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 out the leaking basement 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! (See Kate’s short story “I Left my Horse in S.F.” posted on the blog she shares with Atwood.)
After graduating from college in the Islands, Kate lusted after enigmatic or 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 biography, SLEEPING MOOSE SAGA, written by a fictitious author-daughter hybrid, accurately 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, Kate and Tim started out as idealists; but after twelve years of coping with ultra-rustic conditions, alarming neighbors, and a lot of solitary ruminations, Kate formed a new and more realistic philosophy: “Be kind, but protect yourself.”
When she finally acknowledged the overwhelming truth described by early American wagon train travelers as “seeing the elephant,” she worked to convince Tim that it was time for 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.
Today, she and Tim struggle with all the technological doo-hickies that continue to spring up in this 21st Century, but Kate still enjoys sharing stories of their pioneering experiences before there were cellphones, and she’s not afraid of a microphone.
She would be happy to visit with groups in schools, senior living centers, or public libraries throughout Colorado or, with some planning, more distantly…