Posts Tagged ‘North Star Freighter’

To start reading from the beginning, go to May 11, 2008.

In Golovin again, I was prepared to go back to work
on the boat. I was disappointed to find MO had finished fiber-glassing
the boat and had painted it an aqua blue. It took me a moment to push
away the feelings of pride and ownership: that boat was MY project. The
boat was the one thing that kept me busy during the day without having
to pester Maggie for something to do. I had to quickly realize the boat
wasn’t mine, it belonged to them.

So, once again, my job was
to find ways to keep busy. I needn’t have worried because the winter
supply freighter, NORTHSTAR, was due any day. One
massive deliver of goods and groceries arrived late summer each year.
Maggie and Sister, months before, ordered everything non-perishable, for
the entire winter for the entire village. Years of experience (Maggie
grew up in Solomon with her grandfather who also ran the village store)
gave Maggie a keen sense of what to order and how much for her village
“family” of some 100 people would need to manage the long winter. Of
course villagers could take trips to Nome for supplies, but trips to
Nome were expensive.

Preparing for the NORTHSTAR
was an efficient and well routed process. Dry goods
lined the hallway upstairs to the bedrooms. An extra room housed cases
of cereal. The attic over the old house stored  dry goods
of toilet paper and paper towels.  The main room in this house was
nearly empty of sugar and flour that rested on raised wood slats. Soon
the room would be bulging with piles of 25# and 50# flour and sugar
sacks. The old house was reserved for storing dry goods immune
to damage from the freezing temperatures as the house
wasn’t heated through the winter. Cases and cases of canned goods and
soda pop would soon fill the store’s center isle stacked high to the

I enjoyed the work. Organizing and sorting was a
satisfying activity for me. When the freighter arrived a few days later,
I was looking forward to hauling and packing cases of goods from the
ship’s ramp, across the beach and into the house, old house and
store. Unfortunately, the same day the freighter arrived so did the
monthly devil female ripping apart of my insides. I couldn’t control the
fearsome discomfort each month, but in Golovin, I felt ashamed that the
incapacitating pains put me to bed in the middle of the day. Sister was
strong and tireless and probably hadn’t felt a pain in her life. My
mother and sisters never experienced such monthly troubles. My mother
once told me all I needed to do was walk it off, “Do some sit-ups or
something.” She seemed to be unable to believe the frightening depth of
pain I would feel for three to four hours at a time. I was convinced if I
stood up, if I could stand, I would most likely pass
out.The pain exhausted me so, it took another three to four hours of
sleep to get my strength back.

In bed and alone in my room
listening to the happy and excited voices below my bedroom window, I
heard a quiet knock on my door. Maggie stood in my doorway and asked if I
was okay. She saw I was suffering so softly walked to my bedside, bent
over and gave me a kiss on the cheek then left. I had never been so
comforted in all my life.

(to be continued) copyright Tamara Ann Burgh, all rights reserved

Boat trip

M.O., Carol and Maggie going fishing for the day in the newly restored boat

The North Star from http://www.aliciapatterson.org/APF001972/Morgan/Morgan12/Morgan12.html

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