I would like to think that I am an aware person. I keep my head up, my eyes open and, generally, my ears listening and my mouth shut (at least at first…stop laughing Mum and M.).
Imagine my surprise then when I read “Happy Paczki Day!” from a MI friend. Paczki Day? Already? No flippin’ way. Shrove Tuesday? That means that tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. And the beginning of Lent. And that Easter is only 40 days away. And we are already a week into March. (Interesting side note…Easter is ‘late’ this year and it wont be until 2038 that we will have a later one that this. Its because its based on the lunar calendar and is a moveable feast). How the heck have I missed the fact that Paczki day was upon us?
Well, it could be because I don’t live in Lower MI anymore, the only place I have ever heard of a Paczki (say PUNCH-key…though there are some that say POOnch-key), and don’t have anyone of Polish descent living around, not to mention that doughnuts are pretty far off my food preference list AND the closest place to get a doughnut is roughly 4 hours and 500 miles away. In all reality, I’ve never actually eaten paczki before. Jelly/Custard-filled doughnuts, yes, but never a REAL paczki (Lemon filled or custard filled are my preferences) and this would make me even more odd than usual, had I still been living in MI, being relatively close to Detroit as I was. But, fried fattening delacasies aside, sometimes I feel like I am out of touch with the world as a whole.
I know whats going on in the world because of BBC World News, downloaded daily, and have driveway moments with All Things Considered. I catch up with UK news with “The News Quiz” from Radio 4 and I figure out who Carl is this time with other listeners of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”. But I don’t watch the local news because I don’t have TV hooked up, even with bunny ears (Yes, in AK, you can still use bunny-ears AND get our rural station collection (where we get a few hours of FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS mixed up daily)). I dont listen to radio except in the car because I don’t have a radio and we only get AM stations…2 of them. I don’t go to church because we don’t have any faith-based group and aside from knowing what government and state holiday I have off next, don’t really have a handle on that either. I live in a remote place with people who are more interested in what they are doing than any uprising in Libya, any financial problems in the EU or any celebrations in Hamtramck. It makes me sound really cut off.
But I’m not…not really. I know that its getting lighter much, much earlier and staying light later and I am so very grateful. I know when the tide will be high and low again. I know when there have been wolves spotted near town. I know that there is a plane or two coming in today. I know that there are discussion ongoing about fish processing and how that will effect life here in Nelson Lagoon. I know that there is real fear over losing our teacher and eventually our school. I know that I am looking forward to getting out into Anchorage but laughing at myself when I think of it as THE CITY because I know how small it is in comparison. I know that I became an aunt again just recently. I know what my Mum is reading. I know what my nephew likes playing with at the library. I know my sister is looking into taking classes again. I know my BIL is looking towards taking a class in law enforcement. I know that M and I are really looking forward to our trip, starting today, to “The City” for 5 days of just being away and low-key and out of Nelson Lagoon.
Sometimes I feel like I am missing the world as it passes me by…that I am isolated being so rural.
But then I remember that I am as connected as I want to be.
That people who never heard “Happy Paczki Day!” will never miss it.
That if I wanted to hold onto specific holidays I would do so.
That if something is passing me maybe its because I realise that I don’t need to hold on to it because I have something much more precious that I am aware of instead.