Living in Alaska, I start taking things for granted. I stop realizing that things we do and experience are actually odd and interesting to people outside of Alaska. Our weekend was exactly that.
On Friday night, Mr. T and I went on a date to our first Alaska Aces hockey game. (Up here, it’s blasphemous that we haven’t been to a hockey game!) Friends of ours had season tickets and we did some last minute babysitting for them, so they traded us with tickets (and babysitting!) to the hockey game. The evening cost us $6 (for parking) and was very fun and enlightening. The Aces lost 0-2 and there was no blood on the ice, but it was still very entertaining.
On Saturday, we spent the entire day at a local Dutch Oven Group gathering. We arrived around 3PM for a roll cooking demonstration. Then we set up our Dutch Oven (we only have one small 10″ Dutch Oven while other people have many in all different sizes). The view from the home that hosted was an incredible panoramic view of the inlet and we enjoyed watching the sun set on the partially-frozen water. There was even a moose in the backyard (safely below the deck on which we cooked)!
Everyone goes in and out for three hours, making sure there are enough hot coals, making sure the breads are shielded from the cold wind so they can rise, and making sure nothing burns. Then, around 6:30PM, everyone brings in their meals and we have a big feast. Pictured to the right are about half of the Dutch Ovens that were there. We had an assortment of meats and potatoes, rolls and breads, jambalaya, pie, and we made a rhubarb custard cake from mooched rhubarb that is chopped up and ready to go in our freezer. In our Dutch Oven group are several state Dutch Oven cooking champions (including a high school girl that has won the youth division twice) and even a few that have competed at a national level. (No, Mr. T and I have never competed… and we’ve only actually cooked in our Dutch Ovens four times, but we’ve had a great time.) This is a very Alaskan tradition that we enjoy continuing (and yes, even people up here think we’re crazy sometimes).
Saturday night, around 1:30AM, we awoke to a very violent 7.1 earthquake. While we’re no stranger to earthquakes,* this was the biggest one we have ever experienced. It started slow, got really violent, and then just shook hard for a really long time. It felt like several minutes, though I’m sure it was probably less that one. Lui slept through it (amazing!) and the girls knew just what to do. When it ended and I ran down to check on them, they were tucking themselves back into bed. We had books, pictures, and other random stuff fall off of shelves, but only a handful of things fell and nothing broke.
After a very Alaskan weekend, we have finished eating our cake leftovers, the books are back on the shelves, and we’re ready for another week of living in this great state that’s full of opportunities and surprises!
*This time, our elephant wasn’t on the shelf, so no need to glue it back together again!