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I am forced to post: my first two Instagrams: Grandma shovels food into toddler; train rumbles past Wasilla's most desirable condominiums


Dammit. I don't know. I am only supposed to post on Wednesdays, but then too many things keep happening that force me to post. Sunday, it was my birthday. Monday, I had to put something up to push my birthday down from the top of the page. Thankfully, the two boys came to my rescue carrying fireweed.

Now it's Instagram forcing me to post. I actually loaded Instagram into my iPhone late last summer on the same day Lavina picked fresh raspberries from the wild plants that grow in our yard. Hence, my Instagram profile picture of her hand with raspberries in it.

But, before I could actually Instagram a single image, I read the agreement and I didn't like it so I did not Instagram anything. But Instagram is everywhere now. It is even replacing not only the 4x5 but even the 8x10 view camera. Not really, of course, but some pretty amazing things are coming out of it. 

So are some pretty unamazing things, utilizing the special effects to a pointless end.

I probably still would not have tried it just yet, but when I went on coffee break today I forgot to put a memory card in my camera. I did not discover this until I pulled up to a stoplight, a train came by, I took a picture and then got the message - no memory card. I was really upset. That picture of the train that didn't get saved was the best single picture I had ever taken in my life. It would have made my career. By next week, I would have been standing in the Louvre in front of a 38 by 50 foot print of it lecturing people.

"Here comes the train along the Parks Highway in Wasilla," I would lecture the awestruck crowd.

But no, for lack of a memory card I lost it. Still, I felt a need to get a picture of the train. I thought maybe I could catch it as it passed by the most exclusives and desirable condominiums in Wasilla and photograph it with my iPhone. After my light turned green, that's just what I did. I caught up to it, pulled off to the side of the road and shot it as it went by.

"I should make this my first Instagram!" I thought afterward.

But when I got home and looked at it, it was a boring picture. It was underexposed - way too dark.

Still, I now had Instagram on my mind, so I scrolled backwards to the last previous iPhone series of pictures I had taken and found Margie, shoveling food into Lynxton. So Instagramed it and here it is. My very first Instagram.

Then I thought, well, I might as well Instagram the train, too, and see what happens. So this it, the train going past the most exclusive and desirable condominium in Wasilla. In fact, it is the most desirable residence in Wasilla, period.

Sometimes, when I lie in bed late on a hot night with the window open, I hear the train whistle and the clickety clack as it goes down the track. I love that sound. So soothing. And that's from 2.5 miles away! People who live in these condomiums really get to hear it in a way I can only dream of. That's what makes living here so diserable. Residents can sleep with the sound assurance that when the train comes by they will be woken up so they can hop out of bed, run to the window and watch it go by.

Not only that, but everytime Wasilla hits 92 degrees, as it did for the first time in early June, they can look out their window and see beautiful ladies sauntering down the beach at Wasilla Malibu, just across the road from the railroad track.

The sad thing is, I posted my first Instagram ever on Instagram four hours ago, followed an hour later with the train. I can't tell for sure, but it appears to me that neither have attracted a single visitor.

Worse yet, I figured I had better start following a few other Instagramers. So I typed "Alaska"into the search engine and randomly selected a few from there, just to do it. Then I typed "Wasilla" and I think I did the same thing. Next I typed "Burn" and did a click to follow Burn Magazine. I didn't need to, because I see Burn anyway, but thought I would do it as experiment.

I thought this meant I would get a note telling me these folks had all posted and I could go check them out if I wanted. But no. When they post, their pictures come up on my Instagram page and some of them already have lots of comments and I've got no comments, so it feels kind of lonely for me on Instagram.


Update, 11:46 PM: I discovered how to see if anybody had checked it out. At least three people have. But nobody checked "like." So it feels even more lonely on Instagram now. It wouldn't be so bad if Margie was home. But she's in Anchorage, babysitting Lynxton.

At least I got the cats.


Update, 12:14 AM, July 17: I just discovered that I hadn't really discovered if anybody had checked it out. Those three people I referenced were actually just one - me. I had added three (now four) comments to clarify a few things. The count was of comments, not visitors. 

Reader Comments (4)

Is it OK to like them here? I don't understand what Instagram is! I visit here everyday, but due to time, I don't always post. Just wanted to tell you I like them all and my day isn't complete without stopping by. I don't have a Metro to go pick up coffee, so just enjoy it with my Bunn coffee from my kitchen. Guess you call me a barista of half-caf with Coffeemate Pepermint/Mocha! I can even enjoy your pictures with a glass of water. I could swear I have seen those same condominiums in CO but not with that yellow train passing by. You are fortunate. We do have a train 2 miles away but most are coal trains and not as pretty! I can only come here to see Margie shovel food into Lynxston! So glad I don't have to wait for just Weds. posts! Thanks!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrsGunka

I visit here every day as well. And I like everything you do..... You are one of the bright lights in my life as most of the time you leave me sitting here with a big grin on my face. If it is something sad, you always have something uplifting to go with it. If it is amazingly beautiful, it makes my heart sing. Thank you.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

But it IS Wednesday, so of course you must post!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Schiff

Mrs. Gunka, Instagram is a smart phone app that has different settings to apply to phone pictures to stylize them a bit. Sure you can like them here - except I don't have a "like" button. Sometimes, coal cars come by too. And oil tanker cars. And this time of year, tourist coaches.

Nancy - I don't know how such a thing could be, but, thank you for sharing that with me. It helps.

Naomi - Yes, it is Wednesday - for just under two more hours. So that's how long I've got.

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