Two Alaskan women have been making national headlines recently, but they are not the only extra-ordinary women in Alaska. Sarah Palin and Lisa Murkowski represent many outstanding women who make their homes in Alaska. Alaskan women are a special kind of person because they are capable of surviving and prospering under very difficult conditions. Even though many of the women live in Alaska simply because their husbands found work here, there are many others who live here because they have a great love for the Alaskan way of life.
My family has lived in Alaska for more than 37 years, but I will admit I moved to Alaska with the idea of spending one year here and then get on with our lives. My attitude changed as my husband and I drove up the Alaska Highway with our two babies because I simply fell in love with Alaska. We have often talked of moving out of Alaska, but we have never found any place that we like as much as we like Alaska. One of the reasons I like Alaska so much is the women who surround me. I am convinced that any woman who loves Alaska in spite of the cold, ice, and darkness of winter is a special woman in deed.
I have many Alaskan friends who live extra-ordinary lives but are not well known. Driving on icy roads and jumping car batteries are common activities for Alaskan women, but there are many other fun activities. My good friend Linda gets more excited about flying, hunting, fishing, camping, and exploring in Alaska than any person I know. Her enthusiasm and excitement are contagious, and I love to share these Alaskan activities with her. My friend Brenda decided to drive her children to school one day because the roads resembled icerinks. She found the school bus in the ditch not far from her home. Another friend named Linda visited Alaska in her younger years and was not content until her husband obtained work here. Within just a few years of moving to Alaska, she was able to convince most of her adult children to move their families here also. When her source of water froze early this winter, my daughter Jennifer simply walked out to the spring and hauled water back home. She may have used her dog sled and two sled dogs to haul it.
Sarah Palin and Lisa Murkowski are not the only Alaskan women who have made national headlines. Libby Riddle made history in 1985 when she became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. She was also featured on a float in the Tournament of Roses parade on January 1, 2009. The float was entitled "Celebrating Alaska - Spirit of the Wild" and won the award for "the best depiction of life in the U.S.
"Susan Butcher was another Alaskan woman who became famous for her dog handling skills when she became the second woman to win the Iditarod Race in 1986. She later became the second person to win the race four different years and the first to win four out of five sequential years. Alaska lost a powerful woman when Susan died of cancer in 2006.
Michelle Mitton is an Alaskan blogger who is known nationwide. I knew Michelle as a child and young woman, and I enjoy reading her blog about motherhood in Alaska.
Lisa Murkowski made national headlines when she embarked on a write-in campaign for an Alaska seat in the U.S. Senate. She was appointed to the seat by her father Frank Murkowski, and she won the seat two years later against Democrat Tony Knowles. She lost the 2010 Primary to Joe Miller, a TEA party backed candidate and went back on her word to drop out of the race. She became the first person to win a write-in contest in Alaska and the first Senator to win on a write-in vote in sixty years. These are notable accomplishments; however, her politics are not notable. She is a Republican in name only or a RINO. Her name is now linked with the most liberal Republicans in Congress. She won the write-in vote of unions and Alaska Natives by promising to bring more pork to them, and she voted for EVERY item on President Obama's wish list since the 2010 election. I've been told that she was "not smart enough" to be hired by an Alaskan law firm, and yet a majority of Alaskans chose her to be their Senator. Are the majority of Alaskans unintelligent also? I personally am ashamed to admit that she is my Senator!
Sarah Palin is a conservative Republican woman who put Alaska on the political map. She is very attractive and very conservative. She is either loved or hated by most people. I am proud of her as a "home town girl who made good." I applaud her for standing on conservative principles of pro-life and constitutional law. I am positive that it was not an easy decision to decide to give birth to a baby with Downs Syndrome. The fact that she chose life for her baby makes me consider her to be extra-ordinary. I like the fact that she is pro-military and pro-religion. I like the fact that she was able to score big when the ball was tossed to her. She was a little known governor when John McCain selected her to be his running mate, and she and her family have walked through fire since that day. I think that she has been able to turn everything she touches into gold, and I say, "More power to her. You go, girl!"
I am pleased to have the opportunity to know many outstanding Alaskan women personally as well as to know of many other extra-ordinary women who choose to live in Alaska.