A snack-craving boy needs money in his pocket, a stir-crazy dog needs to get out of the house, an exhausted dog owner needs a few moments of dog-free tranquility in her life. A symbiotic relationship? I'm thinking...definitely yes!
Wintering with an energetic, two-year-old, lab mix that thinks the world is her own personal chew toy makes the challenge of living in the Arctic seem like a walk in the park...in spring...eating an ice cream cone.
Excavating the doghouse has been long overdue. Some time apart will be good for everyone involved, even if only a few minutes each day. The exhausted dog owner will be able to talk on the phone, work on the computer, or (dare we hope?) eat a meal in relative peace. And the stir-crazy dog will be able to sit in the sun, bark at any and all passers by and...well...live to see her third birthday!
Of course, the excavation required a hefty chunk of change. Even a snack-craving boy doesn't come cheap these days. But, I must admit, he wasn't nearly as expensive as, say, my almost new hiking shoes...or my handmade beaver mittens. Too bad I didn't think of that a little sooner.
The snow removal was actually started last week when the borough came by with a dozer...or some other kind of snow pushing machine. They moved as much of the drift as they could without hitting the connex, my fuel tank, or the doghouse. They actually did think they'd hit my porch (I got a phone call at school). It turned out that they had just scraped up a piece of plywood that was on the ground in front of my porch. No harm done. (Whew!). By the time I took these photos, my snack-craving boy had already shaved a foot and a half of snow off the top of the doghouse and had dug out an opening to the doorway.
The connex is a storage container that was converted into an apartment. I just use it for storage, but since the doors open on the end, it's not usually accessible in the winter without a lot of effort. This time the effort wasn't mine. And it was worth every penny!
Anybody need a, size seven, almost new, (right foot) hiking shoe? I seem to have one that I can't use anymore.
I also have a (right hand) beaver mitten without a mate. Although, I may be able to repair the damaged one...I'm not sure.
Look at that nose creeping into the photo! She's got some nerve, huh?
Welcome to the Arctic! This space is dedicated to observations and experiences related to daily life in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Atqasuk. Questions and comments are invited. Thanks for visiting! Quyanaqpaq!
nuna:tundra, the land atikluk:snow shirt, parka cover
Interested in Inuit culture? Check out these films...
The Fast Runner is an excellent representation of ancient Inuit culture. The R-rating is for nudity, violence, and some language. Subtitles are utilized throughout. I do not recommend this film for children, but it's an extremely accurate portrayal of the culture. It was introduced to me by an Inupiat woman who raved about it. And I agree!
For a preview, click here.
The Snow Walker is another excellent representation of Inuit culture circa 1940's. This film is rated PG, I'm guessing for language. No subtitles that I remember. It starts a little slow, but gets much better. It will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the survival skills of this culture.
For a preview, click here.
Great For Kids!
Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson is a warm and culturally sensitive story centered on the Inupiat subsistence tradition of whaling. It is available in both English and Inupiaq translation. The illustrations, by Annie Patterson are exquisite and add to the quiet softness that the story inspires.
To order this title on Amazon.com, click here.
The Alaska Geographic series is an excellent informational resource. The edition entitled North Slope Now deals exclusively with this area and even features relatives of my students. Although it was published in 1989, it is still current enough to provide a general understanding of culture, lifestyle, and issues faced by this northern-most region.
To order this title from Alaska Geographic, click here.
More about Kaktovik Disaster of 2005 (from Dec post, "The Edge")