home again, home again jiggity-jig

well, the vacation has come and gone and i find myself back in good old fairbanks.  good old cold fairbanks.  indeed the daytime temperatures in town have been getting up to -20 on good days.  today the high in town may have been -31.  my thermometer outside of my cabin doesn't seem to be working, as the lowest it has registered thus far is -10.  not bad - i'm happy to go with that reality, alternate as it may be.  up on the chena ridge we're at least a little warmer, and well above the ice fog.  i can't fully explain ice fog to those who haven't experienced it.  it truly is odd to drive down four miles and once you get near the bottom of the hill you just hit a solid wall of, well, ice fog.  the visibility is well under a quarter of a mile, and the air quality is unbelievably bad. 

all of this being said, however, i love this town.  getting back from thailand has been bittersweet.  jason was a trooper and a good friend for coming to pick me up at the airport at one am on sunday morning. just in time to get some sleep, get some groceries, pick up my dog, start a fire in the wood stove (thanks to karl for finally hooking it up) and watch the superbowl!

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really, what more could i ask for?

well....aside from the patriots winning, of course.  blaine and katie stopped by later on in the evening, blaine of course gloating over the pats loss.  whatever. i was still happy to see both of them after being away.

so that's all the sweet part of being back, the semi-bitter part comes with some big news! i got a job!

yep. a job. at least through november, working with the international pacific halibut commission.  in homer, alaska.  yeehaw, ocean here i come!!  it's nothing glamorous, but it gets me to the coast which has been on the post-thesis agenda for awhile now.  the semi-kicker about it is that i start the first week of March!

sooo...my relaxing semester ("pulling a Dempsey" if you will..) consisting of TA'ing at the university, leisurely finishing up my thesis, trapping lynx with knut, submitting publications, and casually looking for work has turned into finishing the thesis, packing my wee-cabin into my even more wee car, saying goodbye (for now at least) to a town and community i adore, and heading south!  aahhh!!  if you know me, you may be aware of how poorly i deal with life changes.  they usually happen around my birthday, but this year is comin' early.

i will be practicing breathing, appreciating all that i have around me - good people good wilderness, and being ready for whatever comes. not only ready, but inviting with open arms, mind, and heart.

i will also be exercising, which on a different note has been sorely lacking in my life lately.  i've learned that heat/humidity and exercise don't really work out so well for me.  tonight jason and i hit the frozen chena river for an exhilarating (read = COLD) skijor out and back from the pump house.  my only regret is being unable to have a beer afterwards for the need to run home, feed and leave the dog, and run over to goldstream to babysit. yep. and so here i am on my computer, fabulously happy 2-year-old sleeping upstairs,  with the thesis-monkey (who i decidedly did not miss while on vacation) hanging over my shoulder.

so with that, i'm back to editing & formatting my thesis.  more pictures from my trip to se asia will go up on flickr at some point soon. 

love to you all from the frozen north ~