What I’ve learned in my first five days in AK:
1. Daily views of glaciers can help your mind rest.
2. Even when you’re exhausted, seeing an eagle swoop down in front of you is something to take notice of.
3. When the sun comes out, and it’s 60 degrees, it’s warm.
4. The shape of the state of Alaska can be replicated with your right hand: pinky, ring, and middle finger fold in at the middle joint; pointer and thumb remain straight. I live at the thumb joint. (So glad to know that there is another state besides MI that does this…I always wanted to be part of a tribe that could point to a place on their hand to represent where in the state they lived).
5. There are five kinds of salmon in the area. These are "easily" remembered by their correlation to fingers (at least for 2nd graders, apparently)…I can only remember the following: Thumb=chum; pointer=sockeye; middle finger=king; ring finger =silver; pinky=??? There is no finger for “farmed” in this land. J
6. I come from “down south”... As in “I have Lisa Richardson here in my office. She just moved here from down south and wants to begin her home loan process.”
7. There is a section of town called “Out the Road.” When you drive “out the road” there is a sign that says, “Road ends: 24 mi.” And the road, indeed, just ends.
8. Bear scat in your driveway just means you should make a little noise and be “bear aware” as you move about.
9. People swimming in a glacial lake in dry suits is kind of novel.
10. I don’t need to add any extra time in my daily commute for traffic, but I do need to be aware that I might have to add time for “random chats with very nice strangers” along the way.
11. A ten o’clock sunset at the end of May makes me stay up WAY too late, but, thankfully, the gentlemen doing construction on the house I’m renting are un-phased by my bed-head and bleary eyes when they arrive with their power tools at 8 a.m., and as I scramble to get out of their way.
12. There do seem to be an awful lot of men here. And they all seem to be wearing Carhartts and doing quite manly things. I think of this as nice icing on the already amazing scenery cake.
13. Yoga might take on a different meaning in this setting. Meditation might as well.
14. I haven’t heard a siren in five days.
15. I have heard a waterfall.