Not content to canvas a subject so near to my heart just once, I hereby present for your pleasure the quiz you are all longing to take. Your week will not be complete without the perusal of this list. And if nothing else, you will find out if you are a true Alaskan. Just in case you weren’t sure.
You might be an Alaskan if:
- summer is your favorite month of the year.
- your pet fishing hole is a more closely guarded secret than oh, say that time you ran out into the street in your pink bathrobe waving a broken golf club and throwing cheap garden ornaments at a bear. Whoops, did I really just write that for all to see? Again?
- the first mosquito bite of the year is a badge of honor. Not really, but it helps take your mind off the itch.
- you just planted your new annuals, perennials, and veggies out this weekend. Memorial Day weekend is the traditional “safe” time to plant so as to ensure no frost damage. (As for this impatient zone cheater, mine got planted two weeks ago. Don’t tell!)
- your plant defense arsenal includes a bottle of Plantskydd and in certain (mostly rural) cases, an electric fence.
- camping weekends have already been blocked out on the calendar. If I survive my four-day camping trip and float of the Gulkana River, I’ll let you all know. To rally my spirits, the husband has shown me YouTube clips of people losing their coolers and dumping their rafts over on that river. I’m feeling really confident about the whole thing, as you can see….
- you have water-skied on a lake so cold your lips turned blue.
- you anticipate attack every time you step outside by our official state bird, which long time Alaskans know is the mosquito, or Gigantus bloodsuckerus. Continued exposure to attacks results in chronic twitchiness and occasional, random waving of arms around in short bursts of paranoia. Your out-of-state family members begin to look at you with concern.
- you have gone dip-netting, an Alaskan residents-only fishery.
- the snow no longer hides your two junk cars, elderly Arctic Cat snowmachine, boat trailer, and badly listing wood pile. On the up side, you found that [thing] you were looking for during the winter that was buried under snow.
- the motor home has come home. Or maybe, if you didn’t take it to an offsite storage company for winter, you have at least yanked off the blue tarp cocoon that swaddled it over the winter.
- the chirping of robins keeps you awake at night.
- Alternatively, the famous midnight sun keeps you awake at night. Those needing darkness to slumber invest in curtains, shades, or in a tacky pinch, aluminum foil across the window.
- you know what devil’s club is, and want nothing to do with it. (Gold stars awarded to those that know it is a plant, demerits for those that assume it is a wicked, prince-of-darkness endorsed motorcycle gang/book group.) I threw in a very recent picture (above) of a stem before the leaf unfurls. The largest spiky stalk I saw was over my (6 foot) head.
The undersides of the leaves develop spikes as well. Or is it prickers? Since I can’t find my botany book from college and am too lazy to find the answer on the computer, we may never know. I still have childhood memories of running through the forest and stumbling into patches of this. Not good in short pants and short sleeves.
If you have experienced 79.85% of these items, you have, or were, or should be, an Alaskan. Congratulations! Or is it condolences?
What makes the locals unique where you’re from?