Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Power is Out and Whatever We Live in Alaska: Report from the Edge of Civilization

To the First Brave Soul Who Finds This Note:

There's a power outage right now, so I haven't much time, and
I must dispatch this communique with all due haste. Forgive me, then, if my final prose bequeathed unto the Internet is rough and shoddy.

WiFi is down, says the AEL&P hotline, between here and Snettisham, and a deepening fog is misting ominously through Gastineau Channel. Miraculously though thus far, our party of one hearty husband (who was unceremoniously interrupted while watching the Yankees game on the YES cable network) and three fourth grade girls playing Monopoly, is faring well.

Aaron Judge, who at this rate is totally on his way to getting Rookie of the Year and maybe even American League MVP, just homered one out of the park; and a bonnie lass sold Pennsylvania Avenue for Marvin Gardens while yet another passed Go and got out of jail free. As we speak, all three brave youngsters are slaking their hunger upon buttered noodles, which the husband hath boiled for them upon an outdoor flame.

For how long we can maintain here in safety and comfort, kind soul, I cannot say.

I know not when I shall next be able to access Vladimir Cheetos' globally destabilizing twitter feed, or pictures from the baby shower of the second wife of that dirtbag who sat behind me in 10th grade trigonometry. 

Forsooth! I am hanging on by a thread of 27% iPhone battery and two-horse thumb-power.

Life on the edge of the Tongass National Forest is not to be trifled with. Alaska is the Last Frontier, after all. Here nestled amid the Chilkat Mountains there is no Uber, there is no Taco Bell. There is nothing. There are only cruise ships and seams of tanzanite jewel prospects, buried betwixt the chocolate-covered moose droppings, somewhere deep in the storefronts out Thane way.

When you shout into the mighty Taku wind, no one will hear your cries, with the exception of your nearest neighbor. The most you can hope is for that guy to be walking his Labradoodle, wave, and sound a warning that he spied a bear in the neighborhood yesterday and also a fortnight ago, so pay heed to one's refuse.

The smoke detectors in our meager shelter have run amok. You see, they are linked to a single, centralized electric smoke detection system, and get very "confused" whenever there's even the tiniest surge in power--which happens more often than you might imagine. It takes a very long time to "un-confuse" them, and thus a power outage on the edge of the wilderness is a frequent strain on one's sanity.

For many of our provisions are frozen or refrigerated, and when the power goes out, one stands to lose one's hard-earned yearly rations of fish, game meats, and berries; and individualized guacamole bounty from Costco, before the generator kicks in. 

Individualized guacamoles from Costco are shockingly delicious, by the way, and worth making an exception to the "no single-serve packaged goods from Costco" rule, for avocados are gross here and those little guacamoles never brown; they are totally the perfect serving size of guac for a salad or a sandwich.

But I digress, at our own peril! 
Time is a-wasting and--HARK!--what's that? The power has resumed! 

In the time it has taken to compose this missive, electricity has returned to our dank and moldy hamlet. I can see from my watch-post atop the living room couch that the clock on our electric oven is blinking 12:00.

Praise be unto Providence and a beneficent God, in Heaven above, for keeping us safe and with power sufficient to blend some Orgain™ Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder (Chocolate Fudge) in the knock-off Vitamix™ . 

For my restless belly clamors for a smoothie.

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