Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2018 >Daily Dispatch #355

December 21, 2018: Winter Solstice

This is it. Winter solstice. Tomorrow the days will start getting longer. This is good; it’s at the point where I have had enough. 30 seconds here, a minute there, it adds up. The effect initially is, of course, psychological – there won’t be much change for a while. But I know, and everyone else knows, the days are no longer growing shorter.

A good way to celebrate, we drove to the Ted Stevens International Airport (the only airport in the country named after a felon), and we picked up Eleanor, my sister, from Portland, visiting for a week. Yes, an odd place to spend Christmas, Alaska right now is a cold, dark place. As a friend told her, why don’t we live in Hawaii? The answer

Elenore and Tinni
Elenore and Tinni

is simple. There are far too many people there. There are in my estimation, too many people here. However, there are not many in our off the grid cul-de-sac area. The reason is (we say) most can’t cut it. They simply are not resourceful enough to be able to deal with living without a conventional electrical source.

I love doing what I call the review of the neighborhood – I take a horse and a dog and walk around our mile loop. It is generally quiet and there are not very many lights on. Come winter, there are even fewer inhabitants. If all who owned land or had cabins here were here, there would be a lot of traffic and light pollution. They have power over on Ridge Runner circle, which is across the way – that’s why there are more of them there than there are here.

Tomorrow is going to be a quiet day – we’ll get the horses out for a walk in the morning, and maybe in the afternoon go over to my friend Sarah’s and pick up the side of smoked turkey she has offered to give up. We might also go over to our friend Mariann’s place and see if she needs a hand. Sounded to me like in an email she sent me this evening that she’s under considerable duress.

There are right now many people in this world under considerable duress. The president has just called for a government shutdown – geez, right at the onset of the holidays. I know that eventually we’ll be affected at some point in time by the shenanigans going on in Washington – it’s my hope that our living simply and not wanting for much of anything will enable our lives to go on as usual. Hard to say.

We have food in the root cellar, hay in the barn, and wood in the shed. We also have enough gas to keep the generator going for a while. And of course, and maybe most importantly, we have good company through the holidays. I never thought it would come to this – El and I are the only ones left in our family, aside from our Uncle Bob and some cousins at the distance/distance cousins. This makes the time we have to spend together that much more valuable.

Next: 36. 12/22/18: With Little Sister

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles