Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Snow Day!

I think there are days you probably have to be a little nuts to love living in a place like Alaska. Luckily, sanity has never been a handicap for me. Man, do I love it here.

I've completed my latest round of travels and I'm back in the frozen north (woohoo!) for Christmas with the folks. This weekend Winter welcomed me home right. It started on Sunday morning, right as we were returning home from picking up the Christmas trees (yes, two!). Just snow at first and a few power flickers (which we've been getting all week, including a couple 4 hr outages), so we went about life as usual. We headed over to my sister's place (through near white-out conditions) to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday with presents and sledding.

My brother-in-law (a lower-48 transplant) laughed at our hapless Alaskan weathermen, who'd predicted up to an inch and we already had two or three, with more falling fast. With night already closing in (it was 3:30pm, after all) we headed home through the snow. Back at Casa Andrews, my dad and I settled down for some football as the wind kicked up outside, but the power began flickering again and then gave up for good. We pulled out some candles and played cards by their light as we listened to the chinook howl through. The spruce trees in the yard bent over at sixty degree angles, but luckily no more of them came down in our yard (we already had one mega-wind-storm this year take out almost a dozen trees in the neighborhood).

The wind died down enough to stop being a danger to the electric company crews around ten and, confident the power would be back on soon, I grabbed some extra blankets and burrowed under them to read a historical romance by candlelight - because what could be more fitting than reading about folks who read by candlelight?

But in the morning we still had no power. What we did have was eighteen-plus new inches of heavy, wet (gorgeous, white, perfect for snowmen!) snow.

Behold! The barbecue grill - tipped over by the wind and ever so lightly snowed upon:

We started a fire in the fire place and lit the burners on the gas stove to keep the house from cooling down too fast. The contents of the refrigerator migrated outside in coolers to stay chilled (though, alas we were too late to save the ice cream).

We melted and boiled snow on the stove to make coffee and cocoa (Ice Coffee & Snow-coa!) and then took turns wrestling the snowblower through the heavy masses of snow piled in the driveway.

By midday the driveway was clear and the house was getting COLD. Our road still hadn't been grated (and still hasn't as I'm writing this) but we'd seen our neighbors push through in a Suburban so we all piled into the truck and went back to my sister's (where they had power and everyone was home for a snow day).

One of my nephews showed me his pirate fleet (composed of drawings of ships, many of which have laser-shooting mermaids as hood-ornaments). Another showed me Mesopotamia (the actual Mesopotamia on his world map). And I watched Cinderella with my niece - who is going to be Rapunzel when she grows up and therefore has stopped cutting her hair. (She's convinced that someday it will glow when she sings.)

After the bliss of hot showers and the marvel of fully charged cell phones & laptops, we eventually headed back to the Ice House where temperatures were now in the fifties. We pulled out even more blankets, preparing for a very cold night, when what to our wondering eyes should appear, but ELECTRICITY!

The roads are still clogged with snow, but we're nice and warm with our delicious luxuries of heat and running water. The wind has calmed, the sun is up (as much as the sun comes up in the winter), and it's a true winter wonderland out there.

Nothing beats an Alaskan winter.

1 comment:

Kali said...

Oh I'm so jealous! (Well, aside from the power outage thing.) I want a ton of pretty snow at my house for The Kid to build a snow man. We got about 8 inches of wet snow and about 3 inches of rain on top of it. Which resulted in a giant glacier in my yard :(

I know we live in the same city, but that's the wonder of Alaska. Wildly different weather in the distance of a few miles.