Sunday, January 23, 2011

o, GIVE mE a hOME wHERE tHE bUFFALO rOAM...

Blaaaaah... I'm so bored! Its about half past midnight and ! should probably just go to bed, but here I am, complaining!!!
I can't believe that January is almost over. It seems like the older I get, the faster time goes by. I grew up in Alaska and January was such an interesting month. Serious cabin fever would begin to set in about now from the long, dark days and this wasn't made much better by the weather, either. It seemed, 20 years ago, that January was always the coldest month in Anchorage: the weather would turn to below zero temperatures for 2 to 3 weeks. It was so pickin' cold! Plugging in the car, wearing the warmest coat you could buy. Then came the layers of scarves because at 20 below zero when you step outside, in those first few inhales, all of the hair in your nose freezes and its kinda painful. I always found it rather counterproductive, though, to wear a scarf around your face for long; it always ended up sorta soggy/frozen from breathing through it.
I will always remember the first winter we were married. My husband was stationed at Ft. Wainwright in Fairbanks and we spent that first year in the frozen tundra of a town. I was pregnant and didn't want to buy a new coat - we would be moving to California at the end of the coming summer, and since ALL of California has beaches, what in the world would I need that kind of heavy duty gear for? So, on the first of November, 1989, I wrapped my favorite down coat around my large-ish belly after donning a sweater and a scarf over my turtlenecked sweater, tee shirt and long silk thermal undies. (Silk thermals rock! Definitely worth the money.) I was headed to work, but I had to let the car warm up for at least 10 minutes before I could go anywhere. So I pulled on my boots - even though I was rapidly approaching the point where I couldn't even see my feet - and tied them up. Then I opened the front door.
It was so cold!!! Once I turned the car on and put the radio on, the deejay happily let frozen littleFairbanks know that, at around noon it was a whopping 55 degrees - below zero. And that was the day's HIGH! It gets better, though. When I stepped out of the car to go back to the house while the car warmed, I got an enormous blast of that arctic air from under the bottom of my coat, freezing my belly. It was so cold! At the movies, grocery stores, the "mall" - all over town - there are plug-ins for the heating pans necessary on an Alaskan car, but that wasn't even enough to keep an engine from freezing. It was absolutely the norm to go see the latest blockbuster movie, get out of your car in the parking lot, plug it in, and leave it running for the entire running time of the flick. Or for however long it took you to get your groceries, or try on and buy a new pair of shoes. And it was pretty unusual for someone's car to be stolen. Such a different time and place.
So, when I was surfing around on the net - and oh, by the way, most of California DOES NOT have beach access (but that's another story for another day) - I found this awesome little photo:

And, just on a finishing note, no, I do not watch, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." Been there, done that. In Alaska 90% of homes own at least one gun. And though I've never shot one - and that's okay - I do have a picture of 3 year old me standing on a rock that was about 3 feet high. I am standing next to my dad and he's grinning from ear to ear - because I am holding his rifle with the butt on the rock, barrel aimed at the sky with a very self-satisfied smirk. I'm willing to bet that my mom - who probably took the picture - was telling him, "Now, Steven! Don't give that to her! She's going to get hurt! Steven!" And my dad, I'm sure, was letting her know that he had everything under control. And, that time, he was right: I still have all my digits, both my eyes, and no mystery scars. Alaska is a very different place to live.
Okay, now I'm headed to bed. If I can remember how, I think I'm going to make Barbie Sarah my new photo here on Multiply. I just get such a kick out of it!
So, good night, all...
Tonya
Oh, just a funny from one of my son's friend that kept me laughing for a good 20 minutes (it's the visual...)
"I just realized as I watched my dog trying to run across the couch that he is a lot like an uncoordinated fat kid in a bounce house." ~Logan

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