Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Because life is as short as the winters are long

The snow came slipping in on the first day of fall. She was the guest that showed up for the party on the wrong Saturday, a month too early. But instead of retreating in embarrassment, walking backwards down the sidewalk in profuse apology, she came right up to the front porch, invited more friends. Next thing I know, we're surrounded by flakes.

It was the earliest snowfall in over 60 years. Alaska really rolled out the white carpet for us.

Can we let this sink in for a moment? I had to send the kids into school with snow pants in September. Also? I had to find the snow pants on a Monday morning with zero minutes to spare. Which did not create a considerable amount of merriment and glee on my part.

When the bus returned that afternoon, the kids came barreling off, begging to put off homework until after they had a chance to play in the snow. Because it might MELT before they could play! Um, you guys? Eight months. You have EIGHT MONTHS to play in the snow.

Oh well. I gave in. Go play. And yes, you can have hot chocolate. And sure, marshmallows too. Because life is as short as the winters are long, and I'm going to try to say "yes" as much as possible.


My husband is home after five weeks away. He essentially deposited us in Alaska and then took off for military training. Which was remarkably similar to the pattern of medical residency (times two).

It goes like this. We move somewhere new (Maine, Ohio), and before I can say "honey do list", he disappears into the halls of the hospital for lordknowshowlong. The only differences this time were that he didn't come home to sleep and he did his own laundry. Will I get in trouble if I say it was easier this time?

I'm so glad to have him home. This didn't register super high on the list of difficult things we've done, but it was still on the list. He's already back at the hospital, but at least he's not four time zones away. He's definitely worth the extra laundry.


Last Monday, I had to change my running route because a bear (a BEAR!) was reportedly meandering down the bike path that I normally run. So I pulled up my big girl shorts and found somewhere else to run for a few days. I'm faster than I used to be, but I won't be outrunning a bear anytime soon. So 'tis best I continue to employ bear avoidance tactics and leave the 1x10m bear sprints out of my speed workouts.

Why yes, those ARE ice chunks on my hat and fleece
This Monday, the running obstacle of the week was snow. The good news was that I didn't have to spend much time digging out my hat and gloves. They were already in the middle of the floor along with the entirety of the winter gear for our family of four. (See above: locating snow pants in zero minutes.) There's another upside here to snow, maybe two. First, who needs a hydration belt when you've got snow flying straight into your face? Second, it's damn gorgeous and beats the heck out of a treadmill screen.

Yes, I miss crisp fall days and apple picking and outdoor soccer and acorn squash from the farmer's market and watching with my own eyes Giambi's walk-off homer in the thick of the Tribe's hunt for the wildcard. (Shockingly, we don't get the Sports Time Ohio channel in Alaska. Lame!) I could stir up trouble in my heart thinking about how long eight months of winter running is going to feel. But what's the point of that? I've decided to take it a run at a time, to take each day and mile for whatever it is.

Today the sun came out clear, and the snow on my roof went dripping into the driveway. Grass is glistening green again, and the mountains are the brightest white. It's September, and my lungs are filling up with the clean, cold air of the last frontier. I can see my breath, and every morning there are so many opportunities to say yes.

1 comment:

  1. (Did you know we iMinnesotans watch Alaksa's weather pretty closely, becaue we tend to be the opposite of you? And true to form, we're having a warmer than usual September so far.)

    "Every morning there are so many oppotunities to say yes." My breath caught in my throat.