Thursday, July 20, 2017

From Firetrap to Icebox

Is she jumping from a city firetrap factory into a wilderness icebox? 



In the third and final book in the Alaskan Waters series, Beside Still Waters, Violet Channing, orphaned at a young age, is tossed about by life's turbulent waters when the aunt who raised her dies. She wants nothing more than to be a schoolteacher. 

Living in a Boston tenement in 1915, barely able to survive, she accepts a job as a live-in teacher for a sick, motherless child in the harsh Yukon Territory. 

Sailing up the Inside Passage of Alaska, she falls in love with a dashing Yukon riverboat captain. Just when her life feels as beautiful as her new surroundings, tragedy strikes again. 


Can Violet allow her losses to make her better not bitter and learn to love again in this continuing saga of the loves, tragedies, and second chances of a Norwegian immigrant family who must battle the beautiful but often dangerous waters of early twentieth century Southeast Alaska?

Scenes Violet may have seen while traveling to the Yukon Territory:

Whales bubble feeding along the Inside Passage
Courtesy Google.com


Whale breaching along the Inside Passage
Courtesy Google.com



White Pass & Yukon Route Railway between
Skagway & Whitehorse
Courtesy Google.com
Lake Bennett, Yukon Territory,
Courtesy Google.com
Yukon Sternwheeler "Casca" mentioned in Beside Still Waters
Courtesy Google.com

Beside Still Waters, along with the other two books in the Alaskan Waters Trilogy, Till the Storm Passes By and A Star to Steer By, is published by Ambassador International and is available at Amazon.com (Kindle and paperback), BN.com (Nook and Paperback), Vyrso, and Christian bookstores. Visit my website at www.AnnaLeeConti.com or connect with me at Facebook.com/AnnaLeeConti.Author.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Said the Spider to the Fly...

During the summer, spiders build webs on my front porch as fast as I tear them down. When they glisten with dew in the early morning sun, I marvel at their creativity. But when I walk into them, frustration takes over. I've read that peppermint oil will discourage them, but I haven't tried it yet.


Today, I was sorting through a stack of papers I'd saved as a tickler file for my blog. You can understand why an anonymous item in an old youth magazine now defunct caught my eye. I thought you might enjoy it too:

Once a spider built a beautiful web in an old house. He kept it clean and shiny so that flies would patronize it. The minute he got a "customer," he would clean up on him so the other flies would not get suspicious.

Image result for fly
Then one day this fairly intelligent fly came buzzing by the clean spiderweb. Old man spider called out, "Come in and sit."

But the fairly intelligent fly said, "No, sir. I don't see other flies in your house, and I'm not going in alone!"

But presently, he saw on the floor below a large crowd of flies dancing around on a piece of brown paper. He was delighted! He was not afraid if lots of flies were doing it. So he came in for a landing.

Just before he landed, a bee zoomed by, saying, "Don't land there, stupid! That's flypaper!"

But the fairly intelligent fly shouted back, "Don't be silly. Those flies are dancing. There's a big crowd there. Everybody's doing it. That many flies can't be wrong!"

Well, you know what happened. He died on the spot.

Some of us want to be with the crowd so badly that we end up in a mess. What does it profit a fly (or a person) if he escapes the web only to end up in the glue? (to loosely paraphrase Mark 8:36).

In Matthew 7:13, 14, Jesus also warned that following the crowd will not lead to eternal life.



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lessons from the Juneau Gold Mill

When my grandparents, Charles and Florence Personeus*, landed in Juneau in 1917 to begin their missionary work there, the hard-rock gold mines were the primary industry. I recently came across Grandma's handwritten description of touring the gold mills and watching the process of separating the gold from the rock containing it and some spiritual lessons she derived from it. After my post last week about gold, I thought you might find this of interest as well.

Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine at south end of Juneau
Juneau is nestled at the foot of two mountains, Mt. Juneau and Mt. Roberts. In the heart of Mt. Roberts was one of the largest, richest gold mines of Alaska. It employed about 650 workers.

Gray rocks containing the gold were dug out of the mountain and brought by trains through a tunnel to the mill located above the lower end of the town. The trains emptied the rocks into a large receiver where they tumbled down into large crushers. If they were too large, they were first blasted into smaller pieces about a foot in diameter.

Gold bearing white quartz
The tumbling rocks were sprayed with a powerful stream of clear water. As the mud and muck were washed away, white quartz in which the gold was imbedded began to show through.

The white quartz must then be separated from the useless gray rock. As the rocks fell from the crusher, they were met by another stream of clear water before they landed on a moving belt about two feet wide. On each side of the belt stood a long line of men, called pickers. As the belt moved past them, they snatched off each rock that showed even the tiniest bit of white. The belt carried those that showed no white to the rock dumps to be discarded.

The rocks that showed white went to another crusher, where they were broken into smaller pieces. They were again washed and carried to another moving belt for the same separating process. Finally, the crushed pieces went into the tumbling barrels, which contained many iron balls. As they tumbled over and over, the heavy balls pounded the little pieces of rock almost to powder, which could be poured out like a stream of dirty water.

At this stage, the slurry was ready to be poured onto large slanting tables with ridges from end to end that vibrated back and forth while the fine crushed rock was continually washed with water. The gold, being the heaviest, settled into the spaces between the ridges, while the water carried away the dross.

Inside the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine
Along with the gold ore were other metals such as iron and silver. They were useful too, but the gold must be separated even from them. Some of the gold let go easily. It was called "free gold." It fell out first into the top grooves of the tables. These little gold nuggets were gathered up with great care and formed into gold bricks.

Much of the gold, however, clung to the other metals. The "concentrates" had a dirty gray appearance and had to be refined by fire.

Grandma wrote that as she watched the rocks being washed and crushed and separated and tumbled repeatedly, she was reminded of how the trials of our faith bring us to spiritual maturity. We need to have the washing of water of God's Word continually applied to our hearts to reveal the pure gold hidden under the grit and grime of sin.

The process is not easy. Just as the other metals cling to the gold, the sinful nature clings tenaciously to us. Some things, like the iron and silver that cling to the gold, may not be sin in our lives, but they weigh us down and hinder us in our Christian walk. We need to let them go.

But don't lose heart. We used to sing a chorus, "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me." Each step brings us nearer to having His image revealed in us. If we persevere through the trials that seem to crush us, we shall soon come forth as pure gold.


*You can read the complete story of the Personeuses in my book, Frontiers of Faith, available at www.AnnaLeeConti.com.