March Comes In Like A Lion. Or maybe April. Surely by May.

I’m sorry, but how is it that Easter is on Sunday? That can’t possibly be right, can it? Rosalind’s school had an Easter egg hunt last night and I kept wondering why they would have it so early, only to realize that Easter is this coming Sunday. We ended up not going to the egg hunt because lazy. Don’t tell Rosalind.

I’ve been pondering why I would be so surprised that Easter is happening already and I think it boils down to the weather, much like Thanksgiving seemed superfluous when we were already having Christmas weather. My brain doesn’t recognize that Spring holidays can be approaching because Spring in Alaska does not look the way I have been trained for 32 years to believe that it should look. For example, last weekend several of my Facebook and Instagram friends posted pictures of themselves eating outside on patios. Some posted pictures of green grassy vistas or pretty yellow daffodils. And of course, the weather on television shows how many times over the last couple of weeks the South and Midwest have had to take cover from severe weather, which I absolutely don’t miss even a tiny bit, but let’s face it – means it is Spring down South. Anyway, the severe weather aside, all those lovely Spring things I see in pictures make me ache for light sweaters over sundresses, sandals, a margarita on a patio, and the possibility of not having to fight my child into her winter gear for a few months. Unfortunately, had I posted a picture of Spring in Bethel last week it would have looked like this:

muddy drive

Call me crazy but I don’t think I’ll be putting on any sandals until I hit Arkansas for the summer.

muddy shoes

You can’t really tell in the above picture, but my foot is about two inches down in that mud. Spring in Bethel means mud. Just mud everywhere, all the time, on every surface. Unless it doesn’t. Because this is what it did on Monday.

snowy spring

Of course, this just resulted in more mud once it went by. Then it decided to hit the negative temps again and we’ve had a dry and dusty week but back to wearing all of our snow pants, boots, hats, etc.

There is nothing green! Nothing yellow! There are no flowers! Nothing has bloomed or budded! How is my brain supposed to know it is Spring? It’s going to feel really weird to dye eggs tomorrow.

Signs of Spring in Bethel seem to include the following:

1) The sun is out from the time we get up until well after we go to bed.

2) While nothing has yet bloomed to add color to the landscape the sun has melted the snow and changed the sky from it’s constant lavender/gray to a bright blue. You can see all the colorful rooftops again. The mud is a vibrant brown. People are turning from their normal greyish green pallor back to generally flesh toned. In it’s own way it is like going from Kansas to Oz.

3) The tickets for the ice classic are due! This is where you buy a chance of guessing when the river will break up. They monitor this by placing a tripod on the ice and then measuring the movement. If you come closest to the date and time it is considered all cracked up you win $10,000. Unless several people chose the same date and time, in which case you get a share of that money. I have bought exactly one ticket because at that moment it was being sold by someone I know and it benefited an organization with which I am familiar. For lack of any better idea I chose Samantha’s birthday. I couldn’t remember exactly what time she was born so I just went with the end of the school day because I remember being pulled out of school to drive to Little Rock. So if I win we can all thank Samantha for being born on May 16th, possibly around 3:15.

This is the tripod.

tripod on river 2

And this is somebody still driving on the river despite the fact that search and rescue has officially warned against doing so anymore. Two cars and a tractor fell through the first ice layer near Kwethluk and, as far as I know, they remain there still.

tripod on river

4) The number of inebriates walking around has exploded again. A sure sign of better weather.

Ahhhhh! Springtime in Alaska.

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