First of all, I must apologize for taking so long to give an update... life has been a little busier than I expected! Second, I want to give praise to God for getting our house rented since I last updated the blog! A wonderful family moved in last November, and signed a one year lease! Wow, I can't believe its been 4 months since I wrote last! Well, let me dive right in...
Ok, I realize that we haven't officially survived our first winter in Alaska, yet, and yes, its only February, and we could still see some more extremely cold temps and more snow, but we've survived the hardest part (in my opinion), the dark! I must admit that the darkness is my least favorite part about Alaska! When the sun doesn't rise till about 11:30 am and starts setting at about 2:30 pm, that just makes for a LONG night! I would say that what I found is not that it made me depressed or anything like that, it made me sluggish! It's so hard to get up and going when its dark outside, but praise God, the sun is back! It is now rising about 8:30 am and setting around 6:00 pm, so we're having a pretty good day!
So, what do we do in Alaska in the winter and in the dark? Well, we have gone to a bunch of hockey games! Avery is even enjoying them! Basically, you have to stay busy! Fellowship is a huge part of making it through the winter in my opinion! Hockey games, going to friends' houses, wandering around Barnes and Noble, church events, etc... When its really cold, its kind of hard to do anything outdoors, but Rob has managed to go snow machining a couple of times. A couple here at our church were kind enough to basically give us their snow machines! They don't use them anymore, and just told us to enjoy them! How wonderful that God even looks out for our wants as well!
Legistically, winter in Alaska has been interesting. We have to plug in our cars every night so the engine block stays warm... Snow pants, snow boots, and down parkas, are all new additions to our wardrobes! Having your feet completely come out from under you as you walk across an icy parking lot is a new experience too! Fortunately, I was able to recover pretty fast! Driving on snow and ice has been a little precarious at times! I've actually witnessed two pretty serious wrecks, and driven by countless others! I can't tell you how many times I've gone to put on the brakes and my car just keeps going! That's pretty scary, especially when you're coming up on an intersection!
Though winter in Alaska is a world apart from winter in South Carolina, I must say that it is BEAUTIFUL! My absolute favorite thing is the snow on the trees! It is soo beautiful! Especially when its sunny and the sky is bright blue! Gorgeous! Oh, and the sunsets are are amazing! The colors are just breathtaking! We got a chance to go to Anchorage again New Year's weekend, and the drive was just as beautiful as when we did it in the fall! The Alaska wilderness truly is awesome!
I'm told that the summers here are just wonderful, so I'm looking forward to that! I have to say again that the people here are just amazing! We've been so blessed in so many ways! God has been so good and gracious to us! Rob is still finding it a bit hard to believe that he's playing music for a living, but just loving it! The boys are doing well, and really like it here! They've made some great friends, and don't seem to mind the cold and the snow at all! Avery is awesome! She'll be turning 2 on the 22nd of this month! I can't believe it! Me? I'm trying to soak everything in! I still find it a bit mind-blowing that I'm here, but I see the hand of God in what we're doing. We've come across some situations that have shown us we're here for more than just Rob playing music. We're excited about what God is going to continue to do in us and through us while we're in the Far North!
I will try to update more frequently from now on! We are going home to South Carolina for a vist this coming Monday! We are so excited to get to see friends and family! Thanks so much for your continued prayers!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So there was a moose in our church parking lot the night before last. Our pastor called me, as I'd asked him earlier to let me know if he ever saw one out there. She spent about 45 minutes eating the choke cherry tree branches around the parking lot. Although he assures me she wasn't THAT big, (she was roughly the size of a mini-van), her head was dead level with the roof overhang on Pastor Paul's house. After inching my way closer over a LONG period of time, I ended up about 20 feet away, snapping pictures like the paparazzi at Britney Spears' re-hab release party. At that point she (the moose) decided she'd had enough of the photo op and turned toward me. She pinned back her ears and blew steam (or smoke) out her nose, then started moving toward me. I actually never realized how well I could move through snow wearing entirely too much clothing, carrying cameras and lenses. It was kind of like Carl Lewis in a parka, screaming like a little girl, across the church parking lot toward the door. As I dove through the door Mary Beth was holding open, I noticed my wife laughing hysterically at my near death experience, only to turn around and realize that the moose had actually only taken about two steps toward me. It was still an impressive run.