Winter in Alaska has it’s challenges, and the cliche, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” can be partially true. Three days ago, we had partly sunny skies and green grass. Yesterday, the roads and trees are heavily laden with wet snow. Not only were the schools closed Wednesday due to traffic dangers and electrical outages, the University even cancelled its classes to try to allow people time to regroup. According to this morning’s news, over 10,000 are still without power. The hum of generators can be heard around town in an effort to stave off the cold and offer a limited supply of electricity.
While many areas of town still are without power, we are fortunate to be in one of the grids that were unaffected by the recent outages. Come on over: we have all those nice amenities that are so often taken for granted–heat, light and hot water–unlike half the town. This is day two of the process.
Perhaps the excitement of the PFD deposits will brighten up locals. Today is the day that all Alaskans look forward to–the Permanent Dividend Fund hand-out. In a record amount of $2072, the local economy is booming as people come to town to shop for their carefully calculated wish list. The frenzy is almost akin to shopping at Christmas time in the malls. All that is required to receive this benefit is residency for one year. Age is no object–even babies can receive this “we do everything big –welcome to Alaska.” Some use the dividend to survive, others to celebrate. I’m still not sure where mine will go.