Hi! I’m Jennie and I grew up in Alaska. I was raised in Wasilla and currently live in Palmer. I did spend a number of years “Outside,” – originally for college, but then my husband got a job in Ohio. We moved back about 5 years ago when UAA hired him. He’s an aviation professor, I’m at adjunct at Mat-Su College (in math) and I also teach online for a college in North Dakota. We have two boys (9 and 11). Actually if you are reading this after Friday, I have a 12 year old!
My entire family lives here (my husband says there are too many of them). My great-grandparents were Colonists in 1935. For those of you who know the Wasilla area, if you go towards Machetanz Elementary from the Trunk roundabout, that’s where they homesteaded. It is a gravel pit now (it was a dairy farm). Those were my grandma’s parents. My grandpa’s parents homesteaded in the 1940s out Fairview Loop. There is an entire subdivision there now. My grandparents (who are both still alive) are still on the same land they bought in 1955. My parents have been on the same land since 1978 and I can’t see them ever moving.
My parents have a cabin in Talkeetna (Montana Creek) that is really only accessible in the winter via snowmachine. I can personally attest that breaking your leg off the actual road system makes for a difficult trip to the doctor’s. One of the other places we go to every year is Petersville. We say we are going to gold mine…we are really going to play in the creek! My kids spend the entire weekend in the water. It takes kids raised in Alaska to appreciate mountain streams! We also do several road trips every summer and I enjoy exploring Alaska.
One of my current big “want to do” items in Alaska is visit the Panhandle. I feel the fact that I was raised here and have never been there is an issue that I need to fix! My husband bought a plane last summer (this is Alaska and he is a pilot…it was a foregone conclusion!), although he says that’s too far for his plane. Right now I’m campaigning for him to fly me to Kodiak this summer. Again just because I haven’t been!
Looking forward to meeting and working with everyone this semester!