Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Moment to Reflect (aka I'm Not Dead)

Well, its been a while since I (the "he") had anything to say here. No good excuses, I just haven't had anything new and exciting to talk about lately regarding our northern adventure.

Weddings and honeymoons and what-not will do that sometimes. But things have just been rolling along nicely, and isn't that a good thing?

I've been keeping some notes on items I wanted to discuss though and now's as good a time as ever.

First of all, people often ask us about the long-night thing. I want to put it to rest. In Baker Lake, I hardly notice it at all, and it doesn't impact my happiness one way or another. The example I like to use is this: When we lived in Toronto, in the middle of winter, we left for work in the morning, and it was dark. We left work at night to come home, and it was...dark. Personally I never left the office for lunch, so I didn't even see the sun then. is that any different from here? And honestly, even on the weekends it doesn't seem much different. Yeah the sun takes a couple hours longer to rise but its not like its pitch-black at 9AM in the morning. There's still some light even though the sun hasn't technically "risen".

Honestly, the long-daylight thing is far more annoying. Sunglasses at 10PM is pretty cool, but trying to sleep without uber-blinds on your window is more annoying. Also, the folks around here must operate on 1-hour sleep schedules during the summer, with kids still out playing after midnight and vehicles tearing around all "night".

Next, people always ask about the cold: For me? Non-factor. We brought warm clothes, and we dress accordingly. I never feel more cold than I did living in Ontario. Well, except for one thing: 23 degrees Celsius in the house always seemed pretty cozy down south; for some reason it feels "just warm enough" up here.

For what its worth, Baker is kinda beautiful in winter. Just about every day over the last two weeks, I keep having "wow" moments on my way to and from work. For one thing, its bright, so I'm always wearing sunglasses out these days. But the blue skies, bright sun glaring off snow and ice to the horizon in every direction...very acceptable.


Having seen both, I'd take deep winter over deep summer any day. So those of you considering joining us up here (anyone?) but worried about the winters, don't be!

Slightly off topic: we Honeymooned in Jamaica at the end of February. It was...ok. Maybe I'm just not a great vacationer or maybe I really did just take too much sun to the head, but I spent most of the time wanting to go home to Baker. (Somewhere my sister is jabbing needles into a doll that looks like me. She definitely would have made the most of the trip.)

Important news of the month: Best day ever last Friday! Check this out...Krista got a new (temporary) gig, which was wonderful. Then I won $50 at bingo (barely, it was a tough game requiring a lot of thought and strategy) which was even better. (Yep, better). Best of all? We managed to get a Euchre game going at a party that night! I don't think I accidentally reneged at all but I did give "her" a double-facepalm moment when I ordered up a suit when we had a total of two trump between us. (oh, euchred, and how). Somehow we're still together after that, what a forgiving girl.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ray of Sunshine

I have a confession to make. I love the new Tropicana commercial where they bring sunshine to Inuvik. It’s a great depiction of the North. It makes me all teary-eyed.

We’re lucky enough that we never had 24 hours without sun. We got down to about 4 hours of true daylight in December, and have been amazed since coming back from the wedding and honeymoon how much daylight we have now. (It’s 7pm and I still don’t have lights on….)

The commercial raised some deep and interesting questions for me though.

Where on earth is Inuvik that it has 24 hour darkness? Ok, well Inuvik is in the Northwest Territories. Technically, it’s in the northwest corner of the Northwest Territories. It is two degrees above the Arctic Circle.

I had to Google ‘Inuvik’ to find all that out, and probably wouldn’t have bothered at all, if it wasn’t for the presence of trees in the commercial. What I *really* wanted to know was: Where on earth is Inuvik that they have 24 hour darkness AND trees?!?!

On our way to Baker Lake we say goodbye to trees at Churchill. And we feel sorry for those trees, because they are lonely, stunted, sparse things. In Baker, we’re south of the Arctic Circle and we don’t have 24 hour darkness, so how come we don’t have trees?

(Please note: This is where the cynical thinking of my new husband must’ve rubbed off on me and I set out to prove that they doctored the commercial to make the town of Inuvik more picturesque to sell more OJ.)

So I Googled ‘arctic circle tree line’. Who knew that the tree line isn’t a straight line drawn at approximately 55 degrees? Not even close. The tree line is all topsy-turvy. Several areas in the NWT, Yukon, and Alaska enjoy the presence of trees, even though they are north of the Arctic Circle, probably due to some meteorological phenomenon that’d take a degree to understand.

So Inuvik is north of the Arctic Circle. They have trees. They also have 24 hour darkness. AND they have the kind people from Tropicana bringing them OJ, which, if you’ve lived in the north, is worth its weight in gold –en sunshine.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

End of Craziness

And back to routine.

Our trip down south was very busy and ultimately successful. We had the wedding we dreamt of. It was beyond perfection and we wouldn’t have changed a thing. Even the weather cooperated; we had unseasonably warm temperatures for our outdoor wedding.

We spent a week relaxing poolside and oceanside in Jamaica. It was exactly what the doctor ordered considering the changes in our lives over the last six months. The doctor didn’t order the nasty cold that ‘he’ picked up though!

We planned our trip home to include an overnight in Winnipeg, since catching a flight to make the connection onto First Air is a bit difficult. It’s even harder when travelling with the dog.

‘He’s’ been back to work for a week now, while I’ve been laid off by the company I was working for. I’m planning on hitting some of the other offices around town to see if I can pick up something else. It gets a bit boring and lonely being a housewife in Baker Lake.

It’s definitely been nice to be back home and get back into a normal routine. We’ve been marvelling at the changes up here in Baker.

First, we’re up to a crazy amount of daylight! We now wake up to sunshine and ‘he’ comes home from work in sunshine. And we’ve had so much sun! The weather’s been unbelievable, fairly warm (around the -10 degree mark). There was one day where it was pretty windy, making the temperature around -30, but we haven’t seen much new snow at all.

We managed to get together with a group last weekend to play poker. We hosted it at our place (a first) and it was success. We have a busy weekend planned – ‘he’s’ boss has said it’s a requirement that he attends his party on Friday, and we have another game of poker on Saturday.

I found it harder to leave this time, since there is no real timeline for our next visit, but we are happy to be back in our own place.