Hey June…

Hey June…Here I am, sitting in my living room at 7:50 PM on Friday, June 2nd…and the daylight is pouring through my big bay window. It won’t get dark here until the wee small hours of the morning, and even then it’s more like a half-dark, dusky thing than it is night darkness. I live in Anchorage, Alaska. Summer is when the God’s creation – Alaska – is in her full flower of glory. The daylight starts increasing on December 21 (or whatever date the winter solstice is in any given year). This article in the Anchorage Daily News explains the winter solstice better than I could: https://www.adn.com/weather/article/winter-solstice-brings-daylight-increases-back-alaska/2015/12/21/.

The winter solstice is, for Alaskans, our chance to flip Old Man Winter the bird…take THAT you old, cold hobgoblin! Take your Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and shove it…but the true impact of the increasing daylight reaches its zenith on the Summer Solstice, which is exactly six months from the winter solstice – on June 21. You’ll note that Summer Solstice is written as a Title…the reason for this is simply that summer – which for Alaskans is roughly 90 days long – is intense. Here’s another Anchorage Daily News article – this time about Summer Solstice: https://www.adn.com/weather/article/winter-solstice-brings-daylight-increases-back-alaska/2015/12/21/. Enjoy the photos and videos featured…but to truly understand the impact that Summer Solstice has, you really have to come up here and experience it for yourself.

As the days lengthen, I notice that I have ever-increasing energy, and when normal bedtime rolls around (which for us is around 10 PM-ish), I often don’t feel at all sleepy. When I was growing up on the homestead, we would find ourselves working away and suddenly realize that we were starving – then realize that it was 10 PM! We had worked right through suppertime. This happens often in summer. I have a hard time settling down in the evening, because I really don’t feel sleepy…this summer I have found myself wide awake at 4 AM…often…which plays merry hell when you have a morning appointment! You can tell nubes (new Alaska residents) by the aluminum foil with which they line their windows in summer to block out all that pesky daylight…old-timers like myself just roll with it…and sometimes don’t sleep at all. My husband Paul is only person I know who can fall asleep anytime, anywhere…. it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is or how much daylight we have. I envy that ability…because it is alien to me. My circadian rhythm is deeply affected by the time of year…so when summer rolls around, I feel great…and winter? Don’t ask.

Thank God for summer in Alaska…hey June, I love ya…and I will leave you with a short video of my front yard at 8:15 PM…and a photo. Enjoy your summer.

Anchorage, 2 June 2017, around 8:15 PM

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This is why I live here…because summer is richer and more beautiful here than anywhere else in the world…

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, hosted by the ever-amazing Kristi Rieger Campbell of Finding Ninee. (Kristi’s blog is at http://www.findingninee.com)  This week’s prompt is “Hey, June…”

10 thoughts on “Hey June…

  1. My dad LOVES rhubarb! Alaska seems so amazing. One year, I was in Stockholm, Sweden for Midsummer celebration (June something or other — 20th maybe??) and it was like that. It got dark for a couple of hours around 1am. I LOVED it but yeah, I had a super-hard time sleeping. One of these days, I want to come to Alaska, so much. I’m glad you wrote and linked up!!! You rock!!!

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    1. Yeah, Sweden and the other more northerly countries – Finland, for example – get the long daylight hours like us. And you know that whenever you want to head up my way, you’re most welcome! It’s been a very restful month, not writing loonnnggg papers about genocide…but it was fun writing this post!

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    2. Kristi, when I was a kid we knew a crusty old sourdough named Bill Thompson. He hated bears – I mean, like REALLY hated bears – so when he saw a black bear, he generally shot it. Mind you, this was in the 1960s so things were a tad more…relaxed? then, in terms of Fish & Game not being within a hundred miles in any given direction…so anyway, Bill would shoot his bears and (sorry, gross part here), boil the carcass and once the resultant soup cooled, he’d pour it at the base of his giant rhubarb plants. Now, giant rhubarb is green through and through – and you get TONS more because it’s naturally huge…but Bill Thompson’s giant rhubarb plants got to at least six feet in height. I used to play underneath them when I’d go up to his cabin to visit. It was magical…my very own fairyland. Bear fertilizer…that’s the secret to really BIG rhubarb plants! Of course, today Fish & Game are around a lot more than in the past…

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  2. I love this! Living in Norway, I can really really really relate to your post! How it feels like you’re walking around half-asleep all winter and you wake up sometime in late April. How the days get longer and the nights shorter. How you count every extra minute and second of extra daylight every day all spring. How you’re just as surprised every year by how late sunset actually is. How you have to tell your kids that the sun keeps forgetting to go to bed in summer but please just go to sleep even though the sun is still high in the sky. How you go to the bathroom at 3 am and the sun is about to rise. How the birds are just as confused as the rest of us and keeps chirping away all night. How summer solistice suddenly arrives and you find yourself already dreading the winter darkness. But yeah, June. June is an awesome month!

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  3. That’s like summer intensified! And I thought we had it big out here in MA and with our Cape Cod traffic.
    Ok, so going to Alaska was my all-around life dream. I’m talking that over ANYWHERE else in the world. Finally, last summer, I went with my husband for ten days. It was late August, so the sunset wasn’t quite so late but it was still late for us. We were in Anchorage for some of our trip and some of my better memories are there, rather than Homer/Seward, etc. I dream about it nearly every night.

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    1. Tamara – you didn’t message me!!! August is still pretty awesome – we got married on August 16, 1986…one of the hottest days that summer, in fact. I love Homer and Seward, but MY favorite place is (naturally!) my homestead. You have to kind of overlook the outhouse…but it’s amazing. Quiet. Peaceful. UNCROWDED…heaven. Next time you HAVE to call me! I’ll give you the nickel tour…

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  4. I spent one summer in Alaska and when we were there was sooo surprised by your very point about 10:00. We’d be playing away and have that same experience. I’ve wanted to go back many times, but the idea of the opposite in winter scares me too much. Thank You for sharing this! It brought back memories.

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  5. I’ve always been fascinated by Alaska and the dark/light scenario up there. I understand it’s beautiful. I have no idea how I’d handle the strange amount of dark and light. I definitely need darkness to sleep. Except for naps…that’s different somehow! 😀

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    1. Hi Lisa –
      It’s definitely a challenge. Barrow is the extreme; they have six months (well almost) of light and six months of DARK. Noooo thank you! A lot of people line their windows with aluminum foil (tacky!) or get blackout curtains. I just lay down and take my nighttime meds. Noooo prob. Well..okay…prob…but whatever. I’ll take the daylight…And yes, Alaska is STUNNINGLY beautiful. All year round. Best tasting water in the USA, tallest mountains, lowest population…

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