If I’d been drinking a soda when I read comment #7 on my previous post, I’d have snorted it through my nose.
Instead I belly laughed until it hurt. I’m still laughing.
“As for your matching outfits…I CANNOT tell you how refreshing it is to see a family looking real. In fact, I enjoy seeing all your pictures that you’ve been taking of people. It’s not a contest up there.”
Excuse me while I laugh some more.
Okay. I’m back.
No. It’s not a contest up here. Keeping up with the Jones’? Not so much.
There are blogs I follow. People living pretty lives. Glossy lives. In the lower 48.
I admit I’m addicted to their shiny selves.
But we do things a little different up here.
I’d like to introduce some evidence to support my claim.
Our home in North Pole…
I feel the need to explain the garbage trailer. There is no curbside garbage service. You don’t just put your cans out to be emptied weekly. You haul your own trash. To the nearest transfer station. Which consists of several dumpsters and a smell so foul mere words cannot do it justice. And if you aren’t affluent enough to have a truck or trailer, you get to put your garbage in the backseat of your minivan. And hope the bag doesn’t leak. Don’t get mad… get Glad.
If you are lucky you can pick up the most incredible finds while depositing your trash. Bikes. Lawnmowers. Bunk beds. All missing vital parts like handlebars, engines, or railings.
And if you don’t find something for yourself, there is sure to be someone waiting to go through your garbage bags after you leave (or while you are still unloading) to make sure you didn’t throw away a treasure.
And so our trusty red garbage trailer sits in the yard. Overflowing. And needing to be emptied.
(I’ve just given all the Kodiakians reading this post heart palpitations thinking of the bear bait we left just sitting around. Good thing there were no bears. Just moose. And wolves. )
Where were we?
Oh yes. We were hanging out in our fancy patio furniture…
While Jake prepared the fire over which we’d be cooking our gourmet dinner of hot dogs and smores. All from the comfort of our backyard.
And Jacob was waiting to get a haircut.
May I tell you a story?
About two years ago I was in Blockbuster in North Pole. I was wandering up and down the aisles looking for something to rent. Behind me I could hear the clomp, clomp, clomp of children wearing moon boots indoors. Do you know the sound?
It’s kind of an irritating sound. I’ve always wondered why parents let their children wear their winter boots out to do errands. Winter boots are for playing in the snow. Not for trips to Blockbuster.
The children were disheveled. They needed haircuts. Their clothes didn’t match and they had holes in their pants. One child was wearing sweats. Sweat pants are not intended to leave the house. Ever. Unless you have nothing else to wear to the gym.
The youngest child’s face was dirty from what appeared to be dinner.
Clomp. Clomp. Clomp.
It took me a moment to recognize my own children following me down the aisle.
This story repeats over and over again. Groundhog Day.
We buy houses like this:
Houses with orange counter tops and 70′s daisy wall paper that quite possibly is making a comeback.
I photoshopped Sam’s hair in our family pictures. Last week he cut a chunk out of his hair in front. It’s noticeable. But he doesn’t care. And I figure it will grow back. And so I don’t care either.
No. There is no pretense here in Alaska. There is no restaurant in which jeans would be inappropriate attire. Xtra tuffs (see this post) are commonly worn on bright sunny days. And there’s no reason you couldn’t wear them with a dress. I’ve seen it.
It’s taken some getting used to. Once upon a time my family was always coiffed. And then life happened. And everybody else got a life too. And suddenly it didn’t matter so much.
If you will indulge me in a final exhibit.
My grandma. Her life wasn’t a contest. She worked hard and she played hard. She is the epitome of a true Alaskan.
It’s just how we roll.