Summer is over, and fall is quickly fading away up here in Fairbanks. Snow has come and gone a few times already and those wintry previews have me nervously biting my nails in anticipation of winter proper.
In a scramble to see Fairbanks as tourists before heavy snow blankets the borough, we’ve trotted all over town in heavy coats and an overloaded stroller. At this point we have no idea what’s appropriate to wear — it’s cold to us, but some of the locals seem okay with just a light fleece jacket and sandals. Others have already started wearing down parkas and warm wool hats. I personally need lots of layers already, which makes dressing Margot even more confusing and cumbersome.
Poor Margot ends up a clammy mess wherever we go. The guilt following a long cold walk when Margot was underdressed has driven me to overcompensate on subsequent outings. Being new parents, in a new town, in Alaska of all places is not very easy. We hope an upcoming Military brief on winter weather will educate us a little better.
Finding out where we fit into this town will take awhile, I think. Fortunately, the facilities here on Fort Wainwright are extensive, and the community at large has been welcoming. To pass the time, we’ve been hanging out at the local auction house on Friday nights (we’re party animals, I know) where one of the regulars recently gave Margot a few stuffed animals and a handmade baby quilt. Before that, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a generous gesture from a total stranger.
Citizens of Fairbanks have been kind to us, and they’ve been charitable with advice.
While we wait for winter to hit, we’ll be hanging about in our new town, taking in the sights and sounds of Alaska.