I have now spent a total of nine days in Alaska, if you count the interview trip a month or so ago, and I have yet to see any wildlife. If you don’t count the election of course.
But that’s neither here nor there. I’m sure a few months from now seeing a moose on the coastal trail will be old hat.
Observing the kids has been interesting. My 12 going on 45-year-old son Cole is already adept at Alaska things. Like navigating us around town using his mom’s new iPhone. He’s also schooling her in the art of setting up E-mail, downloading apps and otherwise giving her dozens of other reasons to pay less attention to me. Of course, if you ask her, I deserve it for having my eyes glued to a computer 18 out of the 24 hours in any given day.
The darkness is interesting thus far. For example, it’s 8:33 a.m., and I’m sitting in my office waiting for some IT help. It’s pitch black outside, and yet I can hear the crunching sound of car tires on ice. It will remain this way for another hour or so. But in the evening, the darkness falls around 5:30 p.m., which is not all that different from Oregon at the solstice.
Carson asks about our container of household goods every day. “Dad, is our stuff here yet?” “No, Carson, why do you ask?” “Because I want some toys to play with.”
I thought it might be a brilliant idea to buy the boys each an iPod Touch to ease the pain of transition and as a way for them to communicate with their friends back in Montana. For Cole it has been such. For Carson, not so much.
Carson is, after all, a boy in all senses of the word. He lives in his imagination like 90 percent of the time, dreaming up all kinds of scenarios mixing “Star Wars” and “Lord of The Rings” at his will. But he is also in need of props to live out his dreams. The best being a set of Legos whereby he can invent worlds, break them up and reinvent new worlds on a whim.
Gabrielle, somewhat surprisingly, has cried for home more than the others. When I ask her about why she is sad, she says she misses family in Oregon. Her grandma and grandpa and nanny and papa. She was so small when we moved to Montana, I would have thought her affinity for Oregon would be less than the boys.
But it’s her affinity for our families that causes her to be sad when she spends too much time thinking about it.
I’m happy to report that Morris the gecko has not only survived a harrowing trip across four states in a U-Haul truck and then an embarrassing inspection by airport security and a bumpy flight to a climate that is nothing like that of his desert home, but he he thriving on mealworms and crickets once again.
We all noticed he got a bit skinny during this whole adventure, but his fat tail is slowly getting fatter once again, and he’s happy sitting on calcium sand warmed by his heat pad and his heat lamp in a comfortable 88-degree glass aquarium.
My only complaint so far has been the fact that at night when I return from work, I must dress down to shorts and a t-shirt to survive the balmy temperatures in our apartment. We keep our heat at 55 degrees, because we are warmed, I assume, by the ridiculously high temperatures coming from the apartments below and to the sides of us. It averages about 75 degrees in the apartment, and last night I had to open the windows to allow some of that frigid air inside to scour things out a bit.
Things are about as far from the familiar as it can get right now, but the newness of everything makes it all interesting and fun.