I experienced another Alaska first last night. The television was on and that familiar and irritating warning signal went off. I was in another part of the house, so I went to see what the warning was regarding, expecting it to be a test signal. Turns out it was a real warning….for a tsunami! Luckily for us, the warning was well south of Anchorage. The warning system is for the entire state of Alaska so we heard it as well. A 7.7 earthquake had occurred off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. The tsunami warning was issued for British Columbia and southern Alaska. All in all, it was a sobering reminder that we live along the Ring of Fire and to expect the unexpected. I’m also grateful for my home on the Hillside, well out of the way of a tsunami.
On a much, much lighter note, I had another first ten days ago or so. The Christmas lights are up on our house. Yes, you read that correctly. We have Christmas lights up and functioning in the middle of October. Now I’m normally a person that takes one holiday at a time. I don’t like to rush through Thanksgiving to get to Christmas. But here’s the reality of living in Anchorage – you have to get the Christmas lights up before there’s too much snow on your roof. Our days have gotten considerably shorter now that we’re well into fall. The Christmas lights provide a little more light during the long nights and seem to make everything a tad more cheerful. The Christmas lights will stay up and on through February, possibly into March. I’ve been told some people like to leave their lights up until the Red Lantern award has been given at the Iditarod. The Red Lantern is given to the last musher into Nome. I like that idea. When the Iditarod is over, the days are finally getting longer and though it’s still bitterly cold, spring is only a short time away.