In January, the average temperature was 30 below, I think. Word in town has it that it was the fifth coldest month on record, ever. In February, it has been above zero everyday, generally getting up to about 20 something and at least 3 times, getting above freezing! The weekend before Elodie’s birthday, the last Sunday in January, our thermometer on the deck said it was 44 below. We still went to Church that day (only sacrament meeting was held) and some people said the thermometers at their houses read 55 or even 60 below! In other words, January was SERIOUSLY COLD! Just a couple of days later, on Elodie’s birthday, it was exactly 80 degrees warmer at 36 above; as I played with her outside and enjoyed the sunshine on my face, I think I felt every single one of those 80 degrees (not 80 above zero, but 80 above the weekend temps!). February has felt like a heat wave. I am loving it!
In January, it seemed like everything was at a standstill due to extreme cold—no hockey practice, no outdoor recess, no Sunday School, no library story time, no playing outside. And there was one self-imposed “no.” After the treat fest of the holidays, we had decided to have a no-sugar January to start the new year off on a healthier note. It seemed like a great idea in December. When January hit, it seemed like a terrible idea! During a month that cold and dark, saying no to my favorite hobby of baking (and eating) cookies, brownies, muffins, granola, etc. is not healthy!
In January, we started off the month with only 4 hours of daylight per day. At this point in February, we’re enjoying about 9 1/2 hours of daylight. Huge difference! Oh, February, I love you!
And speaking of February lovin’, on Valentine’s Day, we got Xander’s “substitute uncle,” as he calls him, to babysit and actually went out for a night on the town. We tried out Delta Junction’s Asian joint, The Hard Wok Café, and it was rather tasty. Since there were no crowds at all, just one other table even occupied, we were done with dinner and we’d only been gone about an hour. We actually had a babysitter; we didn’t want to just go home at 7:15! But what to do in our little town after we were totally stuffed…? All we could think of was to get some ice cream at the IGA and sit at the tables by the fire that they have in there. Yeah, going to the grocery store. But lucky for us, as we got out of the car at IGA, we looked up and saw the Northern Lights!
They usually only come out in the middle of the night, not early evening! In fact, in our 8 months here in Alaska, we had seen them only once before when Aaron was on call and dragged me out of bed at 2am so I wouldn’t miss out. This Aurora Borealis show was bright enough that we could see it even with the streetlights in the IGA parking lot! So we bought some ice cream and drove to a field where we could see the sky better (since there are towering trees everywhere here) and were about ready to just enjoy the romantic Valentine’s light show—who says there’s nothing to do in the country—when the babysitter called wondering if we were on our way home. Apparently, after Xander and Elodie were in bed, Hazel noticed that mom wasn’t there and was getting a bit concerned. We marveled—briefly—at the dancing bands of green light all across the sky and headed home.
Last Saturday as we were coming home from a party at the Church, the Northern Lights were out again and the kids got to see them. They were highly impressed. I tell ya, what’s not to love about February?
I think the only thing that could top February off for me is to have a healthy baby boy born on the last day of the month—Leap Day! Wouldn’t that be fun? Not too likely, though, I generally hold off until right around my due date. But I’ll be 38 weeks, it could happen…