The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Why We Left Alaska

I’ve been “running into” a lot of old friends on Facebook lately and they all seem shocked that we’re no longer living in Alaska. Well, no one is as shocked as I am that we’re not living there anymore!! We happily and willingly left Alaska in January of 2004 . . . . . here’s the story why.

The kids and I went to San Diego for 2 1/2 weeks with my parents to visit my brother and his lovely family in August of 2002. It was a last minute trip and Tyler couldn’t get the time off, plus he had a huge moose/caribou fly-in hunt scheduled with his dad during that time. It was the first real vacation outside of Alaska for us since the kids had been born and let’s just say my eyes were opened.

I remember riding a commuter train through San Diego and thinking, “You have got to be kidding me. ALL of this is out here and we’re just sitting up there in Alaska?” There were just things to do everywhere . . . . . . it was amazing. I came home and told Tyler we were moving. He laughed and said that’s what every Alaskan says when they come home from vacation. He was right on that point! He told me to wait 30 days and see if I still felt strongly about it. In 30 days I was nothing if not more determined to leave Alaska.

For those of you who don’t know, at that point Tyler had been a cop with the Anchorage Police Department for five years. The department was 93 officers short which meant we never saw him. The overtime he worked was insane, if not dangerous. Yeah, the paychecks rocked, but at what price? I searched every police department on the west coast for months.

Tyler had been wanting to leave Alaska since the day I met him, but, well, I wasn’t convinced. We had a good life in Alaska, tons of family and friends and I figured if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

After a few months nothing seemed to be working so I had given up my hopes of leaving . . . . . . . . until I talked to his sister one day. She had recently been to Richland, WA and said it wasn’t as bad as she remembered and she’d actually like it there. I immediately searched out that department and found out they were hiring! To make a long story short, Tyler just couldn’t get the time off to go down and test. We were content, thinking God wanted us to stay in Alaska. I had accepted my reality until one night Tyler called me from work and said, “What do you think about Vancouver, WA?” Huh? Where did this come from? Two officers he knew from Anchorage were working for VPD and a good friend of his was in the process of applying.

So to make a long story short, about 8 or 9 months after the fateful call about Vancouver, we were living here. Can I tell you how much I love it? There are no words. God has blessed us here beyond our wildest imaginations. All of us have thrived physically, mentally, spiritually . . . . you name it. Tyler has been home for the past 4 1/2 years like a normal person. Oh sure, overtime is synonymous with law enforcement, but it’s NOTHING like Anchorage.

We’re able to travel more, do more as a family and not be so constricted by the weather Alaska offers. Deep down inside I’ll always be a girl from Alaska . . . . . Sarah Palin has affirmed that for me – lol. But now I happily claim Vancouver, Washington as my home.

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