Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SNOW ON THE DOME!

You got it folks! Delta Junction welcomed the Autumnal Equinox with snow on Donnelly Dome.
I've got to get out with the camera before it's completely snow covered.
It was a spectacular sight. J and I were heading into Delta Junction for a trip to the library (we are both hooked on the educational video selection there and make it a weekly habit to borrow one of the many Alaskana videos). We rounded the corner on base and J almost yelled, "Look at the Dome!"
The top of the dome was obscured by low lying clouds, but the sides of the mountain were laced with snow drifts. The larger mountains in the background are almost all but snow covered, and once again looking like pictures plastered on water bottles of "glacier" spring water.

Town was buzzing with the news of snow on the Dome. It brought a grin to my face to hear how the locals were discussing their plans over coffee and lunch in the IGA. We must have heard the following conversation about a dozen times:
"Hey, (name)! How you doing? How are the kids?"
"Great. Just out getting some lunch before we head to Fairbanks. Gotta buy the winter gear, ya know."
"Yep. Well, we'll have to get together sometime before the snow gets in!"
"Yeah, but we'd better do that soon... in the next week or so, or we'll miss our chance!"

I was a little confused at first... why would you have to get together before the snow came in? Then I realized an Alaskan Truth. When the snow comes in, especially in more rural areas, a lot of families hunker down for winter. People venture out for the occasional supplies, but for the most part, people do whatever it is they do during the winter, without many trips into town.
I'm not sure WHAT it is they do, but I have some idea, given the number of babies that seem to be born about 9 months after the snow comes in.

The following morning was an amazing sight to wake up to. The temperature was a mere 20 degrees. I know, I know... still "balmy" by Alaska standards. Cut the southern girl some slack!
At 7:45 am, with the sun just beginning to creep over the horizon, I saw a glittering wonderland of frost on the roofs and cars, and the grass was crunchy with thick frost.
Call me crazy, but it was an invigorating sight. I attacked my day with vigor, anxious to get my daily tasks done so I could venture out into weather I haven't seen in years.
I was excited as I pulled on the first of many maternity sweaters I will wear this winter, and as I bundled up little Beans into a warm fleece jacket. J, the true "northerner" in our family (he's from North Dakota, "dontcha know"), mocked me for bundling Beans, and inspired the first frost fight of the season.

What? Never heard of a frost fight? Well, you put the baby in the car, which is nice and toasty and warmed up because your husband was sweet enough to go start it while you were over-bundling your baby. Then, you feign kindness and decide you will "help" your husband scrape the windows. When he insists that your pregnant butt should be in the warm van, you insist that the air makes morning sickness disappear. Then, you scrape a good amount of frost odd a window and when he's least expecting it, you stuff the frosty remains down the back of his shirt.
Then, you should run as fast as your pregnant legs will let you go, because he WILL retaliate as your daughter giggles with glee at the sight of mommy and daddy acting like fools in the parking lot.

ANYWAY... the day eventually warmed up. To 50 or so. But the truth is, colder days are coming, and soon.
Thus begins our own hunkering down preparations.
We still have emergency kits to assemble for the vehicle. And since I was a paramedic for one too many years AND have seen one too many news stories of people trapped in the wilderness in the cold, our emergency kits will include months worth of food rations, I'm sure. And about a dozen ways to make fire. And, I've been doing some serious research on survival training. By serious training, I mean watching lots of Discovery Channel shows that have men with really tough names like "Bear" who kill ptarmigan with their bare hands and eat raw snakes and stuff.
Oh, we still also need to buy snow tires for the van. That's probably on our very very very long list of stuff we need to do on this next trip to town.
I am already exhausted by all we have to accomplish this next trip to town, and we haven't even finished the list of stuff to do.
*sigh*

Speaking of stuff to do...
Also on our list is another trip to my least favorite store in the universe. Walmart. Seriously. I consider Walmart to be the single most effective form of birth control ever. Going there always reminds me that reproduction is a very bad thing.
I digress..
We HAVE to go to Walmart because...
Bean's crib was recalled.
We do not seem to be having much luck in the crib department. Our first crib, which we loved (and it matched little Beans' beautiful girly room perfectly), the movers lost the hardware to it. And the company couldn't send replacement parts. Now, our second crib... recalled. It's apparently a potential death trap.
Great.
I knew there was a reason why having the kids sleep in our bed wasn't such a bad idea. (And also another good form of birth control.)
We are back to the drawing board on crib options. Meanwhile, we are hoping that the current death trap holds out for another week, until we go to town. (RELAX FOLKS, I'm not endangering Beans. We are finding safe sleeping options until then!)

And speaking of Beans, she has woken from her nap and is none too thrilled that I am on the computer instead of playing with her.

Until next time, here's hoping we get some real snow AND...
Happy Moose Trails!