Monday, December 27, 2010

                        Getting close to the total eclipse of the moon with my point and shoot camera.
                                              Sorry it was snowing in Utah and you missed it.

                                                      Noon on the shortest day of the year. 
                                                          Winter solstice at our apartment.
                                      That's the sun showing through in the lower part of the bushes.

                                                  A sneaky raven waiting for something to eat.
                                              Ravens get very big and fat here and are all over.

With the solstice, the days in Alaska will be getting longer.  It has not really been bad and now it will getting brighter every day.  Life in Alaska is always interesting.  This past week we were not allowed in the building because the sewer lines were frozen out in the parking lot.  It took close to 48 hours to get the pipes defrosted and functioning.  That gave us an extra preparation day to get ready for Christmas Eve.  We had a wonderful time with the Elders and Sisters in Fairbanks and North Pole.  We fed 12 plus a guest at the Institute on Christmas Eve.  It seemed to be a treat for them to have some enchiladas for a change. 

Christmas Day was a new experience for us.  We have pretty much missed the rush of shopping, parties, and the stress the holidays can bring.  On Christmas morning we went the the Catholic church to help out.  They fed about 200 people althought they expected more.  Those that came were mostly native Indians that needed help or were homeless.  It was my opportunity to help Saint Nicholas give gifts to the children and adults.  Each of the adults received a package with a pair of warm socks and other useful things.  The children received a toy.  There were wonderful people from so many different churches helping out and all working together to ease the suffering of those around them.  One man had bandages on his hands from frost bite that he got that night.  It is very cold to be outside for very long.

It was so much fun to talk to grandkids and children and parents on Christmas Day.  We are so blessed.  May you all be blessed with a wonderful, healthy and happy new year.

JoAnn and Jim