25 Ways You Know You Live in the Alaskan Bush

It only seems right that the first person to ever “guest post” on this site would be the lovely and talented Kathryn Bronn. After all, she’s been one of the greatest creative cheerleaders in my life, regardless of whether I’ve been in a season of slathering melted crayons on canvas in my living room with a blow drier, or being glued to my laptop, furiously typing out everything I feel like the Lord has placed on my heart. Oh, and did I mention she’s the way Jesus originally duped me into visiting (and later moving to) Alaska? Yeah. She’s kinda been a big deal in my life over the last few years. For her friendship and creative partnership, I am eternally thankful.

1397130_10208479645409207_920408222672515338_oKaBronn James, as I like to call her, is a native Coloradoan who moved to California to escape the cold, before the Lord laughed at her and placed her in the middle of the Alaskan Bush for two winters. She’s a sun obsessed city girl rejoicing that the Lord is moving her to be a Reach Global missionary in Costa Rica. (I recommend following her blog and supporting her ministry as she prepares to head south of the border.) However, until that day comes, I’m simply thankful for the nights we can sit at her kitchen island and collaborate on lists about the hilarity of the bush that has somehow become our reality.


“Since I want to take the time to fully appreciate the quirks of Alaskan Bush Life before I move to civilization, I have composed a list of 25 of my favorite common occurrences (with a little extra help from some neighbors).  YOU KNOW YOU LIVE IN THE ALASKAN BUSH WHEN:

When all the 2 year olds say “99”, “Navajo” or “Caravan” as their first words, rather than just “airplane” like all other children.

Processing a moose: with both the baby and the pistol holstered.


When all major life decisions and purchases revolve around “Does it come with free shipping on Amazon Prime?”

When everyday things for city folk are huge luxuries and treats: donuts, ice cream, deli fried chicken, fancy coffee creamers.

When the speaker in church uses very specific aviation analogies for Bible stories and every single person nods in complete understanding.

When it’s completely acceptable to wear waders to church, or your “good Carhharts”.

When it’s completely normal, everyday, nothing special to see 6 people, a dog, and a kitchen sink on a 4wheeler driving down the runway.

When grown men drop everything to watch the fuel plane land, just one more time, because it’s huge and seriously awesome.

When we all count our days until the internet rolls over, because bush internet is LAME and way worse than any third-world country.  And it’s very limited.

Mail day would not be complete without a beaver hat or sitting in the Amazon box of dog food.

When it snows and you know that no airplanes are coming in that day: no groceries, no mail, no Amazon Prime. Only weeping in every house.

When there are exactly 5 subjects the men talk about: hunting, fishing, airplanes, guns, and their women.

When the typical “Friday Night Out on the Town”/”Date Night” consists of a school basketball game.

When you can walk into the General with a rifle and no one bats an eye.

When it’s completely commonplace to see a 10 year old driving a snow machine with a huge sled attached, toting his 7 siblings and/or cousins.

When the rhythms of life revolve around the hunting seasons and salmon season.

When you not only keep the front door unlocked, but you don’t actually know where the key is? Do you have a key?

Spring cleaning with a side of s’mores, anyone?

When burning things is a perfectly legitimate solution to cleaning house, especially if you don’t want to pay to ship things out to town.

When you (and every 5 year old in town) can identify airplanes by either their pilot or their tail number. “Oh, there goes Lyle.”

Furthermore, when you also feel free to ask what said pilot is up to as you identify him. “Oh, there goes Lyle, I wonder why he’s flying to town at this hour?  I wonder if everything is okay.” “Oh, there’s Levi, he just got his license and can’t get enough time up in the air.”

When there are more guns in homes than most anywhere else, with greater justification than anywhere else too.  Hello, brown bears.  Caribou for dinner.  Moose, so delicious.

When the children say “Mooommmm, do we have to eat SALMON AGAIN??”, and we who were not raised here say, “Shut your mouths, this is WILD CAUGHT ALASKAN SOCKEYE, and it’s stupid expensive everywhere else in the country.”

Where even the children put on their “game faces” for moose processing. We’ve all got to eat, people.

When the men compare who has more animal skins and pelts hanging in their house.  And mounted heads.  PETA would just DIE if they saw any home here.

When everyone is out running around in the dark yelling like children because the Northern Lights are out. BEST. THING. EVER.

When carrying a blowtorch and a hatchet around in public is not even questioned.  For any reason, ever.

When mud season has completely different connotations than anywhere else in the world. 6 inches deep of MUD. For 2 months.

When Xtra Tuffs or Crocs are considered appropriate footwear for any occasion. In fact, they are rather fashionable.  Why would we need any different shoes?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: