Thursday, December 13, 2012

COUNTDOWN! It's coming! Winter Solstice!

Everyone! Quick! Check your calendar. It’s coming!
Winter Solstice - and all any Alaskan can say is:
“Yay - bring it!

We celebrate the Winter Solstice with more than a party. We have a festival. Why? Because it marks the longest night we’re going to have and from here on out we get about 15 minutes of daylight back each day. No big deal? Well. Let me give you a few secrets of this wonderful State:
Winter is dark.
Dark. (Oh. I said that)                           Here is yesterday morning at 9:45 am.
I walk my dog three times a day.
Faithfully. In all kinds of weather and conditions.

I’ve been in the state over a decade, but less than a half-century. That’s puts me halfway between a Cheechako and a SourDough.
    (see Lizbeth Selvig’s earlier post for what on earth those terms mean.)

So. Since I’m an Alaskan, and a dog owner, I don’t just own any dog. One of them is a Black Labrador. I think this breed is up there on the Alaskan Favorite Dogs List. I swear. Every truck that goes by seems to have a black lab in it.

My dog would make a great sled dog (if a scent or something interesting along the path didn't waylay him) He's got great torque. Strength. If he had a sled, he'd be pulling it.

His name is Coal. As in "Lump of COAL". He was my 2002 Christmas gift I didn’t think I wanted. (Silly me. He’s been my buddy for years). Here is a picture of him. He looks adorable and sweet.
This is not a dog who just expects a walk. Trust me. When it is time to take him for his ¾ mile slog through any weather, this sweet old guy turns into a very spoiled dog with a mission.
"Get the leash and get moving, lady."

Yesterday, I decided to take the Boston Terrier along, too. Why? He wanted to go. He was at the door. He doesn't like his doggy coat. Or his doggy boots. And he detests his doggy halter. But he wanted to go. So...he got dressed in all that.
Here is that particular perpetrator
What happened?  He turned into a wuss at the halfway point and got a luxurious berth in mom's arms under her coat, with his head out the collar so he could watch the proceedings and enjoy everything. He'll probably want to come along today, too. And they ask if I get exercise while I write.

So, hey. Alaska is gorgeous in the winter. With a coat of snow. And when the daylight does decide to grace us, you can actually see it. Here is a photo from our walk area taken an hour later. That's right. 10:45. We have light. No sun, but it is daylight. See what I mean? Winter wonderland.
Northern style.

Where am I going with this? Good question. The 21st. The headlines. The hype. The conjectures. the blogs. Up here? Well...Winter Solstice comes every year. And we love it. I think they're having the usual party in town. They'll have fireworks (the lights show much better now than in the summer when it's daylight), libations (what fest isn't made better without those?), and lots of fun (because we're at the turning point up here. From here on out it's sun, sun, sun. Or at least, we know it's coming). This year is no exception. It'll be great.
Oh. Just to show what I usually get to look at while I'm walking, here's the view from one section of our walk; during autumn, which was really gorgeous this year. It doesn't get much better. Oh. I have to go now. I have a labrador knocking his head against my keyboard. Smart dog. He hasn't gravitated to tugging at my chair yet.        (That will be next).

Take Care! And enjoy the 21st! I'm pretty sure I'll be out and about that day. Walking the dog.

--- Jackie


Tiffinie Helmer said...

Beautiful pictures, Jackie, and great post. The only thing better than the winter solstice is the summer one! Other than now you are losing minutes of daylight every day. Here is to gaining daylight and to dogs! I have come to the realization that every writer should have a dog. They force you to get up out of your chair and move and go outside every few hours.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Great post, Jackie! Yes, we all look forward to the time when we start adding daylight instead of losing it. My family is having a party this year. Wassail! :-)