While things are great down here on the Ice, I do miss some things. Things that I used to take for granted. I don’t miss them to the point where I am homesick, but I miss things like:
- My family
- My friends
- The sweet, earthy smell of freshly mown grass
- The metallic smell of rain
- The smell of the marsh, river and creeks around Blythe Island
- Driving down 303 with the windows down, singing along with the radio
- The farmers market downtown and the produce section in grocery stores
- Having my own bathroom
- Thick, plush carpet
- People under 21 (namely my nieces, nephew and the young Mister Baker)
- Good toilet paper
I don’t miss things like:
- Mosquitos and sandgnats
- Hot weather
- Children screaming in restaurants
- The feeling of “there’s nothing to do in this town!”
- Washing dishes
- Buying necessary stuff like lightbulbs, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc… I have had to buy laundry detergent here, but… it’s just different. I didn’t have to “go” somewhere to get it.
Things I would have missed if I had come home before the start of the winter season:
- My winter Ice family
- Total darkness all the time
- The weirdness that occurs here on the Ice
So far I have enjoyed the winter season here. The weather has been nice, not too cold… I know most of the people in the station, which is nice. It’s a pretty close knit community. There are some people that choose not to socialize too much but we accept it as a choice that they have made and there isn’t any pressure put on them to go out and do things. There are often times that I prefer to stay in and hang out with one or two of my closest friends, and everyone is okay with that. Had I done that during the summer, I would have been constantly asked (mainly by my co-workers), “Why didn’t you go out last night?” or “Is everything ok?”. During the summer you were expected to go out. If you didn’t, you were depressed and something was wrong…
Summer at McMurdo… well, had I gone off to college, I’m sure that’s what it would have resembled.
Winter at McMurdo is a totally different feeling. It’s not a popularity contest.
So to answer the unasked question – Yes, so far I prefer winter.