It’s been so long since I updated my blog, I am sure some of you have been wondering if I dropped off the face of the earth or got lost in the Alaskan wilderness. Rest easy, my dear followers. I am alive and well and back from the Land of the Midnight Sun. I had a fabulous time visiting my sister Anna in Fairbanks, where she is working for Calypso Farms creating a school garden with a bunch of middle-schoolers. Not the easiest job in the world, and at times a bit like herding cats.
Before I delve into my cultural experiences up north, I must answer the burning question that everyone has been asking me since I returned: how much of a mess was my house? A few weeks before I left, I wrote about how worried I was about leaving my husband, who is not the neatest bloke in the world (to put it mildly), alone for four days to clean up after the kids and himself (see post “Wanted: Temporary Maintenance Supervisor”). I am happy to report that my house was in relatively good condition. In fact, I have seen it in much worse shape after I’ve been gone for a few hours than when I returned from Alaska. Mind you, no dishes had been done in four days or clothes put away. But I was able to clean that mess up relatively quickly.
I am sure you are scratching your heads and asking yourself: But how??? Did Siig alter his DNA? Reach deep into his soul and find his inner maid? No, none of the above. Siig did himself, and me, a favor and took the kids camping. Knowing himself, he thought it best to be as far away from the house as possible while I was gone. Extra points in his corner for self awareness. On top of it all, he even bathed the kids – twice! Miracles really do come true. All it takes is for me to high-tail it to the North Pole.
Speaking of the North Pole, I have to relay one story about my time in Alaska before I sign off for the night. Anna and I had spent the afternoon and evening at a music festival called Angry, Young and Poor (oh, more about that and the Jell-O wrestling later, don’t you worry your pretty little heads). We decided to hitch home since our ride was staying later, and we found a ride with two girls who were in the parking lot. They were locals who grew up in the nearby town of North Pole (yes, that really is the name). They ended up telling us that all the letters that kids around the country write to Santa get sent to their town. And guess who answers them? Eighth graders! As part of their English class, the teachers put these kids to work answering the letters of hopeful kids everywhere. An image of sweat shops flashed in my head. Can you believe that the hopes and dreams of innocent children everywhere are in the hands of a bunch of adolescents in a small town in Alaska?
I could just imagine one pre-pubescent North Pole boy totally screwing with the head of some 5-year old back in Texas: “Dear Johnny: No, you cannot have the Batman bike. You were a very bad boy this year, and in fact I am taking away all the Christmas presents I gave you last year. Love, Santa.”
So now you know. If your child gets a reply from Santa this year, the letter is actually from a teenager in Alaska. No word on if the same kids are responsible for eating all the cookies and milk.