Saturday, October 22, 2011

...And we're back

Back to snow that is. The first real snowfall in Fairbanks arrived last weekend. As predicted, my neighborhood is vastly improved with snow! Old cars, wood piles, and rusted empty barrels in the yard are now merely white bumps adding texture and interest to the landscape.

The first snow feels like a relief. As though I can breathe now. Thursday night I flew into Fairbanks late, after four rain and wind swept days in Adak. Walking out of the airport terminal at midnight, I felt my body relax. The muffled quiet, the sharp air on my cheek, the soft crunch under my shoes -- they were all things I hadn't realized I was missing. 

Fairbanks without snow feels unnatural to me. Sure the green lawns and birch trees in full bloom are beautiful; and after seeing nothing but white all winter, the change in color is welcome. But still, there's just something not right about seeing actual pavement and parking lot lines.

And of course the snow covered roads mean I'm back to not knowing where I should be driving on the road. It's not bad yet because the main "expressways" and arteries through town are clear. It's the residential streets that are covered.

I've also been forgetting my keys in the front door more often. This is what happens: I come home with arms full of groceries. I open the door, step inside and dump everything in my "foyer" (i.e., a 4'x3' linoleum area by the front door) before taking off my boots so I don't track snow through the aparment. By the time I get groceries, put away, I've long forgotten about my keys. Then, the next time I'm ready to leave the house its a 15 minute search for said keys, patting coat and pants pockets, and searching purses. The cats watch me with mild amusement.  Eventually I think to check the front lock. I'd like to blame the snow for these key misplacements, but sadly, this happened in California. A lot. I frequently left my keys in the lock. All night.

I was happy that my car started Thursday night at the airport without hesitation. See, I have yet to winterize my car and thus couldn't plug it in while it sat at the airport.

I hadn't been too worried, as the temperatures are only dipping into the teens at night and our daytime highs are still in the low 30's. But still, I did heave a sigh of relief when the engine turned over on the first try. 

I don't know why I haven't winterized my car yet. It just seems like a big hassle and a lot of money. I have a heated garage and really, when I fly out on my trips I could get a cab and leave my car at home. Can I get away with not winterizing? Is this really a question I want to find out the answer to?

Winterized car or not, the one thing I must get is a remote auto start. There's no describing the luxuriousness of starting your car and having it warm up, all from your place in line at the liquor store. God bless America.