Yesterday, as I was talking to a new-to-the-Bible Bee mom who just moved to Alaska – specifically, Fairbanks – at the end of January, I was reminded of so many things that tend to be forgotten once you’ve lived here for a while. Things that are so surreal, that it is hard to explain them to people Outside – it just feels like you’re always exaggerating, so it it’s hard for them to actually believe you. We had fun during our 19 months in the Lower 48 recounting many of the uniquenesses of Interior Alaska to the thousands of people we met, and it will be fun to remember what we’ve forgotten as we get settled back in to life in the Last Frontier.
Like 24-hour daylight. Yesterday, we bought foil and tape to cover the windows in the rooms where we are staying in Palmer for the next few nights during InterAct Ministries’ field conference. The stars disappeared weeks ago, not to be seen again until late August. 10 p.m. looks like mid-afternoon outside. It’s so hard for the body to shut down and remember that it’s time to go to sleep. For little ones, when we’re at home and have a serious bedtime, we need to come inside and close all the blackout curtains an hour or so before we expect them to go to sleep. (The rest of us – we’re so exhausted by the more-than-full-day’s work as we rush to get all the outside work done before winter hits again, that sleep isn’t quite so hard to come by!)
And service. While folks are mostly congenial and helpful – with the isolation, we depend on each other! – we are, again, isolated – which means that pretty much what you see is what is available. There isn’t a lot of competition. This is what we have, this is how much it costs. Don’t you realize the freight costs to get that up here?? Don’t you realize that it’s hard to find skilled laborers? But we understand that we’re all in the same boat, and do what we can to give consideration to each other, because we’re stuck. Can’t hop to the next store for the same item or service.
Ah, but that is part of the joy of living here! Because it’s tough to stick it out given the harsh weather and not-so-soft living, we don’t have the hoards of traffic and mobs of people everywhere you turn. We have a comraderie of sort of – well, an elite. We have clean air….ahhhh…. Still. Quiet. More of an opportunity to “be still and know that [Jehovah is] God.” And *that* is the foundation and capstone of rest. (~Shannon)