We are looking at our first forecasted week of nighttime temperatures below 32 degrees. It did snow once, and while most of us knew it wouldn’t stick, it was still a bit early to be glad about. Since that September day, many locals have been doing the very same thing we do every year. We look at the calendar like the numbers will reveal secrets, we discuss the weather as though we are too jaded too notice the nip in the air, hem and haw over what the winter has in store for us, and recall winters past. When the snow finally does come to stay, there are the inevitable 763 ditch divers along the highway, followed by the even-more-inevitable head shaking by those of us spared from a well-set patch of ice along our daily commute. It’s ridiculous, this routine of knowing-it-all yet knowing nothing. I’ll be darned if I would ever have it any other way, though.
My first move Outside was to the south. THE South. Bible-belt South. I met my first cockroach before our household goods arrived – every time I recall that meeting, it’s size seems to grow. “Was it really as large as my foot, or was I just a little too close for comfort?” Groomie (that’s the term I’m trying out to reference my hubby…what do you think?) and I agree that if we could get a do-over down there, we would take advantage of every hot summer day and every trip into the city or country woods we could get our hands on. We just didn’t appreciate the situation that surrounded us. Also, I only think it snowed once in over a year. The next assignment was north a bit, but still considered “south” to some. It was mid-atlantic for crying out loud! Oy. Anyway, while we purposed to enjoy more of the sights in the area, the weather was still a bit much at times. Some people just shouldn’t get sweaty in public, know what I’m saying? We got a few snows during the 5+ years around those parts, only one of which stands out in my mind. Why you ask? Simply put, my first head-on collision with racism (being a white girl is offensive, you know), plus a very wet snow that I didn’t have much experience with, plus an inept road crew of epic proportions. We couldn’t be happier to be rid of that place.
Fast forward some years, and here we are in Alaska. Our root ball has been unwrapped, teased, and set in the ground. We’ve been soaked in, fertilized, and hardened over a couple odd winters. Our root system is slowly stretching further and further as we establish ourselves in an odd little city that we couldn’t love more. So bring on the snow. Bring on winter and the habits we forget all-too-quickly while soaking up every drop of summer. We welcome the opportunity to plow, sip hot drinks, use the cold as an excuse to hole up at home for a couple days at a time.