The End of Summer

It’s been quite awhile since my last post.  It was never my intent to go so long without posting.  Life, specifically, summer seemed to get in the way.  We had our family vacation in June.  The girls had a couple of nature camps they attended in July.  Then family came in town at the end of July and the beginning of August.  We camped, we fished, we rafted and then what do you know?  It was time for the kids to go back to school.

This summer has been really long.  No, really.  The school year here is about two weeks shorter than our school year back in Texas.  By the middle of July, the kids had already been out of school for two months and I was on the edge of insanity thinking what am I going to do with them for another month?!  Luckily, grandparents came to town just in the nick of time!  It hasn’t helped that this summer has been rather rainy and cold.  There were several times when I really had to bite my tongue when people would ask how I was enjoying my summer.  “Summer, what summer?  It’s 62 degrees and raining all the time.  That’s not summer!!”  I will admit I couldn’t always keep my disappointment in check.  I mean, isn’t that supposed to be part of the beauty of Alaska?  Its summer.  I found myself disappointed and craving warmth.   In all fairness, the 8 -12 pretty days we had were absolutely fabulous.  I just wish there had been more of them.

Then from the other perspective, the summer flew by.  Don’t you hate how that happens?  There were so many things I planned to do and somehow they just never happened.  I wanted to hike more.  There were projects in the house I wanted to get to and never seemed to.  I finally made the girls sit and write their thank you notes for their birthday presents (Their birthdays were in May and June.  I know, I know.  All the good, Southern girls out there are shaking their heads at me.  I went way past the 2 week timeline to meet proper etiquette.)

And now September is here.  Leaves on the trees in our yard have started turning from green to yellow.  The last several days have been very windy and are blowing those yellow leaves off the trees.  I’m having the kids try on their heavy coats and snow pants and see who needs new things.  I need to get Jack new snow boots.  I’ve googled Halloween costumes.  The other night as I was walking the dogs, I looked up at the sky and wondered what the light was shining through the trees.  It was the moon.  The days have finally gotten shorter.  Night has returned.  And so it seems we’re heading into fall.

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Say What?!

We’ve been experiencing some, in my opinion, depressing weather here in Anchorage.  It’s been cloudy and rainy with highs only in the 50s.  This morning the front page of the newspaper reported it’s the coldest July on record so far.  Now I understand most of the country is experiencing record heat, drought and storms.  I imagine many people would love a little bit of our weather.  Believe me, if we could some how trade a bit of our weather for the Lower 48 and make life a little more bearable for us all, I would!

So this morning when the sun made a semi-appearance, the kids and I headed to a nearby park for an hour or so.  We then came home to have lunch.  We decided to sit out on our deck enjoying the sunshine that had fully arrived.  After finishing their lunch 2 out of 3 kids told me they were hot and going inside.  Ok, fine by me, I’m going to sit out here and absorb every possible sun ray.  When I finished my lunch, I went inside, looked at the weather on my phone and saw that it was 61 degrees F!  Yes, my friends, apparently that is now too hot for some of my children.  Funny, none of them had any problem going out and riding their bikes later.  I’m sure that’s because it was cloudy again by then.

Thoughts While I’m Outside

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.