Here's a first for me, a post with a link, it's actually from a blog I read frequently in my web list from the Arctic Circle. She's a single mother living in Kotzebue in rural Alaska, a place about as appealing to me as the fire pits of Hell (my future address I'm sure), but which nevertheless I find fascinating for the very perverse reason that I'd rather swim with piranhas in the tropics than eat seal meat and watch snow falling in the Arctic. If you follow this blog you'll find that from time to time they eat foods that seem rather, um, robust for suburban America, and are never likely to show up in your local Piggly Wiggly. This below is a tiny suburb of Kotzebue accessible by plane or snowmobile ( or husky sled I'm sure), called Kivalina eking out an existence on a barrier island, not in Florida, but Alaska. The white stuff I am reliably informed is snow and frozen ocean:
The blog is mostly a record of the surprisingly mundane doings of ordinary family life in an extraordinary place but every now and again it breaks out and talks about the aspects of life that are truly odd about life so far north, in this instance a trip by bush plane to the outer villages for purposes not revealed in the story. It seems Kotzebue, a place that resembles Big Pine Key under a snowdrift, is actually the metropolis, and there are people still living in wood cabins the villages dotting the back country. One can hardly imagine it, because I am after all a little miffed that its been dropping to 60 degrees (15C) at night since time immemorial it seems like in the Keys; up there its minus something horrible with wind chill and horizontal snowflakes. In Alaska they take jaunts in small planes in snowstorms, and they do it with insouciance. Here's the link for a view into a living refrigerator:
Aside from the arctic barrier island I noticed modern homes built on stilts, not high enough to park under, so their vehicles, left outside, turn into wedding cakes in winter which makes me wonder how little they pay for their cars and snowmobiles if they leave them outdoors to freeze. Quite aside from the pain of defrosting them and getting into them and making them go when needed. I have read that the ground in Alaska is made of frozen dirt called permafrost and if you heat it up it melts and things on top of it like houses and roads sink into the mire, so I'm guessing that's why they have houses on stilts, and probably not because of hurricanes. However I'd rather face a hurricane than endless blowing snow quite frankly. I'm hoping it hits 80 degrees today (27C) because I'm tired of being cold, even at my modest level.