Monday, April 16, 2012

A Long Hard Winter

We returned to Noorvik in late December. I realize that I am writing this in April and December was a reallllly long time ago (don't worry, I am quite ashamed of myself). As the title of this post suggests, it was a LONG and HARD winter. Silas was sick when we returned to Noorvik. He seemed to go up and down with sickness for the better part of two months. First it was an ear infection and a really ugly sore throat, which resembled Strep Throat with a fever and throwing up, but it turned out not to be. Then every person in our house got Strep throat. Then Silas got an ear infection while Eloise and I had Strep. Then there was the mysterious runny nose...we'll get to that later because I am sure you want to know all about it. In case you were wondering, Noorvik is the Strep Throat capital of the world. It is inescapable.

Another road block to posting anything for an eon was the fact that I spent ALL of February and March without a computer. In fact the reason I am writing is my new MacBook Pro came in the mail last week. nice! I just need to figure out how to get my music, pictures, and documents from the back-up file from our PC that crashed onto my new Mac. Any suggestions/advice welcome!

On top of being LONG and HARD it was also COLD! We spent much of January and February in deep freeze mode. While everyone in the lower forty-eight was enjoying the longest spring of their lives, evidently there was a conspiracy by Dr. Evil to steal all the cold weather and send it to the Arctic. Usually we like to share the load of winter, but not this year. For about a month our temperatures hovered near 40 below (which if you were wondering is the same temperature for both fahrenheit and celsius). There were days where the wind chill was -65 F. We spent a lot of time in doors. I made a requirement that we would not leave the house if it was colder than -35 F. I can see that you are making the mental leap...we didn't leave the house much for a couple of months. I am just glad this wasn't my first winter in AK. I am not sure I would have faired nearly so well had it been.

We had some unplanned travel. I took Eloise and Silas, by myself, all the way to North Carolina to visit Aunt Izzy (my youngest sister before she deployed to Afghanistan). Let me fill you in on what this required. I left Noorvik on a Saturday morning. I flew to Kotzebue on Bering Air (small prop plane). I took a jet to Anchorage. I took another Jet to Seattle. We stayed in a hotel in Seattle. We flew from Seattle to Washington DC. We rented a nice little all-wheel drive vehicle. I drove from Washington DC to Fayetteville, NC which included one hell of a snow storm through Virginia. It took me 2 days to go from the Arctic to a very "balmy" NC.

Here is the word on the mysterious runny nose. After we returned from North Carolina, Silas started a 2 week long runny nose. It wasn't snotty, just clear and runny. We discovered that Silas seems to be allergic to milk. He is not lactose intolerant, but allergic. We cut our milk fiend off and within 24 hours the runny nose was gone. I sure know you ALL wanted to know about that (wink, wink).

Paul went to Spokane for about four days in March for a funeral. It happened to be Spring Break for UAA and seats were at a premium. He made it to Spokane and spent 4 days with family and friends. He returned to Anchorage to watch the Noorvik Bears Boys Basketball Team take the title of State Champs.

I feel like we are waking up after a really long hibernation. The sun is out and the air is warm. I told a friend some weeks ago that I knew it was warming up because when I walked to/from the school my lips weren't numb and the tip of my nose didn't hurt when I arrived. It has warmed up enough to have Silas in his own snow suit. It is such a precious time to put a kid in a snow suit for the first time and let them experience the outdoors free of Mom's parka. It is a right of passage. We took pictures of his first trip in the sled. Which brings me to my next tidbit. With the warmer temps and the growing intensity of the sunshine, my ability to drag my kids around by sled is coming quickly to an end. The dirt patches along the road are growing larger and the puddles are getting bigger. Soon it will be time to break out the galoshes and the rain coats. I am just so ready for this transition.

Things are busy this time of year as school is winding down. It is amazing what we pack into a week. Last week was especially full of activity. Paul spent every night at the school until 10 PM because of the Selma Newlin Basketball Tournament. Then Paul was asked to help with the check point here in Noorvik for the Kobuk 440 (a dog sled race). He got home on Thursday night at 2 AM and on Saturday night he didn't come home all night. The mushers came through Noorvik at all hours. We are hoping this week is a heck of a lot calmer.

All in all, life is good. We look forward to summer break. This year we plan to take full advantage of our 5th wheel and pick up truck. We plan to go where ever the road takes us. It is time to see more of our great state.

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