Friday, March 25, 2011

Alaska and The Story of Miss Camon Part 1

Camon and I Enjoying Alaska

As I mentioned in my last post my husband and I just returned from a wonderful trip to the 49th State. Before I go into the details of that trip, I'm going to tell you a story that will eventually lead to how we came to venture to the beautiful state of Alaska.

Do you ever stop and wonder what your life would be like if your paths had never crossed with people that you now call friends? Those who are not mere acquaintances—but persons that you would consider deep and intimate friends? The kind you could share anything with. Such is the case with my friend Camon (rhymes with "salmon").

About 20 years ago, my husband and I decided that it was time to leave southern California. I was born and raised there. We were both ready to get out of the asphalt and concrete and head for "greener pastures." So, we packed up a moving truck and with two kids in tow, and headed for my husband's home state of Kentucky.

Camon with Our Son a Few Years Back

Moving from the large metropolis of Los Angeles to a tiny little village called "Paint Lick" was quite an adjustment for me. Culture shock. No—more like culture whiplash! I had left behind all my extended family in California, but was thankful for the warm embrace of my husband's family. For my first few months there, I felt like I was at summer camp and would soon go home to "the big city."

After months of looking for a church that we could call "home." We finally found the right one, full of young families—many with several children. One such family was the Bakers. They had five kids, and over time I discovered that this household was exceptional! This was a family who loved with all their hearts and were passionate about serving people. Their middle daughter, Camon, was only 11 years old when we met them. When she turned 12, I asked her to babysit for me for a short period of time. She was happy to do it and it was very apparent from the start that she loved children.

On Vacation with Three of Our Sons and Our Niece

Over time, we had 2 more children and I would ask "Miss Camon" (as the boys called her) to babysit more and more. We did not have a lot of family around who were able to babysit, so Camon was literally a "Godsend" to us. She was so great with the boys and someone we could fully trust. Through her high school and college years Camon and I developed a deep friendship. I had the honor and privilege of being a mentor to her. She in turn, seemed to really have a beautiful bond with all my kids, but especially my two youngest.

She was a part of our family, she hung out with us, babysat, went on vacation with us. On one such vacation to California for a family wedding, she seemed to always get "stuck" with all the kids. We dubbed her "poor Miss Camon" on that trip. She was always such a trooper.

Camon with Her Sister Hannah in the Arctic Circle

And that's the kind of girl she is! She is silly, adventurous, intrepid, fun-loving, has a great sense-of-humor and yet has a very deep, caring, compassionate and sensitive side to her as well. She is serious about the things that matter and laughs at things that don't.

Camon and I after a 5K

After her college years her adventuresome spirit took over and she landed a job as an elementary school teacher in Alaska. She didn't shoot for the "sunny" south either– but rather a tiny village way up in the Arctic Circle. This is a place, mind you, where the sun barely dances on the horizon for about an hour and a half during the winter months. Can you imagine being on a playground in the dark, -20ยบ (and colder), with 20 first graders? What can I say?—she's a wild woman!

After a 3-year stint she returned to the lower 48 for a couple of years. But this year she was back up in the Arctic Circle teaching school once again.

So, here's the deal, she calls me back in October and says, "Hey, how would you and your husband like to meet me in Anchorage during my spring break." "Oh my goodness, that would be a blast!" I replied. The whole trip was a gift from Camon to us for our 29th anniversary!

And a blast we did have!

Check back soon for my next post. I will be telling you all about our trip, the places we went, things we saw, and the wonderful food we ate!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joyce,

    I've bookmarked your blog so I can read about the Alaska trip. Right now I'm obsessing over whether or not to take an Alaskan cruise in August. We enjoyed our short Disney cruise to The Bahamas, but now I want to go somewhere unusual where I can see things I normally wouldn't see in Texas. Like glaciers.