Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fun Without the Sun


It seems strangely appropriate on this eve of the winter solstice that our tiny village is blanketed with a heavy layer of freezing fog. The sun set for the last time back before Thanksgiving, but we're still blessed with a short period of ambient light on the southern horizon when the sky is perfectly clear. Unfortunately, the weather hasn't been cooperating and the only light on the southern horizon I've seen in weeks is the signal out at the airport.

Before I moved to Atqasuk, I used to wonder about that line in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that includes, "then one foggy Christmas Eve." Having grown up in the South, that didn't make much sense to me. I had no idea that it could be foggy and below freezing at the same time. Well, now I know. It's not only possible, but also common and something of a pain in the neck.

Bush pilots are amazingly adept at flying under the most challenging Arctic weather conditions imaginable without much of a problem, but fog isn't one of them. This time of year, with so many people trying to get out for Christmas, it can really put a damper on holiday spirit to hear that all flights have been cancelled due to fog. Where is that Rudolph when we need him?

So it's foggy here and quiet. With cloud cover hiding any celestial light and ice fog muting or totally snuffing out the artificial sources, the longest night of the year has the potential of being one of the darkest as well.

But that won't prevent kids (or adults) from playing outside. In fact, with winds down below the 10 mph mark, there will likely be a great deal of activity around the village. As these grainy photos from a few days ago depict, there is fun to be had even without the sun.

Snow slide, anyone?





Bryan said...

Just proves that nothing can truly dampen the human (ok, the Childlike!) spirit. Thank you again for writing so encouragingly about life. I really needed that today! :-)

David said...

Wow! Just found your blog through and I'm adding you to my Reader. Fantastic scenes - it's hard to imagine so little daylight.

Kimberlee said...

Hey, Bryan!
Thank you for dropping by and for your comments! It encourages ME to see the kids out playing in spite of less than ideal circumstances. I'm happy that some of that encouragement translates through the glimpses I'm able to share. Thanks again for your kind thoughts.

Hello, David.
Nice to meet you. I'm so glad to hear that you've enjoyed the photos. I'll have to compare the blog address you've provided and see if it's one I've visited before. I'm always happy to find a great site. Thanks for sharing that with everyone and please DO come back again.

Merry Christmas to each of you! :)

kristina said...

I like your blog. I found it while searching for "frozen" images- I found the photo of frozen eyelashes. I hope you don't mind that I posted it and linked your blog to mine. I think my blogger friends might like to read about Atqasuk too. I can't imagine being in darkness so long. I can barely tolerate winter in Minnesota. I wish you the best:)

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Kristina!
Nice to meet you! I'm thrilled that you found something interesting on my blog. Feel free to link it anytime! :) From recent weather reports, the temps in MN have probably been fairly similar to ours! Brrr!

Thanks for saying hello! I hope you'll visit again soon. :)