Monday, February 13, 2012

You might be an Alaskan if…

grampa's camera 101

I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a while now.  You’d think that would lead to better picture quality, but as regular readers know, you’d be wrong. (Anyway, it’s winter, what else do I have to do?)  Let’s see if I am able to properly channel comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck” shtick.  I’m not sure if this list is silly or just true.

You might be an Alaskan if:

you have at least four fleece coats. The one without dog hair or engine oil is your dress coat.

a moose ate your Halloween pumpkin.

nov-jan 040

a roll of duct tape and a blue tarp can save your life. At least you tell yourself this as your wife is hollering at you for buying another blue tarp and half dozen rolls of duct tape.

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“there goes a man in uniform” translates into a guy wearing carhartts, bunny boots, and a fleece jacket. Gun optional.

you can ski to your mailbox

grampa's camera 002

filling the freezer with meat means an annual rifle-laden pilgrimage to the hinterlands, significant financial outlay, and eating out of a can for four days.  Then hauling largish animal bits 20 miles across the tundra to your vehicle.  Grocery store?  What grocery store?

a heat wave in December means 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees C).  “Honey, where’d I put my sandals?”

thanksgiving at cabin 057

snowmachines are how you get from point A to point B.  If you call them “snowmobiles” instead of snowmachines, you are not from Alaska.  A true aficionado even refers to them affectionately as “sleds.”

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the gladdest sight in winter is the snow plow coming down the road. Get out of the way, fool!  And don’t even think about leaving your car parked along the street if it has just snowed.  I once witnessed a plow driver lean on his horn (who knew those big things had a horn?) until a man ran out of his home and moved the car to the driveway.  Yes, I laughed.  The man ran very fast.  I don’t often witness a full sprint outside of track and field meets and TV cop shows.

cabinwedding 174

you own a gun. Three is better.  Six, you’ve got your own little armory and probably make your own bullets, too. (I received *my first gun as a “welcome to the family” gift from my future Alaskan in-laws.  The look on my family’s faces was absolutely priceless as I unwrapped it, too.  Hee hee.)

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you don’t try to pet the moose/bears. Not even the ones in the zoo. Tourists do try this on occasion.  I wouldn’t try to pet the mountain lions, jaguars, big spiders, anything with horns or antlers, wolves, hippos, etc. from the world’s respective countries.  Why people try to pet wildlife is beyond me.

the state pays you a big fat check every October. (A bribe to keep us here over the winter.)

a bald eagle ate your dog.

ruth arcand ski pics 003

winter sports are not optional.

for those in more rural areas (anywhere in Alaska outside of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau), when it’s time to go to town, you saddle up your moose.  This is what you tell people from out of state, anyway.

when the freezer (and the extra freezer in the garage) gets full, you just put the cream puffs from Costco on the back deck. Voila, mother nature’s freezer.

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you have snow tires.  If you have to ask what these are, you are not from Alaska.

you think faux fur is a faux pas.

*I included an actual picture of my first gun being wielded by a relative in a family winter Olympics of sorts.  I told you we got bored in winter….


What makes your home country/state’s population unique?


  1. I though that you were going to say that the snow plough just drove through the parked car!

  2. I live in Indiana. We are called Hoosiers and are known for the major population loving basketball. I am not crazy about the game but I do watch the IU basketball games. Both of my children played basketball while in school.

  3. As far as I'm concerned if you are in Alaska in October , you deserve a big fat check. If a moose will eat your Halloween pumpkin, I wonder if eclairs really are safe on the back deck. Considering the size of that moose your gun looks a bit small.Pictures are fine, it's your hilarious writing that keeps me coming back!

  4. And the mysterious picture at the top is? A dredger?

  5. Loved the post, as usual... :)

    I spent my middle and high school years in Michigan, and my parents are still there. Among our state's peculiarities are:

    1. Pointing to a point on your palm to explain where in the state you live/are from.

    2. Calling diners "Coney Islands" and soda "pop"

    3. Disliking Ohio intensely and irrationally - I suspect this is mainly connected to college football rivalries that I do not understand.

    There are quite a few more, of course, and also some interesting ones tied to particular parts of Michigan...Perhaps the best/funniest/ most disturbing being this:

  6. He he. Makes me want to visit your wonderful state. It's a world away from Oz, but there are a couple of similarities.
    We sometimes tell people we ride to town on kangaroos.

  7. I just came across your blog. Love it. Life here along the shore of Lake Michigan is different so I want to follow your postings. Always like to see how the other half lives - maybe survive in your state! Great to find you. Each month I pick one or two new blogs to follow, you are the lucky one for February. Jack

  8. @Lisa at GreenbowHello, Hoosier! No doubt I'm an ignoramus, but just what is a Hoosier, other than a person from your state? Sounds like something to do with vacuums or agriculture....


  9. @BeckyPumpkins I can overlook, but if a moose gets near the pastries, that means war. More often than not, the pumpkin is on the front porch and the back deck is fenced.

    What do you mean small gun?? It's the perfect size for a non-hunter like myself. I enjoy putting holes in old political election signage. "A vote for me solves all the world's problems!" Blam, blam, blam!


  10. @Elephant's EyeI think so. I found it on my computer amongst a bunch of hunting photos, so probably taken by the hubby or father-in-law. The quality is too good for a photo taken by me.


  11. @College GardenerAh, Michgan. I had a college roommate fom Lansing. My dad used to call soda "pop" so maybe he has MI roots, via Oregon, somehow.

    I can't really think of any state to state rivalries we have, other than teasing Texans that we're bigger.


  12. @MissyWait, what are you saying? You don't ride kangaroos!? There goes another long cherished notion.

    Now I suppose you want me to admit I don't live in an igloo....


  13. @Gardens at Waters EastHi Jack, and welcome. Just don't expect facts, edification, or accurate gardening tips and you'll be happy with your choice.


  14. Great post, Christine. That moose, whew! Who would ever want to get near such a beast? "Bald eagle ate your dog": I have a kind of similar observation. One day a few years ago I was in the garden. One of my cats was with me. Suddenly a large hawk flew onto one of my trellises. He wasn't there very long before I accidentally scared it away but I could tell he was after my cat. ... I thought you needed to know that. :)

  15. @GRACE PETERSONSend that hawk up here. He'll be right at home with the other predators that eat cats and dogs.


  16. When I was young, our neighbors (first AK winter) fed a baby moose a head of lettuce from their living room window. The following year, said moose was equipped with sharp antlers and took out said window.

    Also... "you might be from Alaska if" your car has a power cord hanging out the front.

  17. @JiffyJI knew there was a reason I wanted to install bars on the windows!

    Power cord for engine block heater: yes! I must admit that a couple years ago I went over to the dark side and had auto start installed on my car. Boy, do I feel spoiled on a cold morning.


  18. Ha ha, great! I have lived here for 7 years now and I can say I relate to almost all of these. I guess I adapted to the alaska way of life fairly fast. I am sitting here day-dreaming of spring so I can get to gardening and happened upon your blog. Only 3 more months left to go. Thanks for the mid-day work entertainment!

  19. @Mary KHi Mary K and welcome. This is indeed the perfect blog for a work break: completely useless, not mentally taxing, and occasionally amusing.

    But I must say, the part about the "three more months" til gardening is upon us is a little optimistic. Perhaps you meant three more months til mosquitos?



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