welcoming winter

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There was a time when I would have been annoyed by an October snowfall. Back in the days of plentiful snow, I would have preferred if the flakes held off until November, at least. But we’ve had such crappy winters here in Southcentral Alaska for the past two years… maybe three? I’ve lost count. It used to be I could hop on my cross-country skis whenever I wanted and hit the trails.

Last winter in particular was horrible. Winter was just one never-ending sheet of slippery ice. The only people who liked last winter were the orthopedic surgeons who repaired everyone’s ankles, wrists, and hips, broken after slipping & falling on the ice. My mom was even wearing ice cleats on her hiking boots when she slipped and broke her ankle while out walking the dogs. That was in December. Luckily she was up & around enough to go on our trip to Arizona in February, courtesy of a pair of crutches and a knee cart, which, I think is one of the most brilliant ideas ever. She could zip along so fast I had a hard time keeping up with her.

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When snow started falling late Thursday night and continued into Friday morning, I was so happy. I didn’t even mind that I had to make a very early morning trip down into the crawlspace of my house to retrieve a pair of snowboots that were down there with all my other winter clothes and boots. I made it to the bus on time and stood in line with a bunch of other fellow commuters, who usually stand there in silence, barely awake. But Friday morning, every was chattering about the snow: how much had fallen at their house, how many cars they saw in the ditch on their way to the bus, how long it was gonna take us to drive to Anchorage… I was armed with a bottle of water and some energy bars, just in case we got stuck on the highway. Everything was smooth sailing though and it only took an extra half-hour to make it to work.

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Yesterday I went on a lovely walk at Scout Ridge and reveled in the wintry weather. Thanks for the snow, Mother Nature, and pretty-please keep it coming all winter long.

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My friend Nikole brought her newly-adopted puppy Kimber along. She’s so cute it makes my heart melt. She’s eight months old and has been living in the village of Ekwok up until now. Her original owner was horrible — kept her tied to a tree in the yard and rarely fed her. Her ears were chewed to shreds by mosquitoes and no-see-ums. Luckily the neighbor across the street was looking out for Kimber and would bring her food. When the guy moved and left Kimber behind, the neighbor pounced and arranged to have her rescued. She’s found the best home in the world and is settling into her new life. She still doesn’t like men but will hopefully grow out of that.

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She had a great time on the walk yesterday.

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We ran into a dinosaur on the trail:

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A little snowman I built on my parent’s back porch.

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Happy winter, everyone! Fingers crossed the weather will be this good all season long.

 

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