Tuesday, October 2, 2007

'Tis This Special Season

'Tis that special part of the year in Alaska when summer is over yet it's not yet white and bitter outside. The time when wearing a short sleeved shirt after 7pm is just not a good idea. The time when an umbrella is used not for keeping off the rain, but to defer the tsunami-like waves created by passing motorists as they -VROOM! SPLOOSH!- drive by as one waits for the People Mover (city bus). Welcome to Anchorage, the city of 4 seasons: Almost Winter (when we're rained on every other day), Winter (self explanatory), Breakup (when everything is melting), and Construction (it's so bad our city mascot ought to be an orange traffic cone).

As you can see in the photo, almost winter resembles what those in the Lower 48 refer to as "fall" or "autumn". Key word: RESEMBLES. That means it's not the same, but it seems similar. Yes, our leaves change color. -Ding!- One point for similarity. And they fall off the trees. -Ding!- And the weather gets rainy, windy, and hurricane-y. -Ding!-


Almost winter is not conducive to running around barefoot in fallen leaves. It doesn't quite make my spine tingle like red maple tree leaves do (we can't grow maples up here). It doesn't smell like fall. It smells like dust until someone mows their grass, then it smells dang good. Almost winter doesn't allow one to comfortably spend extended time outside to take a nap, study, or read a book (I was very good at this in Utah and Maryland... well the nap part). Outdoor projector movies are out of the question. So are outdoor dances. I put on a sweatshirt to check the mail in case a neighbor passes by and wants to talk, keeping me out there longer than a quick sprint to the mailbox. Early morning walks have changed from pleasant and relaxing to frigid and too dark to walk without the accompaniment of a rottweiler. Our electrical storms are- wait, we don't have electrical storms (well, unless you include the kamikaze squirrels who chomp on the power lines).

Not that I'm bitter or anything, I love it here in Alaska. It's just that this time of the year has presented a small problem inside me.

I miss fall.

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