For quite awhile my sweetheart and I have talked and dreamed about going to Alaska. It’s something we really want to do but it hasn’t happened yet. It’s on our list – near the top! So, while we think and dream and plan, we love to read all we can about the beauty of our state to the north. And when there’s a chance to see photos – especially those of someone we know – it’s an inspiration to keep planning to make our dream come true.
I have a friend – a dear blog friend – who has been to Alaska and brought it back through her photography. Donna began to share Alaska photos shortly after I discovered her blog (Cottage Days and Journeys) - and I must say that I was mesmerized! I was enchanted and as I studied each photo she shared I commented and told her of our dream. She encouraged us to go – even suggested that we should join them on their last trip! Since that wasn’t possible, I was content to see Alaska through her eyes. Donna continued to encourage me and inspire me – and then one day last fall she announced a give-away. She was giving away two photo books she had ‘published’. All I had to do was comment often through the months of November and December – and hope and pray that my name would be drawn. The first place winner would have her choice of books – one was a variety of photos from around Alaska and the other was all about the brown bears of Alaska. I would have been happy with either book, but my heart really longed for the one with a variety of photos from all around Alaska. The day came for the drawing and then – Donna sent me an email telling me that my name had been the first drawn. Oh – oh – oh! I could hardly believe it. Soon the book was on its way to my home and when it arrived there was a sweet, little note tucked inside. On one of Donna’s handmade notecards.When I removed the tissue paper – there it was. I’m sure I must have squealed with delight!I knew exactly where this beautiful book belonged. It is at home on my vintage trunk/coffee table – for everyone who comes by to see. And it has been seen. And admired.The first page sets the scene for the rest of the book. Then – pages and pages of gorgeous photos. My photos of the pages can’t possibly do it justice. There is wildlife and breathtaking scenery. . .And some of the brown bears of Alaska.Flora and Tundra and exquisite carvings. . .And the most fascinating rustic towns and photos of ice and snow so real you can almost feel the chill.At the end, a graphic and a few words that wrap it all up. . .And a sweet note and autograph.I love beautiful coffee table books. I’ve gathered a few – some by famous photographers. But this one is the best. It’s a treasure – a gift from the heart of a dear friend. Given with love and a note that encourages us to enjoy the photos. With hopes that we will see them in person someday. Soon. I placed two special pieces of my Willow Tree collection beside my new book. One piece (Wisdom) was given to me by my dear, little mother – and one (Spirited Child) was from my daughter. A mother, reading, and a daughter, listening. And I smile every time I walk by.Donna also made two desktop calendars to give away. You can see one of them here.