Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Chillin'

Today - right now - at 10:00 am on this Saturday morning - it is -18 F outside. Just a half hour ago it was -20.

Yes. This is Anchorage. Alaska. Yes. We are used to cold and snow. 

But - and contrary to popular belief - we in Anchorage are most definitely not used to seven (or more outside Anchorage) feet of snow in a month and consistent double digit sub-zeroes.

It's tiresome. It makes it hard to go to work, and school, and to the grocery store. My hands stung and then numbed inside my gloves two afternoons ago when I had to walk a block to meet a friend for lunch.

I used to live in the Alaska Bush. It's very cold there, and in December and this time of year, with wind chill, it is often -40 and colder. Every night you have to plug in to an outside outlet at your house the motor heater installed in your car's engine using an extension cord. A drive around town reveals umbilical-like connections between houses and the small, frozen metal-babies huddled close for warmth. 

This is the coat I wore when I lived in the Bush. 
In that cold, in the Bush, you leave your car running at the grocery store, and when you go out to eat. No one wants to risk shutting it off because it might not start again.

Three years ago I moved from that village and to the big city of Anchorage, where it rarely gets below zero.

And so far, that's been true. Until now. This winter. 

It is only January, and we've had over seven feet of snow so far, and it's still - 18, and I am bone tired of it.

(And see "You Asked for Winter, So Head North to Alaska.")

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