Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Cold New Year's Day

Global Warming!? Well, I am sure I know nothing of it. And if it has a grain of truth, I am totally for it! As temperatures reached -50 degrees at my home, I was barely able to see a neighbor's fireworks through the lingering ice fog outside. Today, we are having a slight heat wave, with temperatures RISING to -28! That's in Fairbanks, actually. Here, it has only risen to -40. When it comes to it, anything -35 or colder feels the same: FRIGID.

So, what do we do when it is this cold? I could point out the number of Alaskan babies born August-October, but that's pretty much a given. What really occurs is a whole lot of cabin fever. My kids are sharing germs, arguing over toys they received for Christmas, and wearing so many layers of clothes that they each weigh 10 pounds more than usual. My dogs are mad at me for forgetting about them when they were outside. Don't worry, the dryer was on, and despite their "bird brains," they had enough sense to huddle together under the vent. This kept them plenty warm. Moses must have actually forgiven me because he keeps ringing his bell to alert me that he wants out yet again. Crazy fool, doesn't the air choke his breath as it does mine? Mrs. Jones is not as forgiving: she is huddled in front of the electric fireplace (which is not turned on) and sending evil glares my way.

As for me and John, I assume, we are like most spouses who are forced to deal with the in and outs of life at sub-zero temperatures. Meaning, we are frustrated that elements of our home are not functioning properly, that one of our cars decided it would rather be living in Florida and is refusing to run, and secretly knowing that our utility bills will arrive with a whole new stress of their own.

Still, this isn't the worst of winter. No, after all, we are warm, at least. We are saving money because I am not driving anywhere, using gas or spending money on groceries and the like. In fact, one would think I could accomplish a lot of household duties during this period of self-inflicted "lock-down." However, THE DARKNESS DRIVES ME INSANE! Sure, every light in my house is on, the sun is shining somewhere above the fog, but the dreary, dim light that stays so flat for only about 5 hours is very depressing. Somehow, it is even snowing right now. Tiny crystals of dry ice flaking from the sky don't even cheer the mood. They are menacing, in a way; taunting me to realize that this winter is far from over. 6 months pregnant, truly not long to go, but the months of January and February in Alaska seem to drag like the tip of a snail's tail.

Ahh, I will survive, as I always do. And When March finally does pull through, the fresh smell of Break-Up and the sunshine will rejuvenate me once again. I will not be thinking about today: it's darkness, its depression. I will only see Alaska and its winter beauty. I will see the dogsled teams mushing in the daylight, the sun sparkling on the hills, spend a day with my family enjoying ice sculptures, and as I absorb it all, a twinge of guilt will touch my heart as I recollect today's dark feelings. I will realize that there is no where else like Alaska. There is no where else where a person's body can sway with the seasons like this. There is no where else that I can show my kids how boiling water freezes in mid air. And there is no where else I'd rather be right now.............

Well, Hawaii was great in January...


  1. i love it! you're a great writer. :)
    and, call me crazy, but i like the darkness. i like noticing each day (now that we're past solstice) that the sun is just a little higher than it was yesterday. i agree, spring/summer is the best... but i've learned to appreciate this part, too!

  2. I agree, you are a great writer...oh, and by the way, love the fine print!!! ~Crystal Z.

  3. I love your way with words. Gives me a clearer picture of Alaska in winter.

    Happy New Year!

    Oh, thanks for stopping by my blog. I have to say we LOVE your Governor down here in Iowa.

  4. Hey Melody - I just wanted you to know that you've been "tagged." You can go here for instructions:

  5. You guys are all so sweet.:P
    Thanks for reading.