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. Simply ecstatic.
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.