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Like it did a lot of people, the 2008 Recession bit me. My youngest son had spent Summer 2009 driving tour buses in Alaska and so when Summer 2010 rolled around, still no employment in sight, he said, "Why don't you go apply to be a tour guide at Jewell Gardens in Skagway? You love gardening," he added, sensing my trepidation. "It'll be an adventure," he tried. Finally, "They hire old people, Mum."

So I found myself acting as a tour guide through the country's only certificed organic garden for both horticulture and agriculture. I've never been surrounded by so much beauty, so consistently.

Housing's an issue in Skagway. Charlotte Jewell, owner of the garden, graciously allowed me to live in her little gold rush cabin; however, I became ill from the black mold. I ended up moving "next door" to Robert Murphy's Alaska Excursions--living in his restored meatlocker. Good times...

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