Wednesday was one of those magical days in Moose Pass that makes us forget about a lot of bad weather that comes our way. Not the unusual amount of snow this last winter, though. With piles of snow still hanging around, it’s too soon to expect us to forget that.
But Wednesday? Clear blue sky, temperatures in the mid-sixties, definite tinges of green on what were bare branches of deciduous trees. That’s a fine day.
By evening, the day was even nicer, if that’s possible. For me it was a lot nicer, because I’d spent two hours fighting my way through alders in the heat of the afternoon, wearing long sleeves to protect my forearms from scratches. At the end of those two hours, five yellow bags full of beer bottles and cans, dirty diapers, miscellaneous food wrappers, and other assorted detritus were tied off and placed along the guard rail at Mile 52.5 pullout.
And I was once again sick of alders.
When I arrived home I didn’t collapse in front of the TV and threaten never to move again, as usual. Instead, I started doing a few chores around the outside of my home, watering a brown lawn showing hints of new green grass, cleaning out the flower beds, and so on.
In one of those inexplicable moments of synchronicity, neighbors on both sides of me drifted onto the gravel airstrip that runs behinds our properties. In some ways, it was symbolic—coming out of our winter snow caves to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
We ambled along the strip, noticing how summer is unfolding, watching the swallows searching for mosquitoes, and remarking about what a nice day it was.
“This is the day we’ve been waiting for,” said Bruce.
Eight words, only eight. But in those words he acknowledged and we understood what was unspoken. We put up with a lot to live here. High cost of living, nasty weather, frequent power outages, long days of winter darkness. What the next four months hold in store, we have no way of knowing.
And because we’re long-time Alaskans and know how these things go, recognize what a clear day could mean for the night ahead, no one had to answer Bruce’s next question.
“Think it’ll freeze tonight?”