That Alaska Life

I've written tons of blog posts about Christianity, doctrine, scripture, parenting, etc. But one thing I seem to get asked about constantly by people reading my blog is, "what is it like living in Alaska?"
Sure, living in Alaska is made infinitely more interesting in my family because we are so ridiculously conservative and patriotic (think a more approachable Palin family) but honestly, it is culture shock for most people even without the extra elements. Just a forewarning, I live in Southeast. It's not exactly the same everywhere in Alaska, so I'm strictly speaking about my own little zone here.

There are times of the year that you cannot leave town without a gun. 

Yep. During the best season that we get, you have to take a gun with you everywhere. There are 3 bears per square mile on this island and yeah- they can and will eat you. If you want to go fishing? Take your gun. If you want to go for a picnic? Take your gun. Want to go pick berries? Take your rape whistle. Just kidding. Take your gun. Speaking of fishing...
The fishing is just like they show on T.V.

You know those shows that feature the salmon in Alaska and they are just everywhere, like a bridge made of fish that you could walk across? That's real, and it's no exaggeration. Then when it gets a little later in the season, those same fish are dead, rotting on the shores. It's disgusting. And it stinks. But the fishing is good while it's good. 

During the summer, there is no darkness. 

 In july, we get just over 18 hours of daylight. Do you have any idea what it's like waking up to the sun and thinking it's time for coffee - only to check your clock and realize it's 4 a.m.? Or what it is like to think it's getting close to time to make dinner but you quickly find that it is already 9 p.m.? Yeah. It is really crazy for a few months there!

Winter is prime time for suicides

You would think the summer makes up for the darkness of winter but it doesn't. Everyone here has a severe vitamin D deficiency. Couple that with 6 hours of daylight a day and you have a perfect combination for severe depression. Alaska has the highest suicide rate per capita in the country. 

If may be surprised to find that you are stranded here. 

It doesn't actually feel like you live in the United States sometimes. We are so removed and secluded that sometimes. you forget what civilized places feel like. Groceries have to be barged in or flown in. Do you know how much fuel costs? It causes our grocery prices to be through the roof. There is one tiny store (if you can call it a store) that gets groceries straight from costco and marks it up by half. That is the cheapest way to get groceries unless you want to travel by plane or ferry. Oh, did you want to go shopping? I hope you like Amazon. Most online stores won't even ship here. By the way, I live in such a tiny part of alaska that our mail doesn't get delivered to our homes! We all have post office boxes. I don't even know my home address because most of the houses here don't even have numbers on them. It's sad, I know. 

There is some amazing crap to see. 

Between snow covered mountains and glaciers, and bears and whales, and cultural landmarks. and the salmon run, and the Alaskan natives... it's awe-inspiring how much there is to take in. I wouldn't trade it for anything.