This is my favorite time of year.
Fall means donning warm sweaters, listening to the rustling of dry, colorful leaves on your front lawn, and enjoying the last few weeks of greenery and sunshine filled days.
Unless you live in Nome.
I’m not quite sure, but I think autumn came at about about 2pm on a Thursday afternoon of September and left us by 3:30 pm the same day. Now if you were to go out to your front lawn and try to listen to rustling leaves in just a sweater, you may get more than a few strange looks and passing car honks. Maybe it’s the lack of trees to provide said leaves, or maybe it’s the fact that the temperature is known to drop well below what I would deem ‘sweater’ weather, but one is forced to rethink what October festivities mean to them when dwelling in Western Alaska.
Luckily, us volunteers have a plethora of wonderful friends and contacts here in the Nome community who are more than willing to indulge our occasional homesick inspired whims with the Nome equivalents of Lower 48 practices. This was the case just the other week when I was feeling more than a touch nostalgic for Autumn evening spent with my parents decorating for our favorite family holiday, Halloween. You see, my mother always makes this time of year feel so special. While our family usually isn’t the type to go all out for holidays, Mom usually ramps up the excitement of late October with whimsical decor, mornings paired with pumpkin spice pancakes, and of course, jack-o-lanterns. Here’s where the Nome whimsy kicks in.
Our good friend Jenn whisked away our feelings that we may have missed the brief period of time that was Autumn here in Nome by inviting us over for some October themed celebrations. Namely, pumpkin carving. I’m happy to say that none of us were injured in our gourd based festivities, however some of the pumpkins are in critical care at the Volunteer House.