Today is the Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year and the first official day of winter. Here in Petersburg the sun will rise in a little while at 8:29 and it will set at 3:13 this afternoon. It feels odd to see the daylight end so early in the day – we keep feeling like it’s time to start fixing dinner when it gets dark and we have to look at the clock for cues about where we are through the day, but all the Christmas lights around town make the dark hours look sparkly and pretty.
The good news is that starting tomorrow the days will get longer by a noticeable amount – 5-7 minutes per day until the days are crazy-long once again. The bad news is that the holidays will be over in a couple of weeks and many of the pretty lights will be put away until next year.
This is the second installment of “Life in a Small Alaskan Fishing Town”, and today’s post continues with Santa arriving by helicopter at the Community Center children’s party last Saturday. He needed a little extra help getting out of the helicopter and he was walking with a cane – apparently he tripped over an elf recently, but he assured us that he’s on the mend and he’ll be in good shape for The Big Day!Last weekend was also the bi-annual presentation of the Nutcracker by the Mitkof Dancers (Mitkof is the name of the island we live on). The Nutcracker was put on by 140 dancers from town, including 30 boys, and the ages ranged from 3 to early 20’s, plus one middle aged gentleman who danced Herr Drosselmeyer. It was OUTSTANDING! The costumes were excellent – elaborate, creative, and they fit each child perfectly. The sets were lovely, and the dancing was very good – at least a dozen dancers were in toe shoes. We were completely blown away by the entire production, and it was a grand way to mark the holiday season. My favorites were the little ones. The snowflakes were 3 years old…And these little sugar plum fairies were only a little older…Then we had “little Chinese tea”…There was plenty of serious dancing and it was very good – the Rat Queen was particularly talented, yet they still found ways to include the younger dancers.These tiny gingerbread gals melted our hearts, and one girl was like a deer in the headlights just standing still. Her friend’s attempts to get her back into the dance had us crying, laughing so hard.Every performance was sold out and the crowd was packed with more than just the parents of the dancers. Punch and Norwegian cookies were served in the lobby afterwards, and we left feeling uplifted, festive, and happy.
Next up: Julebukking. Stay tuned!