Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It is cold here today!  And it has been about 30 below F since Saturday!  And it is not going to warm up anytime soon.  So what do you do at -40F?  Stay inside where it is 70 above!  And start the car every few hours!  We do have a lunch to go to at two, we won't turn the car off as there is no place to plug in to keep the engine warm.  And the interior gets so cold too.  There is another potluck to go to tonight at 8 p.m. and then some dogs to check on, and then fireworks at midnight. 
About cold, really cold. 

From 0 to -20 F is not bad.  Very liveable weather.  The car needs to warm up about 10 minutes, coats and gloves and hats are needed when going about town.

-20 to -40F is okay.  Snowpants and coveralls are the normal dress.  
The car needs about 20 minutes to function, but it doesn't act warm until about 10 minutes of driving.  The interior doesn't get warm, even with the heat on high.  If the defrost is lowered or changed to heat the interior, the windshield immediately frosts.  The other windows are all frosted all the time.  Moving about town is limited.

-40 to -60F is just about awful.  The car is so cold, it doesn't warm up.  If you have to drive somewhere, the car has square tires that take a mile or so to round out.  If you get the car started, you must plug it in where ever you go or leave it running.  Snow pants, coveralls, face masks, gloves, long underwear, sweaters and layers are all required attire.  Town travel is just not worth it and road travel is just what is really necessary.  Any travel requires blankets, and all emergency gear in the car.

-60F and colder.  What is so necessary to do in this weather?  Most people stay home.  School is cancelled at 55 below.  Work is optional; so many cars won't start, it is expected people won't come in.  Travel is emergency only.  You won't get warm in the car, so full winter attire, blankets and hand warmers are necessary.  

We went to Fairbanks yesterday for a dentist appointment and groceries, driving about town the signs said -38F.  So many cars are left running, the air quality is awful.  Added to wood smoke, you just about can't breathe.  Everything is kept at ground level, the pollution doesn't lift due to the cold.  Wow, it was really cold.  We left the car running while visiting with some friends in McDonalds for an hour, we had the groceries in the car and didn't want them to freeze.  Winter is hard on the gas budget, so thank God that we are now paying $2.45 a gallon, not the $4.63 we were paying.  

The sun is finally peeking above the trees, it is 11:30 a.m. and it will be dark by 4.  I mean DARK.  There is no warmth to the sun, just brightness, and not much of that. I just took this photo out the front window.  The sun won't get any higher.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We have been busy these last few weeks with Christmas activities.  Bill was asked to play Santa for the Seniors Christmas Bazaar, and he had a great time!

Bill was asked to be the Narrator for the Nativity Program and Ethan was a shepard and Aerin was an angel.

We arranged a caroling session last night.  I was shocked when 40 people showed up to go caroling!  We sang to about 12 houses and then stopped for cookies and hot chocolate.  It was about -10 F.  Everyone said it was a great time and next year we should do it again!

Tonight is a Christmas party, tomorrow night is a Christmas party, and Wednesday is a Christmas party at our house.  Whew!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!  
We have already been to two Thanksgiving meals and it is not the official day yet!  We went to the school community lunch on Monday and then to the Senior Housing Dinner on Tuesday.  We were invited especially so that Bill could pray for the dinner.  There were about 35 people there, and our presence was really appreciated. Bill talked with Nina about beading, his new hobby.  In this community, beading opens up a lot of doors, and leads to many conversations.  Nina makes beaded slippers and gloves and sells them in the store here.  They are breath-taking, the whole top part is beaded.

This last week, we attended our first potlatch and then the second the same week.  A potlatch is a big party in honor of a native who died.  The first potlatch was for Richard, a 37 year old; and the second was for Freddy, another youth who died in a snow machine accident.  When someone dies, the family starts cooking at the native hall.  Usually food is cooked for up to five days, all meals, for anyone who wants to come.  After the funeral service, always held at 2 p.m., the main  potlatch starts at 6 p.m.  Chairs are set up around the outer perimeter of the room, and then another row is set up facing those chairs about six feet apart.  Then another row is set up back to back of the second row and sometimes a fourth row of chairs is added.  Large rolls of freezer paper are unrolled at your feet and this becomes your table.   There is a foot wide space between the freezer paper tables and this is where the servers scooch down the row, serving as they go.  It is tradition to bring your own dishes, and lots of plastic bags, and a soup container.  The family gives away moose meat (a traditional hunt is allowed any time someone dies), and oodles of food.  Moose soup is the big thing, and they make it in vats over an open fire.  When the food is all given out and some of it eaten, everyone helps to clear the chairs.  Then the singing and dancing begins.

The first part of the singing is  mourning.  They are sad slow songs, sung by the elders mostly, and sung in honor of the deceased.  After about half an hour, the drums come out and the dancing begins.  The men stand in front of the drums, then the children and the women in the back.   The drums are so loud, and then the guys start stomping.  Wow, you just have to bop with the music.
There is one dance called the Athabascan Twist, and all the guys go find a partner and do the twist.  

There is a game that is played with candy as the prize.  The family unrolls bolts of fabric to make a huge rope.  There are about 10 bolts.  Everyone holds the rope and gets in a big circle, moving clockwise around the room, as big as the circle can be.

Then when the music stops, everyone runs together to make one long rope, and tug of war begins!  Pull, pull, pull!  After one side wins, the game is started over again.

When the last tug of war is done, bags of candy are opened and the candy is thrown everywhere.  Everyone is on the floor scrambling for bits of sweetness.  

After the dancing is finished, the family gives out gifts to the gravediggers, casket makers, cooks and helpers.  Sometimes the potlatches go on until wee morning hours.

I have been sewing with Ruth for about a year on Tuesday mornings.  We are making quilts.  She is so dedicated, working on one project at a time, until it is finished.  I work on this, then that, then finish something else.  

Vern and Cindy came to visit.  They are the district reps for Village Missions.  We had a great time! They are pleased with our work here and think we are doing all the right things.  Praise the Lord!
And this is our cute gingerbread house!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We have had a tragedy here in Nenana.

A 15 year old boy was hit and killed by a car while riding his snowmachine.  

The town is devastated.

Bill will be participating in the funeral on Friday.  

Please pray for him and for the people of Nenana.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It is snowing here today!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Firmly AWANA stands, led by the Lord's command...

Awana started on Sept 15 with 25 kids in attendance.  We are looking forward to another great year!

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the AWANA conference in Anchorage over this last weekend.  There were wonderful workshops covering all aspects of AWANA and we had a great conversation on the way home about improving our program.  We had 8 leaders/helpers attend the conference!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The colors around here these days are so beautiful.  The sky is blue, the trees are yellow and orange.  Snow is not far away, it is about 38 in the mornings.  

Monday, August 25, 2008

Most of Nenana is dried out. The streets are solid again, but the river bank is not yet walkable. There is some sitting water in the low areas. Now comes the clean up stage. Many people have piles of flood damaged goods waiting for the garbage man. There are some dumpsters available for garbage too. The flood damage inspectors have been around to verify flood loss and people are trying to replace lost items.

We had very few losses compared to our neighbors. But our shed and our storage trailer were knee deep in water. We lost or had damaged to the following items

Storage Trailer
Army Footlocker
Photo Albums (12)
Rocking Chair
Card Table
Sewing Machine and Case
Lawn Mower
Brush Trimmer
Radio Control Toy Car
Christmas Tree
Winter Boots
Wrapping Paper
Boys Bike
Scooter Toy
Wooden Shelf

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We have had some flood damage as you can see in the photos. But we are so thankful that we lost only photos and things. We will file a flood damage claim. The water is mostly gone and the roads are going to be resurfaced. God is good-all the time.

Monday, August 4, 2008

This is the last time we drove down this road. The water was almost into the car doors.

My house looking from the back. Notice the water is over the tires of the trailer. Good thing we moved the car! Thanks, Dad!

A flooded lot.

Photo from Sunday's Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

We had to go back in and get a few things. Good thing we found a bucket that floated!

And Saturday night God's reminds us of his promise that he will not flood the earth again. And there is renewed hope in Nenana. There was a double rainbow and a beautiful sunset. Our God is an AWESOME God!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nenana Flood

The river is over the banks and Nenana is starting to flood. Most of the ditches are full and the water almost meets in the middles of the streets. Some are completely under water. All the area of the above map that is spray painted pink is flooded. The area inside the railroad loop has been evacuated.
Photo taken Wednesday evening about 7 p.m. Taken at the point of the yellow circle on the above map.Same point Saturday morning.
Dark green rectangle. 3rd St and B, looking toward river.
Dark blue rectangle, looking toward the railroad loop. Friday afternoon.
Same point but looking toward a house not down the street.
My house, light blue rectangle. 1st and E.
Blue Square, looking out by where the barges tie up. The water is over the dock and almost up to the tripod.
Street between the Civic Center and Coghill's Store. Pink square on map. The city plugged the storm drains with dirt, water was coming out instead of going in. Water is still seeping up.