3 Seconds

Today is the Winter Solstice. It’s a big deal around here – it’s the shortest day of the year (with about six and a half hours of daylight), and that means starting tomorrow, every day will get a little longer. Tomorrow will be 3 seconds longer than today – every second counts! We’re lucky to have daylight – unlike those in the Far North who haven’t seen the sun in a very long time, and they still have a long wait ahead of them.

Morning moon set over Bearclaw Mountain

We’ve been very busy recently, working on some volunteer projects at church, including replacing all the lights in the sanctuary. It was a big job over 2 weeks, with lots of exercise climbing up and down the scaffolding.

Now we’re focused on the holidays – feeling pretty Merry and Bright, though we’re tired from shoveling lots and lots of snow. We’ve had over six feet since the beginning of December, and none of it has melted. We’re running out of places to put it, when we can’t get it into the water. It sure is pretty though, living in a Winter Wonderland.

When he’s not shoveling, Jim has been baking up a storm, preparing six different kinds of holiday cookies to deliver to friends around town. This year he’s added Norwegian krumkake (pronounced “crum-ka-ka”), and we got together with friends so he could learn some tips for making them. Success!

We’re all decorated and lighted around here, feeling festive. I love putting out decorations such as this very special angel crocheted by my friend from something not much bigger than thread… wow!

Today was a uniquely Alaskan event – the annual state-wide holiday greetings on radio stations across the state. The FCC prohibits personal messages on the radio, except in Alaska. With so many people living off the grid, it’s a necessary means of communication. Even our local radio station (KFSK – Fish Head Radio) sometimes broadcasts “Muskeg Messages” to reach people in our area without reliable communications. But today is extra special and fun, with a 2-hour program where anyone in the state can call in to share holiday greetings to friends and family across the Great Land. Some greetings were spoken in one of the native languages, and we got to hear well wishes from places like Nome, Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Shismaref, Adak, and of course the North Pole! It’s a wonderful holiday tradition.

We enjoyed a few days’ break from snow, and the clear skies brought temps in the teens and 20s. Sunrises have been spectacular, and the best part is that we don’t have to get up early to see them. This photo was taken around 8:45am, just as the pre-dawn light crested the mountains. We send our warmest wishes to you for a Happy, Healthy Holiday season!