So this afternoon I'm leaving Alaska (briefly) to go home for Christmas. As a reminder to myself and all y'all who've been curious here is my list of things I like about Alaska:
1 - I am employed here
2 - My boss (also my branch president who's last name is almost the same as mine)
3 - The Ellen DeGeneres Show comes on at 5:00 here and as I get off work at 4:30 (I know, I know, the cushy life of a gov't employee) I can watch Ellen when I get home from work
4 - Yarn stores, I keep discovering more and more of them here
5 - The Fairbanks Public Library
6 - My view of the Chena River (from my lovely office windows)
7 - Only a 6 hour drive to Anchorage
8 - I am one of the best dressed people I know up here (thanks Mom for helping me out with a new work wardrobe)
9 - My heated garage
10 - New friends
11 - Nolan's Breakfast at the Cookie Jar (worth a trip up to Fairbanks just for their cinnamon roll french toast)
12 - Bragging rights
13 - If Only... (it's a store with beautiful stuff in it and it's only a couple blocks from my office - it's all about the retail therapy and with stuff this pretty I don't even need to buy it, even "just looking" makes me feel better)
14 - Giant cabbages
15 - Wildlife: Muskox, Caribou, Moose
16 - Northern lights
17 - Denali (though not in Fairbanks, Denali National Park is awesome)
I might even love some of these.
Monday, December 14, 2009
We are approaching the winter solstice (December 21), the shortest day of the year. Up here in Fairbanks, the shortest day of the year is only a few hours long. If you're a map person like me, this shows real time daylight on the planet.
I watch the sun rise and set from my office windows these days. It is pitch black when I come to work in the morning. For the first couple of hours, all I can see is my reflection in my windows until it the sky starts to lighten up. The sky turns from black to dark blue. The snowy hills turn pink as the sun rises on the southern horizon. As it gets closer to noon, golden sunlight reflects off the windows of houses up on the hill. On a clear day, I can see the sun from the south facing windows of the courthouse on the higher floors. On rare days when it's above zero and sunny I like to take a walk out on the foot bridge over the Chena River where I can catch a few moments of sunlight on my face. The sun begins to set as soon as it has risen.
These short days can be depressing but I'm doing okay. I do my best to enjoy the few short hours of daylight that we do have and try to make it to the gym as often as I can. I must admit that I had a couple bad days a couple weeks ago. I was exhausted and wanted oh so much to escape back to bed. But I'm doing better these days, looking forward to going home for Christmas and really excited about going to Southern California later this month. Lately, I've been holding onto ideas of warm California sunshine (at this point, anything above freezing is warm) and chocolate covered frozen bananas at Disney Land.