I’m finding there are some really unusual things about living in Alaska I’ve had to get used to.
Things like it being light outside at MIDNIGHT.
Or, how about laying down to go to bed at 10:15pm and it being this light in your bedroom.
I mean, I knew it stayed light very very late in the summer in Alaska, I knew this I did, but until you see it and attempt to live in it, it is very hard to understand.
My body for instance was able to conceptualize the idea of the sun going down at midnight, but is having trouble actually getting with the picture. I’ll be tired at 10pm like I normally am, but when I lay down and turn off the light to go to bed my brain is all, “WOMAN, WE DON’T LIKE NAPS REMEMBER? STOP NAPPING. GET UP AND DO SOMETHING ALREADY.” So there I am, not really sleeping, more like napping because my brain can’t comprehend the whole sleep when it is light out thing.
Equally weird? Getting up at 2:30am for an emergency pee break with Stella, standing on the deck and having the sun rising.
Another thing my brain is struggling with, BEARS.
Again, yes I knew there were bears in Alaska, but you don’t realize HOW MANY BEARS until you move here.
The amazing, huge, awesome-sauce park three blocks from my house?
Nicknamed, “Bear attack park” because last summer they had 7 attacks in ONE WEEK.
Or things such as Adam refusing to hike or fish without a bear gun strapped to his chest. Like, right there where everyone can see it. As we walked out to the water to go fishing last weekend I felt SO UNCOMFORTABLE. I kept pleading, “Adam you are scaring people. Put the worlds largest gun in America away right now.” Turned out, everyone else out there had either an equally big gun strapped to them in broad daylight or a giant can of bear mace hanging from their belt loop. Oh, even better? The guy on the hike on Monday with a full on shotgun strapped to his back like it was no big deal.
Hi, don’t mind me, I’m just carrying a shotgun in plain view in case a bear tries to maul me.
Oh, and we can’t put our trash out until the morning of trash pickup.
Why can’t we put it out the night before like normal places?
Bears will come into our normal suburban neighborhoods and go through our trash.
Another thing I’m still adjusting to are moose.
People in Alaska get about as excited to see a moose as I do looking at a seagull or a squirrel. Get out of my way you varmint.
But a moose?!?! I mean, that is fucking awesome! We came upon one on Sunday while we were struggling to find somewhere to fish and I actually squealed like a little girl who just spotted Justin Bieber. "A MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!" I cawed in Adam's ear. There I am all fumbling for my camera like a crazy person, and if we’d had a car behind us with Alaskans in it, they would have honked at us and probably flipped us off.
I know people keep telling me I’ll grow out of my moose fascination, that soon they’ll be no big deal, but I doubt it. There is something so weird and almost a little unsettling when you look to your right and spot a moose standing in the grocery store parking lot, just chilling. Blows my mind.
Moose, the one ton squirrels of Alaska.
And lastly, snow.
They keep telling me stories. Oh the stories they tell.
But it isn’t real yet.
And no matter how many times I walk past the sign that says, “Snow storage from October to April” my mind simply can’t fathom a world where we need designated SNOW STORAGE areas.
Or how about how in parking lots they don't paint the one way directions on the ground like oh, everywhere else, and instead have full on one way road signs letting you know how to navigate the parking lot seeing as 8 months out of the year snow would make painting anything on the street pointless.
Or how they have to raise the fire hydrants up on these weird looking poles and attach another little flag thing to the top so that when it is burried in snow all winter the fire department can find the damn thing.
OR how when you go to a paid parking lot downtown, instead of painting the parking spot number on the ground, they have to hang these weird little flags all over the lot so you can actually see your parking lot number in the winter seeing as the whole lot will be an ice field for 8 months.
I guess in time that bubble will also be burst.
For now I’ll work on my sunlight, bears and moose quandaries and wait to tackle the snow issue.
For a few more months at least.
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