My name is Amber Cunningham and I am an Inupiaq lady from Unalakleet, Alaska. I am lucky to call myself the mother of 3 kids: Keane (11), Brian (10), and Cassidy (2). I work for the Bering Strait School District as the Student Registrar. In my free time, I enjoy blogging, traveling, baking, berrypicking, boating, and spending time with family.
As you all know, I am in the process of writing my second book. At this point in time, I am looking for someone to illustrate my book. If interested, please submit your best drawing of an Irigak (little person). A colored illustration is a must!
You can message it to me on Facebook or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s that time of the year again! Iron Dog racers pulled into Unalakleet yesterday. Reuben’s friend, Casey Perkins, is running Trail Class and is staying at our house. He pulled into town just after 5 pm. Last night after 4 am, two Pro Class teams came to stay at our house as well. We were expecting Scott Faeo and his teammate, Chad Gueco, but we ended up housing another team as well. The other team is Jordan Starr and Joshua Plumb. I feel bad that they are sleeping on the couch, but it is better than sitting at the garage. They are all really nice guys!
The Iron Dog officials put all of the racers on mandatory hold due to severe weather around the sound. All racers will be stuck in Unalakleet until tomorrow morning. I am not complaining because I like the company.
It’s always fun to listen to their stories about the trail. Casey was telling us about how one Pro Class team has flown up rigs to several checkpoints just to use for parts. Now that is determination! The racers’ gear was soaked from the overflow so our dryer was pretty busy. Casey asked us where our winter went. Haha! He said there was lots of snow up until Kaltag, then BAM it was nothing but wet trails. I can’t imagine the trail between Unalakleet and Nome. With all the high water and wind, it has to be pretty bad.
When I went to pick up Casey at UNC Garage yesterday, three other Trail Class racers pulled in. Their rigs were beautiful colors. I went to compliment one of them about his purple rig and he explained to me that it was for Pancreatic cancer awareness. His teammates drove light green and light blue rigs covered in “Be Alive”. The racer driving the green rig just recovered from Lymphoma. The racer driving the blue rig was running for his mother who had passed away from colon cancer. They call their team “Be Alive”. I respect that.
Since I have to work, I made breakfast early and left it for the racers. I didn’t want to wake them since they had been up past 4 last night. Every time the Iron Dog and Iditarod teams pass through, they are all I can think of. The whole town comes together to greet the teams as they pull in, even at odd hours of the night. I can’t wait to see who wins. Last time Scott Faeo stayed with us, he and his partner Eric Quam got 1st place.
Last week as we were getting ready for bed: Keane was brushing his teeth in the living room while watching cartoons and I was putting Cassidy down in our bedroom, when he comes running into my room to tell me something. “Mom! There’s a…. there’s a a a (really trying to think of the name) white animal in the living room!”
At first I brush it off, thinking that he is just pulling my leg. So I tell him, “No there isn’t. Stop lying. You are just tired. Now go to bed!” He’s like, “No really!!! It’s out there! It’s by the steps!”
Now I am really bugged, but can’t imagine sleeping if there really were a white animal in my house so I follow him out into the living room and we do a search. First we check by the stairs… Nothing. Then we look down the stairs… still nothing. Then we search the kitchen… nothing. We go into Keane’s bedroom. I tell Keane, “Look under your bed.” I told him to look because I sure as heck wasn’t going to! I could just imagine lifting the blanket and sticking my head to the floor and something jumping out at me. He looks at me like I’m crazy. “No! You look!”
Neither of us look because we are both too scared. Instead we start walking out of the room and Keane yells “Right there!” and points to the kitchen.
This prompted Reuben to come out of the bedroom to see what was going on. He goes into the living room as I stand in the hallway looking on. Cassidy comes out into the kitchen to see all the commotion. Reuben shakes the couch and sure enough, Keane was not lying!!! A little white animal runs from under the couch and down the stairs!
I start shrieking at the sight of the little whiteERMINE as I run into Keane’s bedroom and jump onto his top bunk. I didn’t even think to grab Cassidy. It was a “Save yourself” moment. Poor baby girl didn’t know what was going on. Anyways, right after seeing the ermine we packed up clothes and went and spent the night at my in-laws.
I still don’t know how the “little white animal” got in, but we haven’t seen it since. We have a trap set up in the crawl space. Maybe it ran away and was too scared to come back after hearing me shriek bloody murder! 😛
This is bush living. Some people have pet dogs. Apparently we have a pet ermine.