Thursday, April 7, 2011

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do

I grew up in a place that is perpetually warm and sunny.  I honestly don't ever remember the tree in our front yard losings its leaves. If it did, the new ones probably showed up before I ever realized the old ones were missing.

I wish all things in life were like that.

Back then, break-up was something my friends and I did with our boyfriends.  Break-up was a verb.

I left that constant warm and sunny world behind when I moved to Alaska 30 years ago.  Here, break-up is a noun.  It's a season, one of the many unique seasons we have here in the north.  And I don't like it.

Let me 'splain.

If it snows in October, that snow is still around in March.  So is the snow that falls November through February.  Things might start to warm up a tad in March, but then we do a two-steps-forward-one-step-back dance.  It might melt a little, or a lot, then it snows a little, or a lot.  For example, it's April 7th and I woke up to two inches of snow on my car. And it's still coming down in buckets.

Break-up is a tease.

Anyway, when it all starts to melt you get some rather unpleasant circumstances.  Like puddles so huge they eat your car.  I have a picture somewhere of my son and his friend dressed in rain gear floating on an inner tube in the puddle on our road.

That's what we call an outdoor Alaskan water park.

And then there's the mud.  Have I mentioned the mud?  There's a lot of mud.  For a couple of months everybody's car is the same color.

As things begin to dry out, break-up continues to vex us.  The sand used to make the icy roads safer all winter turns to dust.  Several months worth of dog poop begins to surface.  It stinks, and I only have one little dog.  Some families think bigger.

Hey, I'm just keeping it real.

The river can stink, too.  Dead salmon don't move as fast as live ones and some get frozen in the river.  Ick.

Thankfully, the longer days and warmer temps do eventually win; spring arrives in May.  Things turn colorful and we Alaskans bask in the beauty of our surroundings.  It's a good thing too, because I bet you're ready for me to stop whining.

Not a chance.

I'll be back to tell you about tourist season.

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