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Fire and Ice, changes in seasons…. not forgotten and sincerely missed

October 21, 2017

…sitting here at my keyboard this morning with my windows open in the 77 degree heat with my arms feeling clammy on the wooden desk do you think its wrong that my mind drifts back to the many October’s alone in the wilderness. I thought as the Texas summer fights changing to the cooler November weather I would write a short post about my remembrances of days gone by in my cabin in October.

Ice….as I put my coffee cup down on the counter the tendrils of steam still rose from its remains even though I had poured it a quarter hour ago. It was October here at my cabin and though ‘cool’ still not cold enough to have my heater on as long as I dressed warm. For 14 years now I have gone through this ritual of changing seasons and though it was in the single digits outside, with my warm flannel shirt on it was comfortable inside.

When I went outside to check my generator the crackling sound my footsteps made, on the way to the shed, came from walking on any standing water that was now frozen. My breath lingering in the air like the puffs from an old steam engine swirled then lingered behind me as I opened the shed door. Now that temperatures were nearing zero one of the seasonal changes in my daily activity was to bring the generator inside in the morning to warm it up for use later in the evening. As I walked back to the cabin I looked up at the sunlight streaming through the spruce and birch trees to see that the morning fog had frozen on their tips and every tree now appeared to be covered in diamonds glistening in that sunlight.

Fire….well maybe not quite the same fire as in August when it was in the high 90’s, but even as I sit here today in mid October with my windows open at 77 degrees my skin moist and having anything more than shorts and a T-shirt on would cause one to sweat. Unfortunately I can’t think of any poetic words to describe my current surroundings other than….safe. You ask why ‘safe’ and in that changing wonderland I described in the preceding paragraph I omitted one glaring downside to the changing seasons in my old Alaska…ice roads.

Over the years I have visited Texas around the Christmas holiday’s and a number of times it has snowed or rained here and the roads have frozen and produced ‘black ice’ conditions. Many people here like everywhere else do not automatically adjust their driving for potential patches of black ice and thus for a day or so we have a lot of accidents in the area. Now one would think people who live in Alaska and go through the changeover every year would be used to driving on roads of ice…not. Though not as many accidents as here in Texas we still have people forgetting that there is no way to stop when your tires are on a sheet of ice.

So though today my daughter in Alaska was greeted with a morning temperature of 12 degrees and patchy ice all over her town I do not have to worry about that ice till maybe December or January. But like many things in life after 20 years of living in what most would call an extremely cold climate I miss not sitting with the window open and sweating while I type.

Fire and Ice
Texas and Alaska
two different extremes
which one I prefer

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2017 2:02 am

    Sounds like you’re, really experiencing the extremes of the temperature change in your rarea of the world, and sometimes, these extreme temperature changes can remind us of the moments of our younger years…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jon permalink
    October 22, 2017 12:54 pm

    Sept. 23 was 92 degrees here in the Minneapolis area. Already had our first light frost in the metro & hard freezes with flurries up north. Predicted rain/snow mix next week-end.
    I didn’t think our summer here was that miserable even though I like the cooler weather too.


  3. Del permalink
    October 23, 2017 8:58 am

    will be our first cold snap this week by Thursday…. low 40’s!!!! woo hoo!!! The deer will start moving now…..


  4. November 3, 2017 2:12 pm

    Great piece, Pete, and gorgeous images! I just returned from a 6k+ step walk with ‘the kidz’ in the fog. As it is 22.9° F we’re seeing some ice fog as well but nothing like that shown in your images. I think the only thing in this vein that’s prettier is ice but ice storms are extremely destructive.


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