bible uses the word hope 133 times

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For many years, Abby (Lancashire) Ala (standing) gave horseback riding lessons at her home, the site of her longtime business, Ridgeway Farms. (Clark Fair photo from 2001)

The Lancashires: Evolving lives on the evolving Kenai — Part 9

The Lancashire sisters came as children with their parents to homestead in Ridgeway in 1948

For many years, Abby (Lancashire) Ala (standing) gave horseback riding lessons at her home, the site of her longtime business, Ridgeway Farms. (Clark Fair photo from 2001)
Nick Varney

Uninged Alaska: The dawn of winter

During the Code 3 pursuit, I noticed that I could see my vitriol firing breath which was a signal that the seasonal clock had just struck mid fall

Nick Varney
Rusty and Larry Lancashire pose out in front of Larry’s Club, located about a mile north of Kenai, circa the mid-1960s. (Photo courtesy of the Lancashire Family Collection)

The Lancashires: Evolving lives on the evolving Kenai — Part 8

Rusty Lancashire hadn’t allowed her first impressions of Kenai in 1948 to deter her from making the central Kenai Peninsula her home

Rusty and Larry Lancashire pose out in front of Larry’s Club, located about a mile north of Kenai, circa the mid-1960s. (Photo courtesy of the Lancashire Family Collection)