Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Snow in my Boots

I wish you could be here.

If you search for "Haines Weather" right now, the first search result is a winter weather warning from the National Weather Service.

Ready for the forecast?

Rest Of Tonight: Areas of blowing snow. Snow. New snow accumulation 5 to 8 inches. Lows 13 to 21. North wind 15 to 25 mph...strongest near lynn canal.

Thursday: Snow. Areas of blowing snow. Snow accumulation 5 to 8 inches. Storm total snow accumulation of 22 to 31 inches. Highs 17 to 22 early...then slowly falling through the day. North wind 15 to 25 mph. Locally higher gusts near lynn canal.

Thursday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Lows 11 to 21. Northwest wind 15 to 25 mph. 

Friday: Snow. Highs 23 to 29. North wind 15 to 25 mph. 

Friday Night: Snow. Lows 18 to 26. Northwest wind 15 to 25 mph. 

Saturday And Saturday Night: Snow and rain. Highs 31 to 37. Lows 18 to 28. 

Sunday: Snow likely. Highs around 29. 

Sunday Night: Colder. Snow likely. Lows 14 to 24. 

Monday: Snow likely. Highs 20 to 26. 

Monday Night: Cloudy. Chance of snow. Lows 15 to 25. 

Tuesday And Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Highs 21 to 27. Lows 14 to 24. 

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Highs 22 to 28.

I kept getting drawn outside today. There's a crazy cool power when the wind carries flakes of water up and about and around you. I don't even know how to turn this into words.

You'll be standing there and then here a rush behind you. When you turn around, all you can see is a huge cloud of whirling white swirl about and then charge right through you.

To bundle up, I wear a base layer of a wool shirt, wool jacket, and then a wind layer. On the bottom, I wear fleece tights and a skirt.

I also brought along sunglasses which altered the experience.

"Sofia! Want to go for a walk?" I asked my favourite dog.
Sofia looks like a fox.
She is a beautiful dog and a source of courage for me as I meander about Haines.

The leash was popped on and we tromped down the stairs into the snow. Sunglasses on, my eyes were spared the ice that kept trying to flick its way inside of my eyeballs. But, they also worsened my eyesight. Sofia led the way down the street. We kept stopping to look up, mouths gaping and grinning. Ok, I was grinning. She was being very doggy. We started to run recklessly at a giant bank and she dove right in and  followed in pursuit, the snow going up over my boots.

The snow thickened so I couldn't even see down the street, it seemed as if the power was out. We slid and skittered down the highway a bit more towards the sound of the snow-machines (snowmobiles) that had taken over the field of the Haines School.

Every moment seemed surreal. There was no way real life could be this incredible. No way this is real.
Each breath, each blow felt like a gentle suggestion, nothing frigid that could cut through my fleece leggings. When there's wonder about you, cold doesn't have a chance to cross your mind.

Over the next few days, it was fun finding ways to "cope" with the snow. Snowy days are best spent in the company of folks that just sort of give you a warm feeling when you're around them.

One afternoon I was blessed enough to spend out with the C family. I've been seeing the C family about once a week, when possible, since last year when I was in Haines. We used to do Sunday breakfast but now I tend to end up there on Fridays. There are a few families that have welcomed me into their homes and treat me as one of the family - the H family, G family, M family (x 2 - Mac & Marq), and C family. These are the families who will let me in at any hour - the ones where I'd feel comfortable coming over to their home even if no one was home and I'd likely make myself a peace of toast and do the dishes.

Anyways, the C family morning and afternoon was delightful. The father of the unit rigged up some inner-tubes to the snow machine (snowmobile) and pulled up and down the road, through driveways and up on snowbanks. The girls and I made holes in the snow banks, small snow forts that made us feel safe. Back inside we drank tea and cocoa and they sucked on candy canes after a giant pot of soup. It's hard to convey the feeling of that day spent out in the snow. I feel as at home with them as I did in my home growing up.

The snow continued to pile up all day long (they say it was over 2 feet in one day) and the roads were no longer being plowed. Mid-afternoon they ran me back into town for fear of not being able to make it one way or the other.

After I was dropped off at home, I learned that my afternoon job had been canceled (totally ok with me, I still get paid) so I was able to join Felicia and Zak for dance practice at the church. Another man joined us and we worked on the dances that Felicia and her sisters had written. Without any sound system, we ended up dancing to the music on my phone. The only music I had were tunes from my dad's memory card, so we were doing jaunty dances to the likes of Chicago, They Might Be Giants, and Mannheim Steamroller.

On the way back to my house, the snow just sort of hit me in a good way - not a snowball way. I was just excited. There was a huge snow bank and over and over, I threw myself into it. It felt so good to have my body jolt around and land all curled up in the frosty fluffy snow.

We stopped by IGA for dinner and, back at my place, watched the Little Rascals and the Sandlot with Rebecka and Polly. It was a solid, satisfying evening and those movies encouraged plenty of laughter.

There were a few folks complaining about the snow which is something Dani and I don't get. We were discussing and saying that, pretty much, if you live in Alaska, you have no right to complain about the snow. It's just a given that you'll have to face snow if you live here. For me, I love coming to Alaska in the winter because I love the snow. I love the smell of the air up here. I love the feeling of stomping snow off of my boots to gather with friends. I love it when it storms around me and the world turns white for a moment. I love Alaska.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your words make me grin.

Related Posts with Thumbnails