Current Time: 7:55 a.m.
Current Temperature: 6*F
Sunrise: 10:45 a.m. Sunset: 2:43 p.m.
Daylight Hours:3 hours, 57 minutes (-3m 16s)
When Shawn and I got married and I moved to Alaska, I was not concerned about what the winters would be like in Alaska one little bit. In fact, it was one of the furthest things from my mind. I grew up in southeast Idaho at 6,000 feet and we were known to have the most severe winters around. We even got out of school a couple of days a year when the temperature reached -20*F. I thought I knew what harsh winters were, and I was not bothered in the least.
Let’s just say I was completely unprepared for winters in Alaska.
The first year I was here, I pulled out my winter coat in the fall, which was really more like a jacket. I loved that
coat jacket. It was bright red, it was sleek, it was stylish, and Shawn said, “Is that your coat? You are going to need something much heavier than that this winter.” To which I naively replied, “No, I don’t think so. I wore this all last winter and I was fine.” I was confident that since my coat had served me well the previous winter in Utah, we had had snow after all, it would serve me well in Alaska, now.
A few days later, Shawn showed up with a coat that he said his mom was letting me have. I looked at that thing and I was mortified. “Did he really expect me to wear that?” It was a dull hunter green color, was two sizes too big, had some company’s logo embroidered on the front, and it had a hood with fur (I had never worn a hood with fur and I was not about to start.) It came complete with an emergency whistle tied to a string in the front pocket, just in case you got lost and had to blow a blast to be found. The worst thing about the coat though, was that it was incredibly, for lack of a better word, poofy. It was like a winter coat on steroids. I had no idea how many geese had given their lives to line that coat with down feathers, but it was more than a few. To add to my humiliation, if you pushed on the coat just right, feathers would puff out of a hole by the zipper and waft into the air around you. It, most definitely, was not stylish. “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that,” I thought to myself.
“Ummm, no thanks” I said. “I’ll be fine.” To which Shawn just smiled and hung the coat on the hook behind the door with the other coats. And as soon as it got cold I wore that coat, and I wore that coat every day for the next 8 months… and for the next 3 years after that.