Mother Nature is completely insane. There. I said it.
My reasoning? Nelson Lagoon had a few bouts of freezing weather and some dustings of snow (about 1′ total) but really, we were having an extremely mild winter…until February started. And then “winter” came all at once in the form of well below freezing temps followed by 40’s and then cycling back to below freezing, crazy 50-100 mph winds, snow…in general, nasty weather that wouldnt be so bad if it were constant but made more annoying and hard to deal with in flux. Fun things would happen like…The snow on the sand roads would melt, form HUGE “puddles”, more like lakes really, covering the road 6″ deep or more, then freeze into what would be perfect skating ponds if they a) wern’t in the middle of a road, b) wern’t a mix of sand and water which grips in some places and is deadly slick in others, c) hadn’t been driven through and had the forming ice broken up and d) had anyone to skate on them as no one in town owns a pair of skates. More fun things include huge swathes of ice floes on the beach one day (when I didnt have my camera) and then none the next (when I made doubly sure to bring it).
All of this would be OK and really what I have come to expect from winter in Alaska if it wasnt for the wind. Granted, living in a place with no trees should have tipped me off that wind would be a constant, nay, incessant part of life, but until these past 6 weeks, I really hadn’t felt it like this. I wake up at night and it takes me a few moments to figure out whats wrong until I register silence and that the keening of the wind is missing. My walks have been more and more limited because of the sheer force of the wind and while walking into the wind may be a good workout, as I learned a few weeks ago, if Sisu doesn’t want to be out walking in it, I don’t either. This leads to many games of “In again, Out again” but as I see it that just means squats as I sit down and get up off the computer chair/couch and more steps as I walk between where I was and the door. Not to mention the upper body workout as I struggle to hold onto the door when I open it. Sadly this only proves that I need more work here as it often gets blown out of my grip and bangs into the railing. Well, that and that the fools who installed my door to open outward and into the wind in a place with constant winds need their collective heads scientifically examined as there cannot possibly be any brains and the fact that they function, though not highly, without them is incredible.
Last week was another bout of insanity with not just cold but the wind too. Monday was calm and beautiful but was really the calm before the storm. Tuesday began picking up and walkies were solo as M “don’t walk in wind above 25” (her words). Wednesday saw Sisu and I enjoying our lunchtime walkies but scrapping the after work one because of a late meeting and snow and blow. Thursday dawned with broken clouds, calm air and a looming presence of darkness on the horizon. I told M and K that I would be taking a long lunch and getting in a very long walk because I knew the weather wouldn’t hold for long and in fact, the snow began and wind picked up when I was about 1/4 mile from home around 1:30. I got Sisu home and went into work and from that moment until 5:30 on Friday, the wind grew in strength and the snow fell. When I got home on Thursday I let Sisu out to play with her doggie friends and it only took her 15 minutes to find out that they were all taking shelter and that she didnt want to be out either. We played “In again, Out again” until about 8:30 when she finally gave up and with a big doggie sigh, settled on the floor. Friday morning didn’t as much ‘dawn’ as ‘lighten’ and I knew that there was no way there would be work. M phoned me later and confirmed that we would stay closed and I settled into the couch, cursing Netflix and my absent-mindedness as I had forgotten to borrow movies. It was a great time to catch up on “Stuff you Missed in History Class” podcasts though 🙂 Finally we had a longer-than-10-minutes break in the wind and snow, I could see all the houses possible out my window and Sisu and I could take it no longer. Up I bundled and out we went and it was glorious. Not too cold, sun breaking through the clouds and the ocean roaring. I took photos out on the beach with my little P&S and I am very sad to report that none came out. This was because of the sheer volume of white with very little grey in the background but let me assure you that seeing the ocean heave under a huge white mile long blanket with massive waves breaking in the open sea roughly 2 miles away while you are standing on a sea ice floe about 8 feet above the sand…well…its really without description. Amazing barely covers it. Saturday was nice-ish and while there was wind and a little more snow in the AM, by afternoon it had all calmed down and made for a nice walk, despite a few major drifts, to the dump with M and her dog Sherbie. The temperature dropped with all that clear sky and Sunday dawned clear and cold and basically was a reverse of Saturday, saving all its wind and snow for around 1pm. We finally got in a plane with mail and freight, I had a fantastic mail day and some people who had been trying for nearly 3 weeks were able to finally make it in.
Today? Clear, about 10F not counting windchill, and blowing about 35mph. I’ll walk with an extra layer around my ears and my fleece jeans on and listen to all the people who phone or radio the clinic after lunch and hear how crazy I am to walk in the wind…but really, as some well meaning woman pointed out to me this week, what else is there for me to do here? Gotta keep myself busy. Well, Sisu too, and together, we can do anything and everything.