raised in ruins Tara Neilson

Well, the daylight is dwindling and fall is heading into winter. I’ve gotten behind while dealing with combined health and technical difficulties which have conspired to keep me off-line. I’ll use this post to get everyone caught up with life out here.

As usual, we’re woodlogging all the time, and working on flotation projects, the typical floathouse year-around work. The weather is being oddly cooperative for the most part. At this time of the year we’re usually getting pummeled by constant gales and hurricane force storms. It’s a little unnerving how quiet it’s been, but here’s hoping it stays that way.

We had our usual fall stock-up trip. My brother Jamie took his fishing boat across the strait and allowed us to load it up so my dad was free to load the skiff with fuel. In addition to that, a local summer resident who didn’t use all of his fuel has donated around 60 gallons of gas to our ongoing survival out here. So all things considered, we’re feeling pretty good heading into winter.

Here’s a link to the column about the fall stocking up trip:  www.juneauempire.com/news/alaska-for-real-case-lot-stock-up/

Speaking of my column, I just received word that it will be terminated. The new editor is taking Capital City Weekly in a new direction and my column is no longer suitable for its new “mission statement.” I’ve been told that two more columns will go up before the end of the year, and nothing after that. I’ll be sure to link those on here, if they are, indeed, posted. (It’s been hit or miss for a while, please accept apologies to those who look for my column and haven’t been able to find it on its usual day.)

I’ve had such a fun time writing the column and hearing from readers over the last two years–it’s been a delightful adventure, one I hope to continue elsewhere, as well as continuing to write about “Alaska for Real” subjects on here. Thanks to everyone who’s helped and encouraged me to keep writing, even when it meant braving the elements to get to the good signal beach to send my column and photos in! Thanks especially to MC Martin who first hired me to write the column, and Clara Miller who has been a staunch supporter. Both of you have helped me to become a better writer, I appreciate you so much!


​In other news, the floatplane company has switched our once-a-week mail day (weather permitting) to Thursdays! For as far back as I can remember, for decades, Meyers Chuck’s mail day has always been on Wednesday. 

It would probably be a bigger shock to the system, except that the plane is almost always late and we’re accustomed to it being on Thursday. Still, such an epochal moment is worthy of notice.

Readers may also remember that the BBC contacted me about a possible show about the off-grid lifestyle in Southeast Alaska. A few producers even came out and did a film test and interview with my brother Jamie. Well, they’ve contacted me again and are interested in finding a large family in Alaska that lives off grid. If any of my readers know of such a family who would be interested in being part of a quality documentary-style TV show (the BBC does “Port Protection” and “Life Below Zero”) please contact me through my blog, or at alaskaforreal.tara@gmail.com.

That’s it for now, folks! I hope to get back to a more regular posting schedule in upcoming months.


​All photos are of the Meyers Chuck Post Office area; landscaping by the post mistress Catherine Peavey.

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