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RE: "North to Alaska?"

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I recommend that you take the offer, but leave your wife at home.  Seriously, she will miss the grandkids much more than she will ever miss you.  Just head up there by yourself (with a good cell phone plan) and rent a one bedroom apartment.  I have spent several years of my life in Alaska, even though I have always maintained my home and my family in Texas.  In 1976, I did an unavoidable nine-month tour of duty up there (mostly offshore and in the Arctic) ... temporarily leaving behind a pregnant wife and a toddler.  That seemed really hard at the time, but in retrospect, it probably saved our marriage. 
Anchorage and Seward are two of my favorite small towns.  You will find that the time will "fly by" and you will be home before you know it.  Also, in this election year, you will be performing a public service.  Texas has more conservatives than we need (if such a thing is possible), while Alaska still has an unacceptable hoard of liberals.
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas