I love how the mind works. When I was doing my teacher training, I thoroughly enjoyed my courses on brain research. I’m amazed by how the mind sees something it is unfamiliar with and then tries to place it in the familiar. Today I was driving Audrey, my oldest, to her day camp when I noticed about 150 yards ahead of me on the road the biggest black dog I had ever seen was about to cross the road. Then I noticed how the dog was moving and the rest went something like this… that’s not a dog, it’s a bear!!
“Bear, bear, bear!! Kids look! It’s a bear!! Bear up ahead!”
“Up ahead! It just crossed the street. Did you see it?!”
“Yes, yes!! Where’d it go?”
“It crossed the street.”
Now keep in mind this whole event took about 3.4 seconds to happen. By this time, we had caught up with where the bear had crossed the road. I was positive I’d see it on the other side of the road. No luck. That black bear was gone.
My mind did the same thing the first time I saw a moose in the neighborhood. It was night and I had either taken the trash out or walked the dog. I can’t remember which. I looked across the street in my neighbor’s yard and thought, why is there a cow in their yard? Oh, that’s not a cow, that’s a moose!! I then proceeded to run inside and yell, “Todd, Todd! Look! There’s a moose in their yard!!”
Now that I’ve safely seen my first bear, I’m hoping next time I’ll recognize it for what it is.
The “Outside” is the term used in Alaska for anyplace other than Alaska, particularly the Lower 48. The kids and I have made our first trip “Outside”. I’ve made a few more observations about our life in Alaska.
1. When people ask me where I’m from, I answer Anchorage, Alaska, but I clarify that I’ve only lived there 6 months and I’m really from Texas. I can’t seem to help myself. I guess you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl. I really need to get out of this habit though. People find me much more interesting when I’m from Alaska. They sort of lose interest once they hear Texas.
2. I have become so accustomed to really cold temperatures that now 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit feels amazing and 75 feels almost hot! I just might pass out if the temperature gauge reaches anything over 90.
3. My kids and I have had pants, long sleeves and a coat on for six months now. What does that mean when you’re on vacation and wearing shorts, skirts and short sleeves? It means you’re really white. Our skin almost glows in the dark. Add the sunscreen with the zinc oxide that I put on all our arms and their faces and you might mistake us for Casper the ghost. We’re enjoying the warm weather though – such a pleasant change.
Todd prepared fresh (caught yesterday) fried halibut for dinner tonight with a side of Zoe’s style cole slaw that I made. Zoe’s is a chain of restaurants down South that has an excellent vinegar & oil based cole slaw. Yummy!!
1. Never trust the weather forecast here. Seriously, don’t even bother to look. Just assume it will be cloudy and chilly most of the day. Dress in layers. Be prepared for rain. Pray you get lucky and the sun decides to show itself. When the sun does come out, drop everything and get outside.
2. Roundabouts are awesome. So much better than a traffic light. They’re much more efficient. South Anchorage has several roundabouts and I love them.
3. Nothing smells better than Alaska after a rain. It has to be one of the best smells on earth. Something about the rain makes the cedar smell stand out and it is heavenly. It’s clean and fresh smelling. Just amazing really. I want my whole house to smell that way.
4. Driveway update – all snow disappeared from our driveway Memorial Day Weekend. All snow disappeared from our yard the first weekend of June! No lie! Crazy!