Today, Thursday, is the culmination of another successful Thanksgiving. I do enjoy having a 4 day weekend. Of course we have so few extended weekends that my projects and to-dos tend to stack up and it is hard to decide what to do. With most of the teachers out of town, including my roommate, it seems like a good time to get some projects crossed off the list. Today I worked a little on cleaning and reorganizing my room and our living room. I hung up some old skis and a beaver fur as decor and I put some fake fur on the couch. Previously I had some wolf fur on it but it set off my roommates allergies. I am planning on cleaning the cunnisuq (mud room) tomorrow. Now that there is snow and we are not tracking in dirt, I will likely not need to clean it again until spring.
I am also working on sewing. I have finally completed my first hat. I made the pattern myself and eyeballed a few measurements so I am not surprised it is not perfect. One ear is slightly longer than the other, the face opening is a little narrow, and the forehead piece is a little small and with the flaps up you should not be able to see the green. But overall I am ok with it as a first go. There is a new pattern in a book I found that will be my next attempt. I also tried a new pattern for a mitten. I did not like how it turned out but will continue playing with it.
Tonight I am going to try to take some northern lights pictures. They were out last night but due to a problem with the remote clicker they did not turn out. Tonight I will bundle up and stay out in the hope that manual operation will yield better results.
Many people have asked about ‘western’ holidays in the villages. All the major holidays are observed. These small villages are often close like families, many of the people in the village are family. Like any family there are holiday traditions. At Thanksgiving everyone brings food potlatch style… and a tub of tupperware containers. You can see mine below. I brought very few by comparison with others.The men go around and dish out the food to the women and kids who may eat while there, but much of the food is taken home. I have not been around for Xmas, New Years or Easter but I would guess that something similar happens.
This year someone from Kotzebue also brought in 5 gallons of seal oil which was distributed and which everyone was very excited about. And yes I got a little too. It is used as cooking oil for just about everything from popcorn to pancakes. Some people will even dip crackers and eat it straight.
Halloween the kids dress up, though often under coats, and go trick or treating. Fourth of July everyone goes out for fire works on the beach. Of course I am not in town at that time but I would guess it is a little different since it is light 24/7 at that time of year.
The minor holidays have traditions as well. On memorial day everyone goes to the cemetery to pay respects. Labor day, presidents day are observed but not extra special. Many people go to camp or simply take a long weekend.
For more see last years posts;
The updated results of last nights photography. The lights were not the best I have seen, but visible. It was -10 and windy. Every time I had to take my glove of to set the camera, check the picture, change a battery, or anything else, my fingers felt like they were burning. The red light is from the weather station near the end of the airport runway.
The lights at ground level are the village of Ambler.