Friday, March 6, 2009

When IS Spring in Alaska?

No. I'm not the one asking. But I have been asked that by several well meaning friends "back in the States" who are beginning their spring garden planning and "tired" of winter. (I hope you know I'm only teasing you, Ruth!)

But in all seriousness... I have extreme Spring Envy right now. I had a luxuriously long chat with a dear friend of mine in California this past week. She's a fellow "farm girl", only she REALLY does farm, and I'm still dreaming about it. It was nice to talk to her while she simultaneously tended her own children, the chickens, the goat, and various other tasks while we chatted. We were halfway through our conversation when I recognized a sound I haven't heard in nearly a year... frogs, croaking in the background. I was immediately envious of the flow of farm life, the croaking of frogs, the hum of crickets... and longing to actually have a current need to pore over seed catalogs and plan my spring planting, which my friend will be doing in a matter of weeks.

For those of you asking... planting season here does not start until June 1st. In a moment of pure envy, I did ask a local friend of mine, "WHEN is spring going to come?" Don't get me wrong. I really have enjoyed our first winter here. I like the weather, I like the snow, and yes, in a sadistic sort of way, I even like the dark. But all those frogs croaking and talking with my gal pal about goats and hens kind of got me hankering to have my farm girl dreams realized, and get my hands into some dirt. Only our dirt is still definitely frozen.
According to my local friend, it's going to stay frozen for a while yet. I think this friend of mine heard the SLIGHT desperation in my question, because she kind of giggled before answering. According to her, the snow will start to melt the end of this month, but not be totally gone until mid or even late April. And no, the ground probably won't thaw before then.

The upside to that... I should be nice and "recovered" from labor and delivery by then to maybe get a little ambitious, and get a couple things in the ground.


And, in baby news.... things are going well. We are officially far enough along to no longer have to worry about being sent to Anchorage to deliver! Hooray! Um... this also means that I am DUE in about 6 weeks. Goodness, I don't know where the time has gone. And somehow, another week managed to slip by without the baby preparations being done. You'd almost start to think I am the procrastinating type. Hard to believe that with Beans, I had the nursery painted and everything bought and stashed away before I hit the halfway point on my pregnancy. How I managed to get six weeks away from my due date with getting almost nothing done is beyond me.

There is also rumor among the midwife office that I am going to be sent to Fairbanks to "nest". This is a truly Alaskan term, I think. But the midwife has said that moms who have had more than one baby are not "allowed" to sit in rural areas until they go into labor. Apparently our insurance company agrees... they would rather pay for a hotel for a couple weeks than risk needing a medevac on the side of the road.
Well... we'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, I guess I'd really better think about getting a suitcase packed. I should at least do that much, to get ready.

I am also going to add this note, on getting ready for baby:
I know I haven't been posting as regularly. I really DO tend to get kind of anti-social shortly before having a baby. Like the entire third trimester. Especially the last month of pregnancy. I am enormous right now. I can't see my feet. I can't even put my own socks on. So if there are long absences from Moose Nuggets on the blog, I have either decided
a) the world can go to you-know-where in a hand basket
b) that I would rather be taking a nap than updating my blog
c) actually gone into labor. If that happens, I will try my best to get on here and let people know the New Nugget has arrived. But between labor, delivery, breastfeeding, dirty diapers, busy (and yes, still nursing) toddler, and the fact that my husband is going to be home driving me insane for several weeks (ahem, I meant to say he would be home "helping")... that may not happen. If any of my absences extend into mid-April, you can probably guess that I have finally been relieved of being pregnant.
Until April (hopefully, anyway) you can otherwise assume that I am feeling rather anti-social... or napping.


In Other News:

We've been busy, busy, busy! We have had beautiful weather these last few weeks. Most days, the temps have hovered in the 20s, and we have been bundling Beans up to play in the snow, which is a current favorite way to spend her afternoons. She looks much like the younger brother in "A Christmas Story", bundled up, and every time we get her dressed for the snow, I expect to hear her say, "I can't put my arms down!" But she loves it. J sets her in the snow and she goes right to toddling around the building, stopping occasionally to throw snow at daddy, or wave to mommy who is watching the fun from inside most days. (A recent slip on the ice reminded me why pregnant women don't need to be trekking through the snow.)
Beans loves to be out in the snow so much that we have found it impossible to get her in without bribing her with a cup of "hot cocoa" (which is actually just warmed ovaltine and milk). She heads in, shivering and arms outstretched for her hot cocoa, while allowing me to get her unbundled, then settles in for a good snuggle while she warms up.

We have also ventured out quite a bit into Delta Junction... daydreaming about buying a home, and thinking about making some long-term plans to stay here. No, no... nothing set in stone thus far, just some lofty dreaming and future planning. As far as immediate plans go, we are still just chugging along and waiting to have this baby.

Still on our "routine" around here, for the most part... playgroups, housework, moose watching, and gazing longingly out the window for glimpses of our fox friend, whose prints in the newly laid snow suggest he has been visiting, but he remains elusive.

The sun has been rising earlier and setting later, setting a new rhythm to our day, and contributing to the Spring Fever I'm feeling. Even on cold days, it's hard to resist the draw of the brightly shining sun. It prods you out of bed, and with a handful of clear days recently, the view has been spectacular. Mountains with fresh blankets of snow surround the horizon, the sun comes up in golds and pinks, and sets in purples and reds. I found myself surprised last night, as our went through our normal after-dinner routine of closing the shades and getting Beans ready for a bath... we had eaten dinner later than usual, and even as I drew the shades at the later hour (around 7 pm), I was surprised to still have some "daylight" and twilight JUST beginning to set in. It nearly made me sad to close the shades, and made me aware of how the long hours of summer light can easily deceive you here. The longer the days get, the more likely you are to truly lose track of time... staying up later and later, and rising earlier and earlier. A very odd circadian rhythm.
It also made me aware at how the time change this weekend will affect our day. I can't hardly imagine... daylight at 7 or even 8 pm again?
While I am looking forward to spring with renewed zeal, I am also sad to see our long, dark days coming to an end...


Well readers, it's time for me to get anti-social. More specifically, it is also time for me to answer to the persistent calls of "Momma" coming from the crib upstairs. Seems that Beans' nap is officially over, and since I decided to keep y'all informed today instead of taking a nap myself, it is DEFINITELY time for a cup of coffee.

Until next time... which will be the next time I'm not feeling anti-social, too tired, or otherwise in labor...

Happy Moose Trails!

1 comment:

Karla said...

Hoping that you get that bag packed in plenty of time! I don't want to have to pass you on the roadside, I'd feel really, really guilty. Happy dreaming of Spring!