Alaskan Silver Knife Fight 

  Pin caught the man’s hand inches from his chest. It was a knife fight. The only problem, his opponent had both of them.  Fortunately, they were in the woods, Pin sidestepped his attacker and rammed the man’s hand into the tree.

The bark caught the blade. Pin grabbed for the other weapon while he tried to pull it free.  Things were more even now, if you ignore the size difference.  The Frenchman was two times as big as the Sergeant, in both height and weight.

Once his blade was free, he swiped at Pin’s face, and connected.  Blood dripped from the cut near his eye.  Pin knew his only hope was slowing the man down, so he went for his free hand.  Hands are sensitive when cut in the right place, and the man growled in pain.  

While he adjusted to his new problem, the Sergeant dove towards the icy water a few feet away.  The man caught Pin’s ankle, “I don’t intend to let the waters have you. I want to kill you myself. The bosses will pay good money for you.”

As I had said, Pin dove towards the icy water, but he had no intention of going in.  The Frenchman was right, the icy water would have killed him. The sharp rocks at the bank’s edge however, might rescue him.

He felt like David, as he hurled the biggest stone he could grab at the man’s temple.  The move worked, dazing and disorienting the Pick Axe’s hired gun.  Pin took his freed feet and kicked with all his might.  

He knocked the giant backwards, and ran.  Carl’s cabin was a few miles from here, if he could make it there, he could reload.  Carl kept a stockpile of ammunition for hunting necessary game.  Pin was tired of being on this end of the bear hunt.

Find out what happens at the cabin next week in Alaskan Silver.

Carve It Out 

  
Last night I watched woodcarvers in Africa and an amazing competition. Warriors, weapons, and animals were carved out of wood. The winner created a small handheld, delicate piece with two Antelope. It was ironic that such a fast animal took two days to produce.

Simple materials resulted in uncommon beauty. The rich colors were accented by markers and shoe polish. Don’t judge what your resources can create before you’ve accomplished your goal.

This is the place where you normally read the names of people who achieved greatness with nothing. Instead, today lets look at your resources. First, no matter who you are, or when you’re reading this, you are alive at a pivotal moment.

Every person whoever achieved anything, altered the time they were in, with what they had. The key wasn’t their resources, or their creativity, but their determination. They found a way to use what they had to change their world.

Second, you are smarter than you think. Intelligence isn’t based on education, nor is there only one kind of it. Whether your strength lies in facts, figures, or fixing things, you are smarter than you give yourself credit for.

We are in the Information Age, if you’re lacking a skill, it’s a few clicks away. If we have the heart to try, our brains have the ability to learn. Every skill needed is attainable, we just have to attempt it.

Third, you have a unique perspective. Only you have seen, lived, and overcame your battles. Others may have similar circumstances, but your life is a snowflake. Every person is created by God to be one of a kind. Therefore you have something to bring to the table that no one else can.

You have the perspective, the intelligence, and the opportunity to change your world, you just need the confidence to try. Make today the start of your new adventure. You don’t have to fly to Paris, but you could start learning a new language.  

Whatever your goal, begin carving it out. They’ll be some marks and scuffs along the way, but they will just decorate your story. Before you know it, you’ll produce something of uncommon beauty out of your everyday resources.

Alaskan Silver St Louis

  The man on the train was Lucas Shelton, but people called him St Louis.  The rumor was it was because of a fight he once had there. Others said it was the style of music he played.  He knew it was because of the trademark on his luggage. An old college roommate had given him the monicker, he liked and kept it.

St Louis had never been to his namesake, until today.  “Mr Shelton, I have the package.”  The tall African American man got up and looked at the case, and his reflection in it.  He wasn’t looking at his shaved head or blue eyes, but at the face of the man behind him.
Searching for a telling smirk, a nervous twitch, or some clue as to his emotions.  The broker didn’t reveal them, which meant St Louis had to carry on.  He opened the case, and counted the money. “Fifty thousand, perfect.  When do you want it to happen?”  

“It may be tomorrow, it may be ten years from now. Just be in place, and you’ll get one of these cases every six months until your job is over.”  “That’s a lot of money, are you that rich?”  “No, but our backers are.  Is it a deal?”  St Louis nodded, and soon he was back on a train.

Next he would reach California, buy everything he needed, and board a boat to Alaska.  St Louis was setting up shop, and he was going to make sure it was a huge one.  He cleaned his gun, and then played a tune on his clarinet to pass the time.

It was his own creation, a melancholy piece called, “Life and Death Of A Hero.”  St Louis kept tweaking the melody.  The beginning and middle were finally okay, but he didn’t like the ending.

Tune in next week for another Alaskan Silver! 

Cold Night Hot Coffee

  A hot cup of coffee on a cold winter’s night. They are at different ends of the spectrum, but each, is one of my favorite things. The combining of these two opposites remind me of how beautiful relationships are.

Whether it’s a spouse, a friend, or a co-worker, we have a choice. Our differences can either separate us, or be a tool to bring us closer together. Cold and hot, big and small, applied correctly, compliment each other.  

This doesn’t mean that it’s always natural, or even easy, but it does prove that it’s worth it. The coffee didn’t make the night less cold, and the cold didn’t make it any hotter. What they did together was to affect my situation. They brought me pleasure.

Many people try to change their partner, which results in lukewarm relationships. The only person I can change is myself, and that’s a full time job. Changing myself is beneficial, trying to force change in someone else is not. Instead, if I can find common ground, our differences can work together to alter a situation.

If the relationship needs work, we’re better served by working with the other person. In World War II, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt, were two very strong, but different men. The two formed one of the greatest alliances in history. They realized they faced something far more dangerous than their own egos, or personal preferences. The fate of the world was at stake.

While the free world may not be on the line, our individual world is worth fighting for. My preferences aren’t nearly as important as the people that I value. The more I invest in the relationship, the more those who love me invest in it too.  

We’re often tempted to think that we are the only one working, but that is rarely true. We are just approaching it differently, because we are different. We both are looking at the same picture, from individual points of view.

If someone you love and yourself are struggling right now, try this. Separate, as much as you can, from the emotions that are swirling around you. Remind yourself of all the times they’ve shown you their love.  

If that person has proven that they care, you know they have your best interest at heart. You’re both working towards the same goal, just taking two different roads to get there. Once you see that, look for a way to make the two ends meet. 

An intersection isn’t the merging of two streets, it’s the connecting of them. Each car has to stop for them to work properly, people are no different. We have to stop, yield, and wait our turn. 

When we do, we each reach our goal, when we don’t, a collision happens. Then we must deal with the aftermath of opposites trying to get their way. The right of way is never worth a crash.

There are unhealthy relationships that people should get out of, but the majority of people in our lives love us. They only want what’s best for us, even if they have a different opinion of what that is. Just remember, different doesn’t mean wrong, it just means different.

You each want the same thing. The two of you may need to set and talk about your goals. Approach it by recognizing that you’re both trying. Discuss what is working, and what isn’t. You may find common ground over a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter’s night.

Alaskan Silver Strangers

  A knock at the door, a brief conversation, a man grabs his hat and coat. He throws some things in a suit case and heads out, stopping only for half a cup of coffee.  The business he’s on is that urgent, and that deadly.

Hundreds of miles removed from our heroes, his meeting directly involves both them and their enemies.  The meeting does not go well.  Anger ensues, threats are made, and things look bleak.  As he turns to leave,  he tries one last time.

The thought had just occurred to him.  It was risky, but what did he have to lose now?  He shares it quickly, before they can object.   It doesn’t subside all of the animosity, but it cuts just enough of it.

They agree, with conditions, and the man is off.  He is tired, and a little shaky, his health isn’t what it seems, but he buys his ticket.  A train ride begins that will seal the fate of an entire state.  People’s current and future well being depends on the outcome, as does the life of Alaskan Silver!  

Meet the man on the train in next week’s episode of Alaskan Silver.