The author’s roommate skates across Potter Marsh, just outside of Anchorage. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

The author’s roommate skates across Potter Marsh, just outside of Anchorage. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Hectic serenity of winter

It’s been a hectic winter for me so far, which is something for which I wasn’t prepared.

In fact, I’m writing this column a full day later than it’s due. If you read this in Friday’s Peninsula Clarion, know that I’m typing this up at about 6 p.m. Thursday night.

It still amazes me how fast words can travel, going from my computer to the printer to a reader’s mailbox within 12 hours. And it amazes how much I can procrastinate, even when I know all the work that goes into those 12 hours and that I’m holding it all up with this column.

And instead of starting this column earlier, I went for a run. I thought it would clear my head — it didn’t — but it was another day that I could check off in November.

At the beginning of this month, I told myself I would run at least a mile every day. A friend and I dubbed it “No Fun November,” but that’s a misnomer because it’s been pretty exciting.

Today was a busy day, part of my busy winter so far, so I did the bare minimum — one mile. It was a quick one mile, though, boosting my confidence about how my speed has been progressing.

I’m amazed at how fast words can travel, but still unamazed at how slowly I do.

But during those eight or so minutes of me slipping and sliding along the icy roads of Seward, I saw a lot. People were stringing their Christmas lights, illuminating the streets. Others were walking their dogs, some meeting at restaurants or canoodling in cars. Sewardites are a wild bunch on a chilly Thursday night.

I wish I could have explored more, but like I said, it’s been a hectic winter for me so far and I wanted to get back into the warmth to finish this column.

Part of my hectic winter included a trip to Anchorage last week. Usually, I’d be a bit bummed to spend four hours in a car in one day but I had a pair of ice skates in my trunk and had heard some wonderful things about Potter Marsh.

So, after my meeting in the ‘big city,’ a trip to get our skates sharpened and a stop at Target, my roommate and I drove out of town and took a left way sooner than we usually do. After pulling off the highway, we traded our shoes for our newly sharpened skates and hit the ice.

Gliding around the ice led to some intriguing juxtapositions.

Right off the highway, we found serenity and stillness.

While we skated from marsh to marsh, a sudden open space would be stopped short by a collection of reeds shooting up from the ground.

Our conversation and laughter faltered with the sound of cracking ice and stopped short when my friend fell through the ice. I stood in shock and silence, trying to remember anything and everything I should know. I didn’t know much.

But she had been trained in wilderness survival and didn’t panic in the slightest. She pulled herself out and we both spread out while we found our way to stronger ice. Crisis averted but awareness heightened.

We would’ve hustled back to the car, but the marsh is a bit of a maze so we skated and meandered and talked about anything but cold legs until we were back in my car with warm legs.

And even my moments of serenity ended up being pretty hectic, but that’s winter in Alaska for you.

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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