Today is Thursday, October 7, 2011. This week marks the beginning of Mainbody or “Summer”. It means that the winter-over crew is departing and the hordes are arriving. It also means receiving somewhat regular shipments of mail and FRESHIES! Never in my life have I ever been so excited about eating a salad as I was today at lunch.
Back at home, where fresh fruits and vegetables are convenient to purchase, I never gave much thought as to what I would do if I couldn’t have regular access to veggies. For the past three weeks or so, we have been eating over or undercooked frozen or canned veggies, but today I was able to have a salad with fresh carrots, fresh broccolli, fresh cucumbers, etc… Nothing is better than that. Nothing. Well, perhaps the banana I had with breakfast was better, but who’s comparing. There were several different meat toppings offered (ham, shrimp, I’m not sure what else) but all I wanted were the veggies. Oh, how I have missed them.
So along with the wonderful goodness of freshies, we also got mail! Thanks to Mom and Dad for the calling card, to Debbie for sending me my mail and the card, and to Kati for sending me Cannon’s birth announcement. It is so nice to get mail. I was sitting in the Galley yesterday, playing a game of chess, and one of the DA’s had recieved mail from home which included several letters from friends. It was the first time I’ve seen someone cry down here. I wanted to go give her a hug. It’s funny, after 6 weeks here, it feels like I have known several of these people for much longer. My sister, Beth, asked me if I have had any deja vu experiences down here with people I’ve never met before, and I have. “That, is how you know you’ve found your people” she replied. She has had a similiar experience before when she went to Penland.
More people have arrived. Our population has easily doubled over the past week. Where it was once easy to hold a long conversation after dinner with the folks I was sitting with is now becoming difficult. More people also means more work. The first day people arrived I think I took 6 phone calls from people locked out of their rooms. The fire department doesn’t let them in, but since the number (non-emergency) to the firehouse is posted EVERYWHERE, we are generally the first place people turn when something has gone wrong. We also recieved many calls from returnees who wanted the phone numbers of their friends who wintered or came down at winfly. It’s also amusing to see people with tans. All of the color that I had has already faded. I can’t imagine how I would look after a winter.
I know I haven’t been updating my blog on a regular basis, but in all honesty, my days off are generally dull if the weather is bad. If the weather is nice, I try to go out and see different things, then I’m too tired to write about it. Living in a room with no windows makes it rather easy to sleep all day as well. Of course it is a bit of a shocker to walk outside to find the sun shining and beautiful blue skies. I tend to kick myself when that happens, for letting the day go by while I’m slumbering away. Today I got over to the quiet coffeehouse in order to write this. The coffeehouse is generally unlocked during the day and only serves people later in the evening, but there are two computers set up for use over here.
The daylight is present much of the day now. We’re at just over 16 hours of daylight per 24 hour period. I have watched the past few sunsets and twilights in an attempt to soak in the last of the colors that I have never seen anywhere else in the world. I haven’t seen any Nacreous clouds in weeks and I am sad to say that I believe the chance to see the Southern Lights is gone. I guess that means I have to come back next year.
On another note, I believe we will soon be finding out which of our firefighters are going to be stationed at the South Pole for the season. There will be a few there perminently, and 6 others that will rotate out through the season. I’ve grown rather accustomed to the group at the station. It will be sad to see some of them go. The one major difference I have come to know in dispatching here and dispatching at home, is that here, we’re part of the family. At home, the dispatchers are treated like they’re not part of the public safety matrix. It’s an unfortunate thing.
Much love to you all and I hope you (whereever you are) are being blessed with wonderful weather.