Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Last 3 Weeks or so

I thought I would post something while I am waiting for the milk to get cold. 4 cups of milk powder and 3 quarts of luke warm tap water and Voila! You have warm milk. I have a package of Hint o' Mint Newman-O's sitting on my counter waiting to be dunked in COLD milk, thus the wait. I put 1 glass of milk in the freezer and so here I sit typing away.
Musk Ox hide #1 is in my living room awaiting his final place on a wall somewhere. When Paul brought it home at first he spread it on the floor like a rug. It stayed there for less than 12 hours. I haven't been the world's best house keeper lately, so I keep finding these disgusting long coarse animal hairs when I pick up toys and crayons. This should be my cue to vacuum. That won't be happening today for several reasons, like: we have gym duty from 6:30 until 11, I still haven't started making dinner, I am still not sure what I plan to make, and before I actually vacuumed I would have to pick up the obstacle course of a mess in my living room (compliments of Eloise).
Things have been interesting the last few weeks. Operation Arctic Care 2010 has come to a close in a blur of snow and gravel. The military for the past 16 years has come to this part of Alaska to administer medical care to the Inupiat Eskimos. They arrive on blackhawk helicopters and all dress in the very same army green parka with fake fur around the hood. There are several teams of medical personnel that come. We had a dental team, a veterinary team, and a medical team. When the first helicopter arrived Eloise was in 7th heaven. 2 blackhawks buzzed over the village and landed a mile away at the airport. They dropped two dental assistance and lots of gear. Due to rather unfriendly weather conditions for a helicopter the Dentist arrived several days later via Bering Air (the local bush airline). After several more days of less than appealing weather the veterinary team made it in. They stayed for the fewest days. Last Sunday the medical team finally got here. They consisted of doctors, nurses, med techs, and optometrists. Even though the teams were here a relatively short period of time they seemed to join in on our fun. Eloise enjoyed the fresh faces. She got to see her fair share of helicopters land and take off. Yesterday Eloise and trekked all the way out to the airport on a beautiful afternoon. We got to see the choppers land and then leave again. In a gust of snow and gravel our flurry of visitors departed. They waved as they skated over our heads. As we watched them cruise over the bluff I thought if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it does it exist...conversely, if the ambassadors of the outside world visit and then leave, when they leave do we cease to exist. It was a fascinating philosophical idea. For us life is very real here. For them we are two week streak of Arctic life in their consciousness. It is like lightening in the grand scheme of things. To them we are what one might see in a snow globe preserved in a snowy isolated world. They go back to their jobs and their routine. Village life stands still in the dim understanding they have about it.
In the reality of life here I have been preparing, in bits and pieces, to return to Spokane for the summer. Eloise and I will be returning after a full day of travel on the 10th of May. Paul returns to Spokane on the 12th. I have 2 tubs ready to be mailed back to Spokane. I am sure that I will have a few more in the next days. I have the suitcases out. 2 weeks seems like such a short time, but I can't really get into the real packing for at least another week. Until then we will just live and breath as usual. My TO DO list continues to grow.
Tomorrow is the Deering Carnival. I am looking forward to this. Villages host carnivals (not in the lower 48 sense - there are no rides or petting zoos). There will be games and food and friends and most likely basketball. Shishmaref, a village on the other side of the Seward Peninsula, hosts quite an ordeal. There is a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. There is a Lutheran church conference the weekend before. There is several days of games, food, and fun. The week Shish held their carnival Deering was a ghost town. Most folks had gone over on their snow-gos and the city league basketball team chartered a plane. It was a quiet week here. I am looking forward to our small-scale carnival tomorrow, mostly because there will be cheese burgers. I am salivating just thinking about it.
A couple of notable weather items: On April 20th USA Today has Deering down as the coldest place in United States. How nifty! Today our weather: Glorious sunshine, but it is 1 degree with a windchill of -14. I still see mostly white around here. There are occasional patches of earth peering through.
In 2 weeks and 2 days I will be headed back to Spokane. I am looking forward to rain and at least 50 degree weather. There is bound to be some green and I am sure it will feel like HEAVEN!

Missing you all. Can't wait to see friends and family SOON!

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