I was ready for winter. Alaskan winter 2.0. I had the gear, I had
the experience, I was ready. In fact, I think my body had even adapted. Last
winter I remember nearly turning into a popsicle when I attempted to walk the
dogs in 17 degree weather. Oly hopped on three legs, her feet too cold to walk
on the frozen ground, and I felt as if my core was slowly freezing solid. I
think we only made it for about 15 minutes before I turned us back towards home.
Back around October while we waited for the snow I found myself checking the thermometer, seeing the temperature
read SEVEN DEGREES and thinking, Hey!
It's finally above 0! Let's go for a walk. Oly went boot-free and the
condensation from my breath caused icicles to form on my eyelashes. We walked
three miles before heading home.
I was ready. My body was ready. Hell, even Oly and her wimpy
feet were ready.
And then… nothing.
Outside my window I can see the grass in my backyard. This
weekend temperatures reached 40 degrees and it RAINED. Not even freezing rain!
Just normal, melting, warm, rain.
I've found my mind wandering this winter. Without the joys
of perfect snow to play in after work and on weekends we're just captive. It's
dark, there's no snow, and it's cold. At least last winter it was dark, there
was lots and lots and lots of snow, and it didn't matter that it was cold
because you were outside enjoying the snow. Just walking the dogs in fresh
powder made me smile. Watching them leap like little deer through the fluffy crystals.
All the wonder Alaska offered last winter is gone. There are
no lakes to ski on, there are no cross-country trails to explore, there are no
powder fields to throw the ball for the dogs in.
I think of Seattle. Often. Daily even.
Where we'd live, how I could see my coworkers weekly, maybe
even daily. Thoughts of how many friends would be a few blocks away tease me.
Someone shares a picture of the Washington coast in the throws of a winter
storm and my heart sinks. We used to live
about 1.5 hours from that. I could garden year round, we'd be able to drive
to Bend to stay with Adam's parents on the weekends again, my parents would be
a short, affordable plane ride away… we could, we could, we could.
Without Alaska's ability to wow me with her beauty I find
myself slipping. Dreaming. Wishing. Longing for my old flame.
If Alaska's not careful, I might simply fall out of love.