Despite it all

I can’t drive in the dark. Hell, I can barely drive in the dusk. And ever since Johnson’s Tires closed down with my studded snow tires, I’ve been very leery of driving on icy roads with my all weather tires.

So why, as my family and friends from outside often wonder, do I stay here. And the answer is very simple.

Every morning I wake up to the sight of the Chugach Mountains out my bedroom window. When I wake up early, which is sadly becoming more and more common as the pains persist through the night, I see those mountains slowly come awake to a rosy pink dawn.

That’s when I realize that there is still no place on earth I’d rather be. It’s why I put up with all the restrictions on my activities. It’s why I don’t mind having to check the weather to see how much food and pot I will have to store in advance of another storm or week of icy road. It’s why I don’t mind that I have to drive my car down the driveway to the mailbox because it’s too slippery to walk. It’s why I don’t care if I’m late for an appointment because there is a moose blocking my ability to pull out of my garage.

I watch the snow creep down the mountain as winter approaches – you know, back when we had snow – and I realize all over again why all the inconveniences are worth it. Because I get the privilege of living in Alaska. And there is simply no place else I want to be.