Last week in Interior Alaska
The holiday season can be quit stressful. Last minute changes of who comes to the family Christmas dinner. You are happy to have heard about it, may be even look forward to see the last minute additional guest, but it means to find a gift in … how many days are left? Should you change your order of the size of the turkey? This scenario is just one example of typical pre-holiday hassle.
Unexpected changes in the plans for the festivities happen not only to you, but everyone. Consequently, everyone feels stressed. Everything seems hectic making it even worse when it should be the peaceful time of the year. How ironic!
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Snow, failed delivery and cold snap
The last weekend of November brought us a load of new snow, which of course, the driveway had to be shoveled. Because of the high snow, a parcel service didn’t deliver a package. On the slip it said “Unexcessible driveway”! That meant an unexpected trip to the airport on Monday. Of course, the trail to the pick-up office wasn’t plowed. Honestly, the trail was in worse shape than our driveway. That fact took even more time for the trip than expected, for which it was too late for the next thing on my running errands list.
The snow shoveling on Saturday shortened my time for preparing my stuff for First Friday.
On Thursday the first cold snap with temperatures below -27.4F (-33oC) hit. Bundling up and running errands despite the weather. Interestingly, people seemed to be much calmer and more helpful to one another than in the “warmer” days before. I wonder whether it was because less people were in the stores. It takes real self-discipline and the urge to get something done, to go outside in these temperatures; especially, when it is at the same time windy (for our conditions) and relative humidity is high. In the Interior, people fear wind more than 40 below. The air quality started to get bad.
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On Friday, the cold air mass remained. That meant less people for First Friday. Thus, my missing out on preparation time turned out to be no problem. I had more than enough earrings and necklaces for the show and sale.
When I came home, my husband told me that the thermostat of the furnace is broken. “That’s why it’s so cold. The guy is on his way to replace the thermostat.” I nodded and started preparing dinner (gnocchis with aspargus). The water just started to cook, when the repairman arrived. Fifteen minutes later and $260 less, a new thermostat was in place. Lucky us that we live in Alaska! Here all furnace companies have a 24/7 emergency service in winter. Guess what? The highest expense on the bill was the drive out to our place! The thermostat was just a $10 something thing.
On Saturday morning, my husband called me to come downstairs asap. When I arrived in the dinning room, I saw a moose in our backyard standing on the deck in front of the door. Its shoulder height was even to that of my husband’s (6 ft). He stood on the inside and they looked at each other. Their noses just 8 inch (20 cm) apart and the double door between them.
I didn’t take a photo as it was still dark. We feared that the flash would make the moose to turn around and go into defense mode thereby hitting its hooves against the door. They are dangerous.
On Saturday, the Sun didn’t rised before 10:35 am and already set at 2:49 PM. We will loose about 6 minutes of daylight every day until solstice. You can imaging that Alaskans love the little twinkle lights of the holiday season.
The cold airmass remained thru the night from Saturday to Sunday. On Sunday, we woke up to pleasant positive temperature, but still below freezing. The cold airmass had moved south. Shortly before Sunrise, my cat showed up. We hadn’t seen him since Monday morning before I left to work.
What is my conclusion about the events of the last ten days or so? Take one step at a time on things you are in control off. The rest may fall in place or not. But there is nothing you can do about it. Thus, it’s not worth spending any energy on thinking about it. It just makes not being in control more stressful than it is already.
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Have a peaceful and pleaseant Christmas time.
Do you often feel stressed out during the holiday season? What do you do about it?
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
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