So as I get back into this blog thing, I realized that for pretty much the duration of winter, I was offline (or at least not actively going out to find decent Internet connection). I find that ironic because during the dark, cold winter months, a lot of Alaskans become more hermit-like. And I was no different. When the sun is going down at 3 in the afternoon and rising at 10 in the morning, you feel kind of lethargic and droopy a lot. At least I did…
This winter was rough in some ways for me, but really great in other ways. And the next few posts will be about how we spent our winter months in Alaska. I definitely got out a lot more than I did last winter, thanks to Zander (my pup). Being a high energy, high maintenance dog, my life began revolving around him–when to take him out, trying to coordinate our trips to town with whenever the sun would be out (I think this was a psychological thing). My schedule during the winter (and even now) is something like the following: get up at 4am, be at work by 5am, get off work at 10:30am, be home by 11am, walk Zander around this mile loop in the woods behind our house, prepare a mental list of what to do that day in town, what I need to bring, where I need to go, etc., be home in time to make dinner and relax a little.
In the winter, I always felt the need to be home before it got too dark. I don’t really know why we’re wired this way, but once it gets dark outside, I don’t typically want to be going out a whole lot. Obviously, sometimes we would go out for dinner and it would be long dark, but for the most part, I just wanted to be in comfy clothes in the cozy cabin from like 4 or 5 on. Now it isn’t as much of an issue since it is light for 16+ hours a day.
My schedule is completely limited to the fact that I live 25 minutes from town. And to whoever voluntarily lives 20-30 minutes away from their town/job, I applaud you. I don’t know how you do it. My trips to town often include things like going to the gym (to work out or to shower), going to the laundry place, going to the grocery store, going to get water, taking the trash, going to the dog park. And all of these things don’t seem like huge major time consuming tasks. But factoring in the travel time, and having a high maintenance pup, these trips take several hours a day. I can’t just go to the laundry place and sit there for 2 hours, I have to go to the laundry place, wash the clothes, walk Zander for a while, come back, switch the laundry, walk Zander a little more, or go check the mail at a separate location on base (since we don’t have a mailbox), come back, fold the laundry, take Zander to the dog park on the way home so he runs out a bit more of his energy, run by the grocery store to pick up the one ingredient I need for dinner (there’s always something missing in my kitchen it seems…), then go home. Before I know it, a trip to town to do laundry has consumed 4 or 5 hours of my day. It’s INSANE!
I’m planning sometime to take some time to write about my dog. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with dry cabins, but he’s a major part of my life, and a majorly different dog experience than I’ve ever had.
So I think this will be it for now. My plan was to talk about my winter hobbies that I’ve fallen in love with, but I’ll save that for next time. Sneak peak though: I learned to downhill ski (which I’m now obsessed with), I learned to ice climb, I overcame my many irrational fears of being alone in the dark woods of interior Alaska. That last one is huge to me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been so terrified of the dark…mainly being outside when it’s dark. And a few years ago, I would have never imagined going outside in the dark, let alone in the woods of Alaska where huge animals run amuck. 😛