Ever since I can remember, I’ve heard Johnny Horton’s Springtime in Alaska. My parents played his greatest hits record (check your local independent music store) around our house since before I was born. When I left home, I got the CD to play around my house ever after. If you don’t know the song by it’s title, you may well know it by its parenthetical title/refrain/hook line:
“When it’s spring time in Alaska, it’s 40 below.”
This was only ever true of one of my Alaskan homes, Fairbanks, where I was born. None of the other places in the state in which I have lived have ever been that severe.
Even so, that old perrenial chestnut has been a bit more apropos this year.
We may have just come through one of the mildest winters we’ve experienced since moving from Juneau to Haines. We didn’t have a lot of snow; other than several brief periods of cold, our temperatures have been rather moderate for the season.
That all changed right around the Vernal Equinox. We went from low 40s to the teens. Most days that’s been accompanied by equinotial storms, which we’ve come to expect. The combination has made for some impressive wind chills, and reasonable excuses to stay home and close to the woodstove. All of a sudden, all the quirks and inconveniences of a typical winter surround us, just as the first sure signs of spring begin to appear.
I’m a bit heartened to see that there’s some rain in the forecast for later this week. We’ll see if that happens or not. In the meantime, let’s cue up that Johnny Horton song again for another listen, while I set the kettle on for another hot drink . . . .