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Neither Rain Nor Snow

Hello world!

Lets talk about the mail. We all know how nice it is to receive a piece of mail that isn’t junk or a bill, especially if it is a package. And you can generally expect to receive mail within a couple of days after is was sent. In Nome things move at a different pace. Granted, the mail in rural Western Alaska is not surprise 60 year old letter slow, but sometimes it can feel like it! Having been here over 9 months now, and having had friends and family send me care packages, and having ordered stuff off the internet more than my fair share, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how long something is going to take to work its way to the top of the world. Now there are a few means of shipping that are pretty speedy in their deliveries even up here. And I would say that flat rate shipping boxes from the post office are very fast, and generally so is Amazon.com’s regular free shipping. When my mom tells me that she has sent me a flat rate box on, say a Monday, I can generally expect it to arrive Thursday or Friday, at the extreme outside range (usually) Monday (because the post office is closed here on Saturday and Sunday), and that is coming from the East Coast. Amazon has always impressed me shipping wise with my orders arriving sometimes even before the start of the expected delivery range, here in Nome that impression has lasted, with their shipments still arriving in a timely manner. Another online vendor that I order from occasionally (interpret, too often) has a shipping policy that says for this region (Alaska and Hawaii) shipping can take upwards of 30 to 50 days, but usually arrives within a week to a week-and-a-half of making the order.

Now the interminably slow routes of mail: Parcel post WILL take an entire season from start to finish to arrive. When I first arrived in Nome I sent a box ahead of myself by about a week, and it didn’t arrive until about three weeks after I did. Media mail will also take forever. These both have something to do with the fact that Nome is off the road system and that they are primarily ground shipments (eventually they still have to fly to get here!) There is one place in the North West where packages go to mess with your sanity while you wait for them, and this place is: Federal Way, Washington. If you ever have a package land there while you are checking up on their location, prepare for a long wait. Packages that end up in Federal Way stay there for a LOOOOOOONG time. (Think 2-3 even 4 weeks.) I don’t know what the story is about ole Fed Way, but it has been a bane of my existence while waiting for packages here in Nome. It seems that every time I order something, it ends up taking an extended vacation at Federal Way. Anyway that is my rant about Federal Way. Shipping to Nome, Alaska is not as bad as it could be, especially if you can get a free shipping deal or coupon. You just have to exercise your patience muscle a bit more than usual!

The view of the ocean from the back of the KNOM building

More of the view from KNOM

The weather has been interesting the past few days. Yesterday it rained all day long and was miserably chilly. Today it is bright and sunny and in the 50’s with a nice spring breeze! And wonder of wonders, you can see open water now from the back windows of the station! You heard (read) right! KNOM is an ocean view workplace and home! To be honest, the ocean view is frozen 6-7 months of the year…  but you can see the water now!!!!! It’s actually really cool, because the ice is breaking off in bands, so its shore fast ice, open water, a band of floating ice, open water, band of floating ice, open water (repeat several times over several miles!) kind of like the ripples when you drop a pebble in water! All the ice and snow will be gone soon, and summer will settle in with all of its awesomeness! (like fishing, hiking, and berry picking!) The sun is now rising at 5:33 AM and setting at 12:22 AM. That is an 18 hour 49 minute long daylight time, plus twilight/dusk and pre-dawn light!

Talk (Rant) to you again soon!