Labor Day Alaskan Woman’s Viewpoint

Interesting concept because I have sure done of lot of labor in my day. No kidding. The one that sticks out in my mind as being the hardest thing I ever did was changing the front end on a Ford Econoline Van. The ex, who at the time I was still married to, had managed to get himself into residential alcohol treatment the hard way. Another story for another time. That left me, another female and four kids to get ready for winter in bush Alaska alone. I was going to get it done.
We had the front end from another van. The steering on the one we were driving was so bad I could hardly keep it on the road and stay in my lane. We needed that van. I got it jacked up and on blocks, dropped the old front end and all 135 pounds of me proceeded to get the new/used front end up under the van. The main problem was the huge coil springs on either side that had to be compressed.
With every bit of available muscle, women and kids on the end of a 6 foot pry bar used on top of a 10 inch thick log as a lever, we were about an 1/8 of an inch shy of compressing the springs enough for me to get the big washer and the nut on the rods the springs went over. I had them lift it one more time, positioned myself under the whole mess on my back with my feet pushing on the front end. Dangerous? Yeah. Necessary? Yeah. Seeing stars, with the blood pumping so hard through me I thought my heart would explode, I pushed. I got it up and was able to get just a quarter turn on the nuts while still pushing that front end up,  but it was enough. I got that vehicle on the road. Like my Daddy always said there wasn’t much I couldn’t do, I just needed to learn about levers. I also needed just that little extra that I was willing to give.

The house below is where I live. I have pounded nails, run the saw. My husband and I put up the third floor on our own.  It keeps me warm and dry. This is all that matters.  By the way, I laid most of the roofing paper. I’m pretty good at it.

new siding


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