Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's going to be a three dog night or where is my knitting?

As the sun slowly sets and the horizon turns to a lovely pink, it happens for the second day in a row, the power goes off! Me? I was in the zone painting with hot beeswax which requires electricity. Drat! Now what!

This means; we can't flush the toilets or run the water (because the well pump is electrical), can't surf the internet, can't watch T.V., can't cook dinner, the heater won't work because it's electrical controlled so the house is quickly cooling off. Not to worry we also have a wood burning stove and two dogs to keep us warm. Peter suggested we just go out to dinner and wait until the crews can restore power. The power outage was just on our road no where else.

It has been a particularly hard winter this year; in November it was minus -15 degrees farenheight for weeks, then the 100 mph Chinook winds came melting the snow and breaking trees and property leaving treacherous ice, and to put the frosting on the cake, it snows almost every night. The snow is so heavy on trees it is causing them to fall onto the power lines which interrupts our precious electricity.

Going without power if only for half a day and a night brings home the point of just how unprepared most of us are for disaster. If Alaska experienced another 9.2 earthquake like the one in Anchorage in 1964  (the largest quake in recorded history), we would all be depending each other and whatever supplies we have on hand. The stores would be empty in three days! and we would all be totally cut off from supplies coming into Alaska. We up here in the frozen North are dependant upon the goods and supplies shipped and trucked up here from everywhere else. Our biggest industry is oil and that is a tenuous relationship at best.

To drive home that point, early this morning a desperate looking man came knocking on my door carrying a gas can and asking me to give him some gas. He said he was a neighbor but I did not recognize him. I was a little nervous because I live on a remote dirt road and don't often get unannounced visitors. He lives in a cold trailer and my guess is he stayed in his car with the engine running to keep warm last night when the power was off.
Please forgive my pessimism,
I am a little freaked out because of the Myan 2012 prediction of the end of the world and all the bad I see on the History Channel.

Still we need to face the facts: Disasters are on the rise worldwide and the planet has reached a tipping point where we can no longer do what we have always done and expecting different results. 
We need to wake up!

Here is a nifty link to help us get prepared for the minimum of 72 hours.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice, Yule or Hump Day

The exact time of the Winter Solstice is 12:30 am EST on December 22.

People often ask me what winters are like in Alaska with darkness all day. First let me clarify that in my part of the state it is not dark all day, but the days are so short and the nights are sooooo long.
The sun rises around 11:00 am and looms low on the Southern horizon making a short low arc across the sky casting long twilight shadows and then in a blaze of glory it’s gone around 3:00 pm making way for the longest night of the year.

It dumped heavy wet snow last night and then the wind blew 100mph so naturally my power went out at around four in the morning, leaving the house cold and dark throughout the morning hours it was a little disconcerting. Over my lake was the biggest, brightest sickle moon hanging very low on the horizon. No lights or television and no Today Show with Ann and Matt giving me the bad news. My tradition in past years is to stay in my pajamas all day no matter what! Not this year! I went to Willow to see Rhonda to deliver her some Yule cheer and art.

This year has been especially difficult for me. SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) has gotten the best of me. I try very hard not to whine and not  let depression get the best of me. It's just like that scary skeleton that lives in the closet if you don’t talk about or open the door it then it can’t hurt you, plus I feel a stigmatized for admitting depression. I was asking myself why? Why? didn’t I didn’t start the Prozac in September when I’m supposed to. Why? because I was feeling manic and S.A.D. was the furthest thing from my mind. If you are bi-polar, Alaska is not the best place for you (unless you enjoy your highs and lows) like me. With the setting sun I know that “hump day”  is almost over and from this point on we will steadily gain daylight steadily until June 21st when the sun never really sets.
My tradition on the Summer Solstice is to stay up all night swim at midnight and howl like a wolf.

Today I wish the people of the world what Jesus said; "Love One Another."   Practice - Peace, Compassion, and Acceptance of our differences for the next 365 Days.