Once we returned from Three Bears we knew that we would be settling in for the winter. It was already late September and still we had no snow. This was not completely out of the ordinary but was welcomed by most Alaskans. It was time to get our studded snow tires on our cars, as we did expect snow anytime. In Alaska we Spring clean and Fall clean. Because the house is shut up for long months during the winter, we clean again right before winter so we have everything fresh for our hibernation. We had started our yearly preparations for winter.
We kept expecting snow in October as our days grew shorter and yet there was no snow. Finally, one morning in mid October we woke up to fresh snow on the mountains. There wasn’t snowfall in the city but our beautiful mountains were covered. There is nothing as beautiful as the majestic mountains covered in snow with the setting sun reflecting off the snow making the mountains look pink. Pink mountains!! Everyone should see that once in their life!!
In the mean time we still only had one TV. It was hard with two teenagers in the house and splitting up the television fairly. They tended to dominate the TV as the weather got colder and they spent less and less time outside. Davin definitely enjoyed playing the XBox 360 and conversing with his friends online. Phil would be on his computer with Aron on his in the bedroom and I would be on the couch reading a book. We managed but there were many nights Phil and I wanted to watch a movie or something but the kids would have beat us to the TV. So we rocked along until one night, unable to take it anymore, Phil suggested we go to Sam’s and get another TV. After all, this was Alaska with very long nights and cold temperatures keeping everyone indoors with little else to do but watch TV. So off we went. When we returned we had a new high definition TV and it was a little slice of Heaven!!
Now the boys had their own TV and could play non-stop XBox games without Phil and me complaining. They spent a lot of their time in their room virtually sequestered. It’s amazing how much time playing games on their computers, texting and watching TV take up. But Phil and I enjoyed the break.
Halloween Day rolled around marking my one year anniversary in Alaska. And still we had no snow. My main concern at this point was that I had my studded snow tires on my car. Driving around on concrete and was grinding my studs down. We actually needed snow. I know that sounds crazy but at a certain point it becomes relative. The Halloween before we only had one trick-or-treater. So this Halloween we had not bought candy and didn’t expect anyone. What was different was this was the first Halloween in fifteen years that Anchorage had not already been blanketed in snow. We had tons of trick-or-treaters. It was embarrassing to turn them away but we didn’t see them coming.
Davin wanted to dress up for Halloween. Go figure. The kid was 16 years old and still wanted to dress up. So we managed, with some help, to put enough things together for him and Aron (who refused to dress up) to go out. Davin was a Ninja. It fit his personality. He has so much fun with life!! Nothing gets that kid down for long. They took off with their friends while Phil and I manned the fort. It was fairly uneventful and yet nice. We watched movies and ate dinner next to the fire and drank some wine.
That is one of the things that I love about Alaska…family life. Since we have such long and dark, not to mention cold, winters we tend to enjoy family life more. We have great meals and family time. You never know when the kids will spontaneously come out of their room and just want to talk. My experience has been that when a teenager wants to talk, stop whatever you may be doing, sit down, and talk. It’s not something that can be planned. They are very spontaneous and you must go with the flow if you ever want to have time with them. I have found that they appreciate it a lot too. Both Davin and my son have expressed how much they appreciate having parents they can come to and talk with whenever they want or need.