Alaska enjoys many aspect of fall. The nights becoming dark enough to see the Northern Lights again, the trees turning a beautiful shade of gold, the tourists leaving after a busy summer, the really cool weather returning, the first frost of the new season and the check that will arrive from the state. This all happens very quickly.
It seems like only a few days that we get to enjoy the beautiful colors of fall and then the trees are bare. The Northern Lights happen a lot, but it has to be dark enough to see them. A friend recently said when she first moved to Alaska and saw the lights in the sky, she thought it was like angels dancing for God. I can’t think of a better analogy to describe it. Since my mind turns all things into quilts, I have been looking at using the fall colors and the Northern Lights in quilts.
The tourists leaving causes other things to happen. The people traveling around town consist more of families now that the children are back in school, someone needs to get them to school and/or sitters. The traffic slows just a little. All the busses taking tourists from one spot to another don’t dominate the roads anymore. Most of the RV’s have vanished from the parking lots. And, some restaurants actually have seating available as soon as you walk in.
We already talked about termination dust, but that is not like going out to your car and seeing it covered with frost. The dust is in the mountain tops and this frost is much closer. That means all the hanging baskets around town are down and the flowers in the yard and now going dormant. Or they are put into the small greenhouses that dot the city for winter storage. The military monument in the park is the one exception, fresh flowers are there every day of the year.
And, oh yes, that check. Due to the oil economy of this state, most residents receive a check each year from the “oil money”. The amount varies yearly and there are certain residency requirements, but everyone can benefit. Stores and airlines and individuals companies have PDF sales going on. (PDF here means Permanent Fund Dividend.) This is an effort to keep the money in state and help boost the local economy. All these sales and special deals offered certainly can be used by those who don’t get a check.
This all happens with astonishing speed. While I came here to spend the summer, I am also very happy that I get to participate in more than one season.