Alaskans will manage, despite daily challenges, to embrace life and take conditions with a sense of adventure. Or humor. Or both.

Economically, Alaskans have been sheltered somewhat from the issues facing the Lower 48. However, one problem we face daily is the price of gasoline. At over $4/gallon, it is a struggle for many families of our nearby housing development to pay for gas and groceries with the same paycheck. For us, it means strategizing on who gets what car dependent upon the sort of travel required for that day. I am a travel writer covering stories in the nation's largest state, and driving for some distance is often required. Added to the transportation issue is our record snowfall; almost 200 inches. It is a daily struggle to maintain both our driveways and our vehicles, and we can't wait for spring to arrive, honestly.