Today we went to our friends’ daughter’s home in Wasilla. (Yes, that Wasilla. No, we did not see Levi, Bristol or Sarah.) You know the DEER XING signs in many states, depicting a leaping stag on his way to a party? Alaska has the same thing, but silhouetting a creature six feet high at the withers with antlers the size of large dogs. Once again, that was my job: keep an eye out.
The interior of Alaska (this part, anyhow, and at this time) in winter looks forested, frosty, snowy, hazy and chilly. You know how some places don’t look as cold as they really are? Alaska looks even colder than it is, which is fairly cold. I think this is because so much of it is unoccupied that anyone could walk a mile off a main road, ill-prepared, and choose to freeze to death if one failed to take the climate seriously. Chances anyone would blunder across you are low. If no one knew where you had gone, it would not be needle and haystack but needle and hayfield. Snow tracks would be a factor–unless it snowed again. I alluded to Jack London in an earlier post. Come here, and you can see just what he meant about the darkness of the wild. In fact I’d recommend a winter pilgrimage for any truly serious London enthusiast. (You can hire dogsled rides. That’s one way mushers pay to keep up their dogs.)
The road wasn’t bad, but don’t tell that to Lynda, my hostess. Riding with one of the most terminally reliable and responsible men I know, her husband Herb, of 35 years, she was as nervous as I am when riding with a tailgater. I don’t know how she survives six months of this, much less how she has done so since the Carter administration. A very nice time, though, afternoon with children and a puppy plowing over, around and through presents. Can you picture me helping a little girl assemble her Barbie Veterinarian Set? Hey, I had a meaningful role. That stuff takes muscle to fit together. I had to horse on it. Perhaps the only more comical picture than me helping put it together is me barely having the physical strength to do so.
A wonderful time, all told, delicious dinner by niece Lisa (by mutual adoption), no one hit a moose and only one person got their vehicle stuck in a snowbank. By Wasilla December standards, that’s all kinds of win.
To the faithful readership of the ‘Lancer, good holidays to you all in whatever form you may celebrate or enjoy them, whether they are solemn times of faith or just reasons to overeat. Thank you for every single time you checked in, and as the year winds down I look forward to keeping the blog up in the coming cycle.