Words Matter

You know those themes that come up repeatedly in your life? The mantras that could be mottos if there weren’t so many of them? I have several themes that recur. “They were looking for a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God and they knew that they were aliens and strangers on the earth.” “Context.” “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.” And others. But this is one of the recent themes that keeps coming up. Words matter. And their meanings matter.

In the movie “The Giver,” adult characters frequently use the phrase “precision of language.” It is one our favorite things about the movie, because so often we want to say the same thing. Words have meanings, but our culture uses them carelessly and allows for confusion where clarity is possible. We get annoyed at people who nitpick about word usage, even when such nitpicking is needed to clarify the point. We live like characters from Alice’s Wonderland, where words can mean whatever you want them too.

It makes sense that in a world which holds absolutes in low esteem, especially those stark white absolutes of truth, holiness, righteousness, right, in that world definitions don’t matter. Nor does orthodoxy. Not in that world. But to the Church? That mystical organism that will be presented to Christ as a spotless bride? Truth should matter a lot to her. As should words.

Here is a video that we go back to semi-regularly when the mushiness of language surrounding us gets us down: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OEBZkWkkdZA

And here is a poem I wrote yesterday on the same subject.


The words you speak are powerful,
Proceeding from your heart.
They influence your thinking
Like a horse behind a cart
– As such they merit caution
Lest they pierce with error’s dart.

Of careless words a counting,
So He promised on that day.
I want to be found worthy
So I think, and seek, and pray
That His will be filled in me now
And in everything I say.

Copywrite Jonelle Liddell 2018

Crab Fest!

It’s Crab Fest! That’s the major Kodiak event, bigger than the fair. Jennifer was here for the beginning of it, which was fun! We enjoyed her visit greatly and already miss her a lot. We did some shopping, ate some great food from the booths, got soaked. Twice. See, this is spring/early summer and that means lots of rain. Which is good, it’s the reason we are called the Emerald Isle. Swollen rivers and ditches now, mud everywhere, means green is coming soon.

It looks like it will be a good summer for salmonberries, there are lots of bushes and they have lots of blossoms already. The last two years there have been hardly any berries, so this should be a great last summer. At least in that way. Assuming we do actually move next winter/spring. Which is still the plan.

Crab Fest isn’t very big or impressive by most standards. There is a small carnival, two aisles or booths with food, information and items for sale. But most of the community goes through at some point, often several times. It’s kind of like a family reunion, only for the whole city. And while Kodiak isn’t perfect, it is very much like a family. We will miss it.

Also, here’s a picture of Jen and Crystal. Jen was here when we got Crystal and Pepper. She walked up to a cat perch, Crystal climbed off of it onto her shoulder, and we adopted her. This visit she claimed Jennifer again in the first five minutes of Jen being here. This is not normal for here, usually this cat hides in the bedroom when we have company of any kind for the first while. She likes quiet and consistency. But old or not, she remembered Jen!

Back to Anchorage

Monday we drove back to Anchorage, ate lunch at Moose’s Tooth (yummy!) and then flew back to Kodiak. Thank God, our flight made it on time with minimal turbulence! We enjoyed our time driving, and had a few surprise extra animal sightings! In addition to more snowshoe hares, our in abundance this trip, we had a moose encounter:

One on each side of the road! A little further we saw four caribou!

And interspersed through the day were more great mountain views!

Sleeping Lady, across the bay from Anchorage:

Denali Adventures – Sunday

Sunday we started bright and early, ate at the lodge and then drove to the bus depot at Denali National Park (just inside the entrance). We had reservations for the 7am shuttle bus. Which I had of course gotten wrong in my head, so we got there for the 7:30 bus instead. Fortunately there were plenty of seats on that one, so we didn’t have to wait for a later bus to have room. And we had a great driver, so it worked out well! We were expecting frigid temperatures and cloudy skies from the weather reports I had seen in advance. Instead we got partly sunny and bearable cold, a very pleasant surprise!

Denali is well worth the visit, so very worth it. I’m going to give you a photo dump, some photos will have captions. Brace yourself!

This was our first view of Denali itself (Mt McKinley until recently). It is the bright white mountain in the middle, looking smaller than the other from this view. Because we were very far away. The road into the park (the only road) runs through a valley. To the south is the Alaska mountain range, to the north is the Outer Range.

Over the course of the day we saw a lot of animal, mostly too far away for a good picture. Some, though were very close! Here is a ground squirrel and a ptarmigan:


Here’s a better view of Denali:


And us with Denali behind us:


And one of several caribou we saw that day (all too far away for a good phone photo):




Us, our bus


Dall sheep (again far away, look for the horns on top of the hill)


Denali again and an panorama of one view of the range


The closest we got to grizzly bears!  We saw several from a distance, but these were on the side of the road about 10 feet from the bus.  A mother and her yearling cub, they are digging for roots.



The cub is standing up to get a better of the bus passing us, and them.IMG_5963

After the bus tour we hiked trail to Horseshoe Lake, a pretty easy hike near the entrance of the park.  There are several beaver dams:


A different view of the Nenana River and the resorts on its’ banks:


Better view of the lake (we saw a beaver earlier but didn’t get a good picture):


Such a great day!  The next day we got some good wildlife views on the drive back to Anchorage, so that’ll be its own post also.


Denali Adventures – Saturday

Jennifer is here! She is my next younger sister and we get her for a week! We decided to adventure in the rest of Alaska with her a little, because she has been to Kodiak several times and all of us wanted to go to Denali National Park, so Fred and I flew up to Anchorage Friday evening, miraculously with only a slight flight delay and little turbulence. We met her flight Saturday morning and picked up the rental car.

After a quick visit to Title Wave Books (a large used book store), Kaladi Brothers Coffee and Safeway (for snack food), we hit the road north. It was a beautiful day!

We enjoyed talking to each other, then listening to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy from Audible. And we took in the mountain views. If you haven’t been to Anchorage, it is surrounded by mountains. And the highway north has mountains on both sides. It is gorgeous. Truly.

We were having a blast and weren’t even there yet!

We stayed at the Denali Princess Lodge. The first evening we walked to the Nenana River and explored the shops in the Lodge complex and on the boardwalk across the street.

Sunday we were headed into the park itself!