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By Elizabeth Youngman Westphal
Special to The Village News 

Kicking It in Wasilla, Alaska

 

Last updated 6/25/2020 at 2:33pm



Have you noticed there are people who actually walk on purpose as part of their exercise regimen? I have witnessed it. They hike, jog and run. It makes me wonder why? OK, I get it, it is a form of exercise. But…

I get it walking, jogging and running are in fashion again since the gyms are closed. There are few options left. But of them, these options would be my least favorite.

After all with 75-year old knees – even while viewing my last X-ray and I quote, “you have beautiful knees,” my doctor said – I’d like to keep my cartilage, thank you very much.

However, there were times in my past life when I frequently indulged in the fad to walk, jog or run my way to good health and weight loss. Over the past years though, I stopped after my first trip. At my current age, not tripping is a daily priority.

Just to clear the air, even as a child growing up on a Kansas farm, I’d drive the John Deere across the back fields to visit the neighbors. And now as a Californian – I continue to drive everywhere.

And now I am driving in Anchorage, Alaska. After only a week at home, I got a text Friday night from my child after she popped a broken rib. That is when I discovered San Diego County 911 cannot reach out to Alaska 911, causing me to call the Anchorage police directly. It worked. An ambulance was sent to her door and carried her to the hospital.

By the time I got back to Anchorage Sunday, I had a swab shot up my nostrils for the newly mandated state COVID-19 test.

Since the promised results did not come in three days, I was under obligation to get a second test. However, the state of Alaska refused responsibility to provide an address for a test site that would take their chit; they put the burden on the out-of-state guest.

Searching for a site, I returned to the airport. Just below the baggage carousel, seven clinicians sat chatting over pizza. As the receptionist finally noticed me wearing gas-warfare attire, she referred me to a two-day-old handwritten sign requiring all second test recipients to make an appointment. Really? If you’ve met me, you know that is not how it went down. My second test was swabbed on the spot, and the next day, I got my clear result from the first test.

Now that I am clear to mingle with the neighbors, the universe is getting its justice as I walk my daughter’s service dog daily.

At 18 months, Sally still needs a lot of walking before becoming a fully trained-service animal. Like Sally, I too need lessons to handle her which is why we are currently in Wasilla, Alaska. It is the home of Sally’s vet and a town away from Willow, her trainer Michelle. We met at the park to review Sally’s commands.

In case one is curious, Wasilla is also the home of a musk ox farm. Equal to Africa’s water buffalo, musk ox may be the second-most contrary and dangerous animal on four hooves.

Unfortunately, the farm is closed due to the current pandemic. No doubt, the enormous crowds of visitors would be of a size to cause a major health risk throughout the entire state of Alaska. By closing an obscure musk ox farm which requires searching the internet to find, in an obscure, remote area of Alaska one must ponder just how many lives were saved by that decision? Which makes me wonder about all the craziness going on.

For instance, what fool decided a liquor store or a pot store is necessary while a barber shop or nail salon isn’t? That we can be responsible to visit a grocery store, but we can’t go to a bank and be responsible? Is it because my bank gives away free lollipops which makes it an unhealthy option?

Don’t you feel our state government has failed us? Again? Our administrators routinely put others before tax payers. Is common sense too much to ask for from our elected officials?

By the way, how did these inept fools get there? Can we afford to allow our state to continue to be run by this corrupt political dynasty? The four families that have run California into debt for the past 60 years have prospered by selling our jobs overseas or chasing businesses to other states. Hurray for Tesla for standing up to them.

Don’t our elected officials take an oath to keep us safe? Certainly, we pay enough taxes. It is a basic right to receive protection from violence perpetrated by anyone who wishes us malevolence. As citizens we deserve all of our laws to be applied equally and fairly.

Which means the violence against our peacekeepers will be given the same exposure as the rare mishap perpetrated by a rogue cop.

As unarmed civilians, we are blessed that men and women chose to button up the blue, take an oath and place a badge over their hearts in our defense.

As a former member of the San Diego Sheriff’s Fallbrook Senior Patrol and grandmother to a police officer, I get hot under the collar just thinking about the injustice of it all.

In fact, I have worked myself up into a lather. I need to cool off; I better go for a walk.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected]

 

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