Ever since last week, when I wrote from Homer while waiting for a flight home after a crazy wild windstorm flummoxed even the most hardy Alaskans, life has been a bit noisy.
Weather in Alaska is noisy, I've discovered. From the grating, grinding of snowplows to the sound of chainsaws cutting up tree limbs that have dislodged from their trunks in a violent reminder from Mother Nature that we are all, by the way, guests here.
Despite all assurances that the storm of last week was but a distant memory, one week later, here we were again, but this time, God Himself showed up. Saturday night winds topped 65 or 70 mph, compelling Yukon and I to make fast the bbq, Christmas decorations, and garbage cans. Power flickered all over town as the southeaster howled until 5 o'clock the next morning. Bear was scared and insisted I sleep in the basement family room with him while Yukon and Dog braved it upstairs on their own.
Yesterday brought temperatures in the mid 30's and snowfall as heavy as I have ever seen, but we were immersed in holiday fun around downtown Anchorage, so, as all good Alaskans do, we simply ignored it. Until, of course, reports from Facebook and Twitter started flowing in talking about 110 mph winds gusting all over town.
We returned home to find carnage; chimneys damaged, fences down, and four trash cans in our back yard that had crashed through our chainlink gate (severely damaging it), spewing recycling/garbage all over the back yard. In the dark and swirling wind, in our fancy "downtown" clothes, Yukon and I alternated between comforting a very frightened Bear, picking up broken glass and shredded documents, and keeping the dog out of whatever the neighbors had had for leftovers (everybody's trash was here, it seems).
After about an hour of futility, we finally left the mess and came inside. We went to bed early, fully planning on picking up the rest in the morning.
But morning came with an uncharacteristic hush. Nobody, it seems, had anticipated the foot of new snow that fell, and was still falling, as I rose from my bed at 6 a.m. Blizzard? I guess that was the right word. At any rate, this stuff was wet, heavy, and practically impossible to shovel. At least it covered the garbage.
We received another blessing, though; no school. Since this hardly ever happens, we took it as a holiday and allowed Bear to sleep in, play outside all day, and take an evening snowshoe around the neighborhood park with both of us.
Still, still, still, it is, tonight. I had forgotten how stillness feels.