Thursday, September 30, 2010

Winter is Coming

I can't say I'm too excited about winter coming. Mainly because I haven't sold my house yet and I feel like I was cheated out of my summer a little. We had some records this summer as far as rainfall was concerned. A month straight of rain every day. This is a big deal when we're talking about a summer that only lasts a few months. We even had a snowfall in early spring that allowed me to make a pretty awesome pirate snowman, but still meant taking away precious summer activities. The darkness is a definite downer, as the sun rises around 10a.m. or later and sets around 3 to 4 p.m. Most 9-5 workers never see daylight in the winter except on days off. Depression becomes an issue, but I'm one of those people who tries to stay positive. I love the state and try to embrace every season with an optimistic outlook. When it rained for a month I said, "Well, it's filling our well with fresh water. We know it won't be going dry and we don't have to water any plants or grass!" When it snowed in late April after I started seeing fresh grass and flowers shooting up, I made a snowman. When nights become days, I stargaze and watch the northern lights. When we get a foot of new powder on the ground I rejoice in the crisp, white surroundings, snapping photos of mountains that look like comfy down pillows. I opt to shovel my driveway for exercise. Hatcher Pass is gorgeous no matter what the season may be, but winter is indescribable. I love living 15 minutes from this recreation destination and try to visit often. There are a lot of ski trails around and my husband and I are looking forward to doing some cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing. I hope my next property is close to snow-machine trails, as it is an exhilarating way to take away winter blues. There is nothing like spending the crisp daylight riding around the wilderness and coming back to a cozy cabin, stripping off the snowsuits and warming up in front of a roaring fire. Of course, there's one major aspect to colder weather that is often overlooked by all those people griping about watching snow flurries in September. As a person who enjoys and appreciates all this beautiful nature, I always think of the increasingly melting glaciers. They are rapidly disappearing and I couldn't imagine an Alaska without them.
The fact is, Alaska isn't for everyone. We have a lot of Texas, Maryland and California transplants here and I have no idea why. Maybe they were sick of the heat. My husband came from Maryland to escape the cities and crowds. Some people have ideas of grandeur, thinking they'll get free money from the dividend, higher pay rates and a picturesque log home. What they get is a 2 year waiting period for the dividend, higher cost of living, and an apartment in the city because they realize that's all that's available.
Transplants get stuck in the city when they realize everything is so far away. I've known people who lived here for 15 years and never traveled farther than 40 miles outside of Anchorage. These "Debbie downers" really irritate me. I don't know why they even live in the state. They typically do nothing but complain and when I suggest a vacation, they say it's too expensive to go out of state. At this point, I am envisioning myself punching them in the jugular and confiscating their dividends. I can only say to choose your state wisely. Alaska is not a state, but a state of mind, as so many people before me have said. This makes me believe there are true Alaskans out there, I just have trouble finding them.
As for me, the sun has finally made an appearance through the snow clouds hovering threateningly, so I'm going to make the most of it and rake some leaves. Maybe there's another Alaskan out there doing the same.

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