Our Alaskan Family: The Lowe Family

The Lowes

The Lowes

Vancouver, Canada, September 2015

Yes, we have met a lot of people on our way, and yes we often say they are the best and as a result of that meeting we became friends, and yes this is a yet another story about that. However this family which I am about to introduce stole our hearts for so many reasons, they have looked after us in such a special way that we believe we will never be able to repay all that they did for us. We do, nonetheless, expect that they give us a fighting chance to do that when they visit us somewhere in Mexico or in Germany or even down the line in the US before we arrive to Tijuana.

The Family

The Family

This beautiful family is made-up by Bernice (mom), Jim (dad), Elise (teen daughter one) and Omi (kid daughter 2). Their charming house in Anchorage, where they live and where they housed us, resonates like a beautiful punk rock lullaby where outbursts of cheer, laughter, barks, kikiriki and yells are heard everyday all day.

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Annika and Bernice

 Our Alaskan Family

We were lucky to end up with them thanks again to the great hospitality site of warm showers, a site that Jim and Bernice have been using for quite a while now in the hopes to teach their daughters people from other cultures as well as the reward of being able to assist others by the virtue of generosity. Nothing can define them more than that, generosity. They give all their attention when you are speaking, all their support when you need it the most, all the time that they can and all the love that you are able to receive from them.

But their generosity does not only reach humans, but animals as well, as they often take in injured birds, dogs or chickens and the nurture them to health. Their dogs Ella and Merlin are fantastic, and even though most of the people might think that they are very energetic to the point of annoyance I just see two extremely happy dogs in a world where animals have been left as second class beings.

Merlyn the Certified Sniff Dog Champ

Merlyn the Certified Sniff Dog Champ

We know all of this because we were able to spend 2 and a half weeks with them and another house sitting their home and one of their dogs, Ella. In those three weeks we were able to participate as Parks of Alaska volunteers grooming the garden of the science center that organizes camps for kids to learn how to live in the outdoors. We hiked together with Ella, Merlin, Bernice and Omi to the almost top of a beautiful view of the Alaskan landscape. We cooked for them tacos de papa that Elise, who is vegetarian for animal protection reasons, enjoyed heaps. Jim helped me fix my bicycle by devising a creative solution for a problem we had with my front hub and ended up sponsoring the glasses that I am using now to see crystal clear.

Elise

Summer and Elise

But of all the amazing things they did for us, there was one we never saw coming. It was the second night of our trip and Bernice kept asking us where we were on our cell phone. We tried to give her an update as soon as we could, until we told her that we might stay on a camp ground owned by the state. As we had just arrived and after a couple of minutes of parking my bicycle I saw Elise coming to our camp area carrying a Pizza! My mind did not register what I was seeing and it took me a couple of seconds to figure out what was going on.

Merlin hiking the bird's ridge

Merlin hiking the bird’s ridge

Then I saw Bernice with the two dogs, Omi and finally Jim and Summer (Elise´s best friend) with another pizza a salad and 64oz of locally brewed beer. They had come all the way from Anchorage to meet us here and bring Moose´s Tooth pizza, probably the best pizza we had ever had in years (together with Heather’s and Col’s wood oven pizza)! We could not believe our eyes, Annika jumped from where she was sitting and after that it was all cheer and laughter, I hugged Jim and Bernice and pet the dogs who were also happy to see us. We spend the afternoon together, Omi jumping into the river, Elise used the mud to paint Omi’s face as if she was a shaman singing to the four winds as we all laughed of her occurrence. So, the day ended and it was time to say goodbye or in our case till next time.

Omi

Omi

Singing in the Rain 2

Dancing the Rain Dance

Singing in the River

Singing in the River

Spending so much time with this family, made us realize how much we want a family of our own, because even though children bring a bit of what I call fun chaos, they are truly a gift, to be able to share moments of happiness with your family as the Lowes did.

Till Next Time

Till Next Time

I do not think they realized that, but this family marked our hearts for all of our years to come, and they taught us a lot of what it means to be a beautiful family, even though it is not a perfect one as the ones they falsely portray on the TV. We hope to see them soon!

Read more about our first weeks in Alaska in our blog entry Cycling the Glenn Highway

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  1. Mary Lou Wright says:

    I am Jimmy’s mother and I don’ get to visit in Alaska very often. I felt like I was there with all of you. What a great time you had. I am proud of my two beautiful grand daughters. Hope you all remain friends and have another great time together. Mary Lou Wright

    • Hello Mrs Wright,
      thanks so much for that lovely comment! Jim, Bernice and the girls will always be in our hearts and we so much hope to see them soon again! They have made us feel like we have a home and a family in Alaska.
      Have a great day,
      Annika & Roberto

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