It was back in 1973,I was just 8 & although I had seen snow before Alaska was just mind boggling to me.There was such a big difference from the snow pack I was used to from Michigan.This stuff just would not pack into a decent snowball for nobody! My dad tried to explain it to me,” This is a dry snow” he said.I of course just stared at him,’dry’ did not make sense to me.He tried again to no avail,in my 8 year old’s mind dry snow was not possible.
This was only October
I was not very excited about spending my 1st Halloween here at all.After all at least back home at my granma’s house in Michigan you would be able to see that I was a fairy princess this year.”A snow suit!” I yelled “No way!” My mother was not dissuaded at all, if I wanted to go trick or treating I better put on the snow pants.Now I really hated this whole Alaska deal! However my sweet tooth took over and off I went I was trying not to cry with frustration because 1) it was cold & 2) who ever heard of a fairy princess with frozen tears on her cheeks? I was glad later though that my parents made me wear the snow suit,it was 35 below zero! I did manage to get a good haul so I went home sated. Now I began to get excited after all the next best holiday to Halloween was …Christmas! Yay! I discovered that we were not very far from the town of North Pole AK. Hmmm North Pole, hey wait a minute isn’t that where ….Santa lives!? I begged my mom to let me call my best friend back in Michigan.”Hey K__ you wont believe this I live by Santa Claus”
My dad had promised my brother & I that we would be able to visit Santa’s house before Christmas,& sure enough we did.This was about the neatest thing an 8 year old could ever experience.I met Mr.& Mrs. Claus but not the elves they were busy in the toy shop and we weren’t allowed in there.Mom aid it was because we couldn’t see the toys or we wouldn’t be surprised on Christmas morning.Well that made sense. I did get to feed the reindeer though. They were BIG! Well to me anyway I asked why they were just standing around and not practicing flying for Christmas eve, and Mrs.Claus said that they could only fly on that night alone.Oh ok that made sense as well.
After all that I decided that living up here in the far north was not too bad.I knew that none of my friends in the “lower 48” would ever understand dry snow, or 20 hour nights.The Northern Lights were just too pretty to even try to explain.I began to enjoy my time up here.When spring arrived I was sad to see the snow melt away, but I knew by September it would be back.This time I was gonna be ready I had learned that if you want a snow man you better build him with the first snow fall that way he would stay til March.
Winter up in Alaska is different from anything you will experience down here in the states. I can only say it was an experience to a child. I will never forget my 1st winter in Fairbanks AK.