We returned home in time for Thanksgiving and the start of the hectic holiday season. There was a good layer of snow on the ground and we were sorry we didn’t put the studded snow tires on the car before we left!The mountains are so beautiful with their dusting of snow, and it’s an important insulator for the yellow cedar roots in the winter.
The day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the holidays here in Petersburg as Santa led the whole town in a parade down Nordic Drive to the town Christmas tree. Everyone carried a candle, and members of the school band were playing holiday music. The Sons of Norway handed out cups of hot cider on the chilly, drizzly evening, and our friend Jean got the honor of lighting up the big beauty of a tree. Huzzah!Our radio station has started playing holiday music in the afternoons – the show is called “High Tide-ings”…. get it? With that inspiration, Jim put up all the outside lights on the boat, in the snow. Holiday lights are particularly important living at a high latitude, where the daylight is pretty short at this time of the year. Today the sun rose around 8:18 this morning and it will set at 3:12 this afternoon. Combine the short daylight with overcast, gloomy weather and believe me – pretty sparkly lights are worth their weight in gold! The social pace seems to pick up in the winter months, and we have a packed schedule – dinner parties with friends, helping decorate the Sons of Norway hall, the Christmas Bazaar and soup sale, local shopping days, chorus practice for Jim, band concerts, the community holiday concert, the annual Pickled Herring Contest, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count… all leading up to several days of Julebukking all around town.
The weather hasn’t been the best lately, with a long stretch of snow and slush, and now a stretch of relentless rain but temps in the 40s. We had a few clear days, and sometimes the dawn light makes the most magical golden-rosy glow in the morning sky.We took advantage of a pair of nice days to take a drive out the road with some friends, enjoying a picnic lunch and looking for trumpeter swans on the slough. We didn’t see the swans, but I did spot a hooded merganser, some other small ducks, and a lot of eagles swooping around. We wanted to get back to town (and into cell range) before dark, and we were lucky to catch some alpenglow on the Coastal Mountains across from our island. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we get to live in such a beautiful place.
Saturday was the annual “Cookie Walk” at the Lutheran Church, where the men and ladies of the church make their best holiday treats (“made with butter and love” as they say here) and lay them out on several long tables. Other ladies are in the kitchen making krumkake for sale too… hot and fresh. Everyone gets a to-go box and a plastic glove, and then you happily wander around the tables filling your box with your favorite treats. Cost is calculated per pound, and it goes to support the needy in our community.This weekend was one of our favorite holiday events – the dance recital. The Mitkof Dance Troupe has a dance school that’s open to children from 3 to 18, teaching ballet as well as more modern dance styles. Over 140 children participated in this year’s winter recital, showing a wide range of costumes and themes. The older gals doing ballet en pointe are just lovely, but the little ones melt my heart. We’re always so impressed by how hard these young people work – on their studies, participating in sports and/or the band and chorus, volunteering in town, and on their dancing. All three of the recital performances were sold out, as usual, and the rest of the town is just as excited to see the show as the parents and grandparents of the little dancers. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves… but there will be more holiday blogs to come!