everything sunny all the time always

So, we had a week with no rain.

An ENTIRE WEEK. With NO RAIN. 0% chance of precipitation, 100% chance of sunshine. It was an Alaskan miracle.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before the week of light, there was the week of Disney. There was also pie. There were also birthday shenanigans. Let’s discuss. Continue reading

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year

It occurs to me that I haven’t told you anything about my work. Looking at this blog, you might think all I do is volunteer around town, climb mountains, and have TV marathons in blanket forts. And you’d mostly be right. But I do actually have a full-time JVC: Northwest placement, and I’ve been there 5 days a week since August, and I think maybe I should tell you about it. Continue reading

perfection is overrated

Let’s talk about Sitka. Let’s talk about the perils of Christmas shopping in a small town, where the stores open after you get to work and close before you’ve left the office. Gift-giving takes a long time up here—and then you have to account for the time it takes to ship things from Alaska. Which I didn’t. Sorry, gift recipients! Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks. That and watching Love Actually. And Elf. And every Bones Christmas episode (yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have converted Anne. I’m such an enabler). Oh, and Black Swan. One of these things is not like the others, but it actually made sense in context. Continue reading

not now, arctic puffin!

I like seasons. I like the way spring makes everyone come alive, opening wide like blossoms splatter painted onto a tree. I like flip flops and Disney dinners and camp games in the summertime. I like fall sweaters, fall colors, football games and carved pumpkins. I like snow. And Christmas lights. And SNOW.

WHY DID BOSTON GET SNOW BEFORE WE DID?

Step up your game, Alaska.

Continue reading

oh, the weather outside is weather

Sometimes I do things that no self-respecting Floridian would ever do—like live in Alaska for a year. But as much as I might try to hide it, I will always be a little bit Floridian. I believe that flip-flops go with everything. I believe that Disney World is infinitely superior to Disneyland. And I believe that rainy days must be taken very seriously. Continue reading

in praise of blanket forts

My adventures in cultural immersion continued on Labor Day weekend, when Martine and I went on a little hike with Tyler and his dogs. Lest we forget, Tyler is a Search and Rescue guy. To him, a “little hike” involves only fording ONE tiny stream, only seeing ONE bear (from a great distance), and only bushwhacking for a few hundred yards. Heavy downpours are also totally acceptable. Continue reading

this one time, on bear patrol…

I’ve changed my mind about the tourists.  I now love them. They can block my walk to work any day, because they offer some of the best people watching imaginable. I love when their yellow raincoats make them look like traffic cops. (What’s the theory behind those raincoats? Do bears hate the color yellow?) I love the big fancy cameras they probably bought specifically for this trip. I love the matching husband-and-wife t-shirts with giant, growling bears emblazoned on the front. I love the way they theme their outfits to this occasion, as though they’re consciously trying to present themselves as Classy World Explorers. This week I passed a man in a blue and white striped rugby shirt with a red scarf wrapped jauntily around his neck. Well played, sir, but last I checked, you are not on Gilligan’s Island. Continue reading

your mountain is waiting, so get on your way

I’m writing you to catch you up on places I’ve been,

and you have this letter–probably got excited,

but there’s nothing else inside it.

Didn’t have a camera by my side this time,

hoping I would see the world through both my eyes.

Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to lose my way with words.

–John Mayer

That was a roundabout way of admitting that I don’t have many photos yet. I left my camera’s USB cord in Florida. As soon as it makes its way to my doorstep, I promise that you, too, will see Russia from my house.  Till then, thank goodness for the iPhone camera. Continue reading