Sometimes life detours. Even the most organized plans can change and things don’t always happen as we expect. Especially when it comes to family life - a new baby, a marriage, a divorce, falling in love, a death - these are all things that can cause detours in our lives. This time on KTD, we’ve gathered touching, funny, amazing, heartbreaking and uniquely Alaskan stories from those who've experienced a detour in their life, learning how that detour ended up shaping them into the people they are today.
This week we take a detour and depart from our usual format as we present a collection of unique stories about our families, friends and Alaskan neighbors...Check back all this week when we post each story separately, many with photo albums.
• Detour: Mongolia to Alaska - An Alaskan novelist gave us the idea for this program a few months ago. She wrote to us to pitch a number of story ideas and she ended the list with this: I can imagine an entire show about life detours, including ones that ended happily, which must be a strong Alaska theme, given how people often wind up here in surprising ways. Andromeda Romano-Lax, author of The Detour, read an original essay on her life's biggest detour so far - from Mongolia to Alaska, a pregnancy, a death and a move. [LISTEN TO JUST THIS STORY]
• Detour: Suburban Ohio to Alaskan Homestead - Meet Jon and Karin Nierenberg, owners of EarthSong Lodge and Dog Sledding Adventures and find out how unexpected love detoured a single mom in suburban Ohio to move north to marry a dog musher she saw in a magazine. And how she, her rugged mountain man, three teenagers and dozens of sled dogs all came to live together on a remote Alaskan homestead. [LISTEN TO JUST THIS STORY]
• Detour: From Family to Foster to Family - The major detour in Cha'ron McCray's life happened a long time ago. Imagine being faced with a choice about who would raise you? And being given that choice when you were a still a child? Today, Cha'ron is a thriving, capable and beautiful young woman. She's a proud member of her family and a newly-minted East Anchorage High School graduate of achievement. [LISTEN TO JUST THIS STORY]
• Detour: From Juneau to Anchorage with Twins - Meet Dave and Amy Newman. For them, it was the decision to start a family, to try to get pregnant, that led to a major life detour - a move to a new city, and plenty of unexpected complications. [LISTEN TO JUST THIS STORY]
• Detour: From Dreams & Expectations to Reevaluation - We spoke with one young woman who isn't where she thought she'd be at age 32: she had every intention of being married and having children at this point in her life. Rebecca Lien is currently in the middle of a major life reorganization and she told us how it feels to lose almost everything - except hope.
Image via CallanX.com
• Detour: From Olympics to Injury to Olympics Again - Snowboarder Callan Chythlook-Sitsof, 23, competed in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver (the first Alaska Native to do so), then followed with her best season yet in 2011 and is now looking forward to the 2014 Olympics. We spoke to her to learn about handling all the detours that come with being an elite, international competitor and how family plays a big role in being a successful athlete. [LISTEN TO JUST THIS STORY]
• Detour: From Well Prepared to Emergency Handled - Even though we can't always anticipate life's detours, we can prepare for some things that might come up - like minor incidents when we're out and about in the Alaskan summertime. Dr. KTD, Michelle Laufer, helps us stock our First Aid kits and more.