In Alaska and Back With You Again

Oh My! So much has happened since I last posted, and I wish I could catch you up on all of it. I can’t wait to have some regular time with you again and I want you to know how grateful I am to you for continuing to check in and for being patient with me.

IMG_3307We are finally pretty well settled in Alaska, but it took us a little longer than usual. Life is always crazy as we gear up for the new fishing season and we’re never quite sure what the summer will bring, but rarely do we expect it to include a hazmat suit! Unfortunately, this year started with an unexpected and unwelcome guest–a bat!–that lived AND died (and pooped freely I’d like to add) in our sleep cabin. After a near panic attack, I got to work tearing out everything that wasn’t attached, throwing it away, and bleaching and repainting every remaining surface. This left Jon to do the fishing prep and site work all alone, so we started out a little behind but managed to be mostly ready for the first day of fishing on the 22nd in spite of it all.

Jon and the girls and I were on our own for the first day’s catch until our crew flew in that evening. He was gracious and didn’t complain about having to do the majority of the work, and I didn’t complain (much) about swollen fingers from picking fish again.

IMG_3353 IMG_3349So, now life is life again without too many surprises. It is both a simple life and a challenging one on this beach in Clam Gulch. We have a beautiful inlet view, fresh salty air, and great fishing neighbors who look after one another. Still, I occasionally walk into the cook cabin and wish I could turn a thermostat up instead of stoke a burned-out fire in the wood stove. On those cold, rainy days, I mumble, maybe even grumble, on my way to the outhouse. And at the end of a long day, there is nothing quite as irritating as crawling exhausted into a bed that feels like sandpaper–there is NO WAY to keep the beach out of our beds!

In the midst of all of it though, my family grows closer in spite of bumping into each other way too many times in a 14ftX10ft cook cabin, we learn more lessons about who we are and what we’re capable of, and we close the season knowing we’re blessed with an incredible life. This beach is where memories are made. Some that are amazing. Some that are only good after we’ve gotten through them. And many more that I wouldn’t trade for a cushy life anywhere.

In Delaware, I wear many hats that include homeschool mama, occasional speaker, so-so bookkeeper for our business, and part-time blogger.

Here in Alaska, I’m just Rita–a full-time mama and part-time fisherman who loves to share her life with you. Thanks for sharing yours with me as well.

And now, I have a summer list to get to :-),

If nothing fails, I will be here next week.

School’s Out, Adventure’s In–My Summer Fun List

As a mom of four kids elementary-aged to adult, I know that any list I make is likely to remain unfinished and leave me feeling under-accomplished. However, my summer fun list is different. It’s meant to be too long to finish, and the excitement is in the tackling, not the completing.

As I pack for Alaska, I’m looking forward to settling into our primitive beach world filled with fishing gear and aluminum skiffs, along with lots of new adventures. Your summer might not include searching for starfish or ocean glass, but hopefully you’ll find something here to inspire you to make a few of your own new memories nonetheless.

So here’s our list:

  • Walk on the mud flats barefoot.

    Hopefully, I don't end up like this.

    Hopefully, I don’t end up like this.

  • Take a hike or two or three.
  • Go beach combing to find the largest agate or most ocean glass ever (Kaila always wins this one!).
  • Visit Seward on a sunny day this year.
  • Hang out with friends with absolutely nothing to do but drink coffee and talk about whatever comes to mind.
  • Browse the new outdoor market in the nearby town.
  • Have a high tide party with friends.

    Last year's fun

    Last year’s fun

  • Take everyone to get an ice cream cone, which I’ll pay way too much for, and this time make it a double dip.
  • Look for bears at Russian River Falls.
  • Climb the bluff on the beach and slide down with my kids despite my fear of heights.
  • Roast marshmallows and not count how many I’ve eaten.
  • Read all day if I feel like it.
  • Put a puzzle together with my kids.
  • Explore a tidepool.

    An early morning find.

    A tidepool find.

  • Make ocean glass art with Kaila and my incredibly talented friend, Gina.
  • Watch my girls jump on their friends’ trampoline.
  • Jump with them–I highly recommend going to the bathroom first :-).
  • Go on another whale-watching tour.
  • Jog with my son.
  • Cook over the campfire.
  • Enjoy the sunset.


    I never tire of this view.

  • Remind myself that each day with the people who call me Hon, and Mama, and Friend is a gift, and I don’t want to waste it.


How about you? What’s on your list for a purposely amazing summer?


You Are Why I’m Here

Family Photo copyIt’s official. I bought our tickets back to Alaska for another season of fishing which means my life is a whirlwind until I step on that plane.

It’s already begun, so I’ve missed chatting with you these last couple of weeks. I was so grateful to share my friend Katrina’s post for the Mother’s Day weekend because I knew you’d be blessed (If you missed it, you can catch it here: But afterward, life did what it does and went a little crazy for me. Our business is thriving which means lots of work. The homeschool year is winding down, which also means lots of work. And since we’re gearing up to head back to Alaska, it means–yep, you guessed it–lots of work.

So it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve shared with you and I’ve missed you. It’s funny that despite a screen separating us, I know we’re connected. Over the last year, this blog has moved from something I enjoy to something I deeply care about and that’s because of you. I love chatting with you and hearing from you in return. Each week, as I grab a cup of coffee and sip, I type with you in mind. I just want you to know that.

It’s been more than a year since I began writing here at Mothers With a Mission, and I’ve learned a lot. I still struggle with the technical side of things and I still find myself at 2 a.m. trying to change an image or fix a link, so I still have lots to learn. But one thing I want most to learn is more about you because you are why I’m here. I want to make your journey as a woman and as a mother a little smoother, with a little more joy and a lot less worry along the way. I want you to find a safe place here where you are encouraged and inspired, believing that you have a purpose that only you can fulfill.

In just over three weeks, I’ll be on our little stretch of beach we call home for the summer. It’s there that I get to unplug and actually have words roll into complete thoughts all in one sitting. Imagine that! Before I go, I’m hoping to send out a survey (if I can figure out this survey program :-/). I hope you take the time to fill it out so I can learn from you and better serve you when I return in the fall. I promise it will not be wasted time. Oh, I’ll still post from Alaska, but since I have no electricity there, consistency is a challenge, but I’ll do my best.

Until then, be looking for that survey, and I’ll be looking forward to our next time together.