Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Subtleties of Living in Alaska

Eight signs that you live in Alaska (probably not mentioned in your travel guide):

1. You realize that virtually every home you visit has multiple thermometers, placed strategically outdoors so they are visible from most rooms in the house.

Part II of this observation: talk of the weather is a real topic of interest, as opposed to empty space / awkward silence filler.

2. You find yourself in a heated debate about the current temp when you drive around during the winter months, and get a dozen different readings from the many digital clock-thermometer signs businesses put up outdoors. And by the way, over time you get to know all of them, and know which ones are most accurate.

3. You don't see your neighbors at all for 9 months of the year, but when they emerge for summer, they spend the entire season weatherizing the house for next winter.

4. Children -even preschoolers- are marched outside for fresh air or recess up to -20F (approx.-30C) daily.

5. You find yourself hoarding winter gear for every member of the family. Over time, you accumulate enough boots, coats, face masks, hats, scarves, mittens, snowsuits and pants to put an REI store to shame.

6. You call winter jackets "parkas."

7. Your new mantra: "Duct tape fixes everything." In fact, you may even own a parka so old, it is held together with duct tape in several spots, but you won't throw it away "just in case" (see point 5).

8. You find a moose tooth in your car during cleaning.



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