With idealistic pioneering Alaskans for parents, newborn Atwood Cutting was transported home from the hospital on a snow mobile. Upon opening the front door of their hand-hewn house, her mother was surprised to find the nursery looking like a scene from Gettysburg, all charred and steaming. Her dad had dried the leaking basement out with a propane torch, just before the arrival.The little girl would have to get used to roughing it soon enough. Why not start at one week old? In they went.
Atwood loved those childhood years on their private mountain, and she was sorely distressed when her parents packed up their kit bags and moved the kids south. In researching and writing SLEEPING MOOSE SAGA she has finally come to understand Tim and Kate’s painful decision to leave their Utopian dream behind.
Her teens were spent in the good old Midwest, where she did all the things red-blooded American youth do in those small mid-western towns, and then she was off to Italy, Ecuador, and the great, untapped world beyond.
In college Cutting majored in the arts, and then “rounded out” her education with a Master’s degree in “aesthetic expression.” She presently lives in Colorado where she and her husband, a “poetic soul” are refurbishing a 1962 Shasta Astrodome trailer to call their own tiny home on wheels.
Kate Cutting Peters
Kate Cutting Peters, the youngest of six children, probably began to develop her humorous storytelling-style in order to be noticed amid the six-foot tall siblings who surrounded her. Dubbed a “free spirit” as a girl, she blissfully rode her horse barebacked and barefooted through the endless fields and apricot orchards surrounding the family home. Then, at a much-too-tender age, she was ripped away from her hilltop in California and plopped down to live in Honolulu, Hawaii. How rude!
After graduating from college in the Islands Kate lusted after spiritual adventure,so she headed north to Alaska, “to experience a winter,” as she tells it. There she met Tim, a fellow-adventurous soul, and the two set off to explore their life stories together.
The fictional biography, SLEEPING MOOSE SAGA, written by her daughter, conveys Kate Peters’ take, on what “modern” pioneering on America’s Last Frontier was like.
Like a lot of other baby boomers and war babies, she and Tim started out as idealists; but after twelve years of coping with ultra-rustic conditions and solitary ruminations Kate finally formed a new and more realistic philosophy: “Be kind, but protect yourself.” She had finally acknowledged the overwhelming presence described by early American wagon train travelers as “the elephant.”
To have “such a beast among us” dislodged Kate’s Emersonian idealism, and caused her to convince the family to leave the place and head south.
Kate Peters has aged some since the 1970s, but she can still share a pretty good yarn about those days on an isolated mountaintop in Alaska. And don’t get her started about the arrival of neighbors or she’ll start talking about “seeing the elephant,” for sure.
Now she and Tim are struggling to adapt to all the technological doo-hickies that continue to spring up in this 21st Century. Kate says that using her new smart phone is even harder than winching through mud. She prefers things that are “breathing and covered with hair” and is willing to speak publicly about their own pioneering experiences “before there were cellphones.”
She would be especially happy to visit with groups in schools or public libraries throughout Colorado or, with some planning, more distantly…