Seems as though I had forgotten some things about Alaska. I shall make a list...
1. Bread is expensive up here. That's not the worst of it though. It's stale the day you buy it! It's terrible! I bought a loaf of 100% Whole Wheat three days ago. I used the last slice for a pb&j sandwich for Liberty tonight. She said, "Mommy, is this bread bad?" Nice.
2. Chips and soda are very spendy. Nearly double the price. I know, I know...they're bad for you AND they're expensive. Why not just quit buying them? Because my kids think they need to have chips with their sandwich every day! Soda, we can do without. Apparently chips are necessary.
3. It's cold. To be quite honest, it's not that bad right now. However, I'm always chilly. I think it's because this is the first time we have had to pay our own utilities in y.e.a.r.s. We tend to be rather cheap. We've been keeping the heat on 68. Have I mentioned that the house we're renting was built in 1950? I'm pretty sure we're working with the original windows as well. We have put plastic on many of them, and mini-blinds on some. Because, you know, the people who rented this house before us didn't think mini-blinds were necessary! It took three 39" mini-blinds to cover our one window in the living room. We live in town. Without mini-blinds, everyone who drives by could look right in! Terrible! Someone turned the heat up to 69 degrees tonight. Guess what? I'm not cold! Who knew there was such a difference between 68 and 69?
4. It's dark in the winter, and I do mean dark. The darkness never bothered me the last time we lived here. I do realize that I was 10 years younger then, that probably makes a huge lotta difference. I'm just finally now feeling like I'm functioning with more than half a brain. The first two weeks we were here, I'm pretty sure I was a walking zombie. We are gaining daylight though. About 4 minutes per day, which adds up by the end of the week! Today, I was resting on the couch for a bit at 4:00 and said, "Hey kids! It's not dark yet!"
5. FRG units are much more active up here than they are in the places we've been in the lower 48. Interesting. I'm not sure if it's because AK is so remote, relatively speaking, or what. The jury is still out as to whether or not an active FRG is a good thing.
6. The roads are slick. All the time. I don't remember slip sliding around nearly as much the last time as we do this time. Not so much in the Suburban, it's 4x4. However, Mike's car (which we had the last time we were here as well) slides all over the place! Crazy stuff! Devin is wanting to drive so badly. He can legally get his license any time now. This mama is scared to death to let him drive!
7. You can see Denali from Fairbanks! How could I forget that? A friend showed me a picture on her iPhone today. She saw it as she was driving in to town. Absolutely beautiful!
8. Walmart is apparently THE place to be at 10pm on a Friday night. Now, in my defense, there was not a Walmart here the last time we lived here. But, who knew Walmart would be so busy on a Friday night? Geez Louise!
We really do love it here. Liberty told me the other day that Alaska is the most beautiful place in the entire world. Warmed my heart, I tell ya. I chose not to think about the fact that she hasn't really seen much of the world yet. ;-) Lord willing, we will never leave this place again. Six years at one duty station is a possibility, right?