Jul 11, 2018

Juneau-Douglas Class of 1968 50th Reunion & More from Alaska!

Alaska is my true north, my compass, my heart, my childhood and forever home.


Eighteen members of my family getting together for feasts, fun, and catching up.

All of us knowing it's time to see more of one another and not less!  So, I made it to my very 1st class reunion!!

  Seeing Juneau-Douglas High School classmates from 50 years ago was added into the fun!

Didn't make it to 10th, 20th, 30th, or 40th, but here I  am 50 years older hoping to recognize others I once knew, now 50 years older, as well.

I was Co-editor with Linda Nielson Thibodeau of our1968 Juneau-Douglas High School yearbook, the "Totem."  My yearbook had burned up in our 1970 house fire.  I'd missed it so much over the years as it was a big part of my high school life. Linda loaned me her copy for next 50 years and it was great fun looking, laughing and bringing up so many memories from so long ago.

Flying at 17 over our junior summer to Seattle and the University of Washington School of Journalism for yearbook training in graphic design, typography...meaning typewriters... and styling layouts, photo editing and page layouts, thematic design etc.etc.

Amazing experiences for an incredibly shy student from Alaska in 1967 long before computers and digital layouts and editing! Oh how we loved it.

Linda reminded me we were both so shy we had to take turns "being brave" and asking for help and directions with buses and routes among everything else.

Some I did and some I didn't.  Most did not recognize me after 50 years and no other sightings!

So much fun! Here, a cousin's cabin by boat...it's lovely that everyone's retired and a lifetime of hard work has come to fruition with lovely homes, getaway cabins and boats...boats are needed for transportation in southeast Alaska as many of us grew up on, or still live on islands.

Even Juneau, the capitol is landlocked and transportation out is by air or water as lovely mountains and miles of ocean surround us!

Our big Savikko family has been potlucking, hiking, boating to nearby Horse Island for a picnic.

And on the 4th, parades in both Juneau and Douglas and watching the yearly constructing, (and eventual celebratory torching) of a huge bonfire on the beach looking across to Juneau for my family's tradition scraps and pallets wood sculpture that is as close to Burning Man as I'll ever get!!

This year the "Burning Whale" in honor of Juneau's newest art sculpture park where Larry and I had our photo synchronistically taken and made the news!

I learned to work with clay and am in the process of the magical alchemy of the manifestation of earth by the catalyst of fire into the creation of art!

My little magical little Alaskan fish ! Here, not yet fired into bique to be fired by my SIL's 2000 degree kiln into finished form.

Hiking and trying to keep up with my Alaskan Family. my impressive blister with a little quilted hug healing.

This trip taught me that while it was great fun being 20...

And 22.....

And 25..... and 30...and 60...and 65..

But being what I am now and into the great unknown is an awful lot of fun right now!

We create our own magic wherever we are...inside and out!

And because I did my own magical alchemical energy on this precious little...

Bikko of Savikko
(A "Cotton de Tulear" puppy cousin once removed)
Bikko boats, kayaks and hikes everywhere with my cousin and his wife!

I was able to be and do and create here, there, and everywhere and always will.

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

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