Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Go into the light, Carol Anne." - That Creepy Short Lady, Poltergeist

Yes, it snowed a week before I took this picture. Ain't Fairbanks grand?

Last night was the night I just gave up and gave in to summer. The way I did that was give in to the light. Let me explain . . .

I came home last night about usual. The Mrs. was preparing for going out to teach at the NRA’s local “Karate with a .45 Semiauto” class (class motto: “Chuck Norris is scary. Chuck Norris with a gun is really, really scary.”). She does this on a nightly basis. It’s one of those quaint things we Alaskans call a “job.”

Anyhow, she left me in charge of the brood, which was probably her first mistake. The Boy and I decided to harvest mow the lawn. The snow hasn’t been gone for all that long from our lawn, but it’s growing in earnest already. I have a theory that as it warms up enough light begins to drift down through the snow to make the grass green. In some spots, as it was melting the green grass was poking through.

The lawn grows quickly up here. 24 hour daylight encourages that a bit. The Mrs. decided last year that we should replace dearly departed Christine (explanation here) with a new mower (explanation here). There are several nice things about the John Deere:
  • The Boy can ride with me when I mow if he wants,
  • it has a cupholder for beer,
  • it turns a three-hour push-mower task into about an hour, and,
  • it’s green.
When we bought the John Deere, I sent in the product registration. That was the only way to get the free Sun Cover. In addition to getting the free Sun Cover, I got a box from John Deere about a month later. In the box was a John Deere green hat, with the embroidered words “Owner Edition” on the bill. I’m willing to bet that this was pretty much the same one that Ted Turner got when he bought a $500,000 combine for his albino-alpaca ranch in Montana, yet I only paid a fraction of that, and never had to spend time with Jane Fonda. Yet, I have the same hat.

It’s like being in a club. I see other guys in John Deere Owner Edition hats, and we wink at each other. We’re in. You’re not.

Alas, there was no beer as I mowed the lawn last night being “beer-free Tuesday” (not nearly as fun as free-beer Friday). The Boy got bored with riding after the first thirty minutes, and I thought I had lost him to the swing set for the night. Instead, he started running behind the mower as I mowed. I have no idea why. Since the lawn is really, really, really big (300’ by 100’ – football field size) I figure he ran about a mile. He kept up with the John Deere when it was in fifth gear (yes, it has a fifth gear) without much problem.

After mowing, I proceeded to cut up and stack a half a cord of wood, and then decided to take the sledgehammer and wedge and crack a few pieces of spruce in half. Nothing makes you feel more like Thor than having the big hammer.

That’s when The Mrs. drove up.

“Hi,” I innocently say.

“John, did you know that it’s almost 10:30?”

I shake my head, and The Mrs. continues, “It’s past his,” she jerks her thumb at The Boy, “bedtime by about two hours.”

I become sheepish. Okay, I messed this up.

Between the extra two hours of up time and the sixteen miles he ran behind the tractor, The Boy indicated that he had a great desire to become part of the food chain, preferably as a consumer, but if no food was coming, he wouldn’t mind being fed to wolves.

I fixed soup. Mmm, mmm, good™.

The New Boy, who can hear a mosquito change it’s mind in Seattle, picked that moment to wake up from his slumber. He wailed that he wanted food as well. The Mrs. grumbled, “This was just what it was like when I left, all three of you clamoring for attention.”

We put The Boy and The New Boy in bed, and sat in the front room, talking. The clamor started from the other room. First The New Boy started to burble, and laugh. Then The Boy cried. He finally yelled, “Daaaaddddddy.”

I entered the room only to see my five-year-old crying on his bed, while the grinning fool that is his brother stood, bounced, and drooled in his crib. Hey, bro, it’s party time!

I explained that he and The New Boy shared a room. He steadfastly stuck to the position that The New Boy was the spawn of Satan, and should be housed in a box filled with greasy rags in the garage. I finally relented, and put left to prepare the portable crib in the other room for The New Boy. Principle is one thing, but sleep is another. As I was leaving the room to get the other room ready, The Boy screeched, "Hey, Dad, you forgot the baaaaaby."

It was midnight.

And bright daylight outside.

Dang, I’m tired today.

In other news, I got an e-mail about another movie. This looks good:

It’s got Lance Henriksen (he was the robot in Aliens, Frank Black in Millennium), Claudia Christian (Ivanova from Babylon 5) and Sean Young (good in Stripes, but I hear just a bit nutty in reality). Full disclosure: I get a copy of the flick. Fuller disclosure: I would rent/buy this one anyway, just for the actors involved. I know that my penchant for horror movies drives The Mrs. a bit nuts, but she would grab this one first if I didn’t see it. As you can also see, this movie deals with a subject matter that we are not unfamiliar with.

Alrighty. Goodnight.


Blogger Liang Boy said...

Hey John,

Man, you sure can write! Alaska, a place my friend and I has always dreamed of coming. I didn't make it there when I was in Oklahoma, so I guess it has to be noted down for my long run future trip! (Pss.. I didn't know Alaska has 24hrs daylight!)

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First, as much as I have talked you up, I am totally hiding your website from my husband, because, his orientation firmly in place or not, that whole John Deere angle is bound to send him over the edge. Having shackled him to a life in the city (with its postage-stamp yard), I can only been seen as the enemy, one who stands between him and his own green hat.

Second, what? Why? Huh? Why did I not know about this whole book thing??? Granted, I have been offline for many moons, but I should've known about this. Let's hope your book tour brings you down to Seattle, but you'd better stay away from my husband. I fear the world if the two of you were ever to unite forces. Especially when 24-hour daylight is involved.

10:49 AM  
Blogger SusanE said...

I just purchased a top of the line push (human powered)lawn mower for $79.00. No gas, it uses human energy. Fortunately I have 1.84 acres, but there is only 25 X 25 the needs the grass cut.

3:12 PM  
Blogger SusanE said...

Oh, I forgot, it was on sale almost half price.... I wonder why?

3:12 PM  
Blogger Al said...

WOW! A woman with a .45 semiautomatic is strangely exciting and scarey.

Where was the smaller boy while all the mowing and exercise was taking place?

Maybe you could make your yard into a rugby field and start a new fad in Alaska...thing about it. Rugby or football, but not soccer.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Ed Rozmiarek said...

Dang, you got a "Owner's Edition" gimme hat for sending in the registration form? I thought those were just so they could get your name and address to send out more and more junk mail and credit card applications. But a hat. I may have to see if I still have my registration card from my John Deere. I join "the club" last fall. Just reading your blog makes me want to go home and mow "the back 2" tonight.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember an old joke about 3 lies a farmer tells, and if I remember correctly the second one was "this hat was free". Being from Wyoming myself I won't go into the other 2.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

I'm beginning to think that the grass is green year-round up there. How would you know that it's not green in the winter under all that snow? Maybe Alaska is covered with a giant piece of Astroturf.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You kids (shaking my head from side-to-side). Lance Henriksen was the "surfer dude" in Apocalypse Now. C'mon, John; don't you remember the memorable scene where Robert Duvall has his unit of the 1st Cav (Airmobile) blast the area around a beach, so that they can surf it ('cuz the waves break in both directions -- left and right!)

Oh, the horror.. the horror!

10:55 PM  
Blogger The Mayor said...

Ah, maybe I could get a "Cub Cadet 6hp Owner Edition" hat so I could be in a lawn mowing club too! Is that thermometer correct? That freaks me out.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Joann said...

All that sun would come in handy with my job. if I couldn't sleep I'd just hop in the taxi and make a few bucks.

First time I saw Sean Young I thought she would be a big star but yes she does look wild in the eyes.

12:51 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks! Yup, this is a must-visit place. Having been to Oklahoma, well, I was arrested attempting to get out of there at 85MPH (they keep the tree in Tulsa). The 24 hour daylight is neat.

It's time. Come to the North. It calls its siren song . . . John Deere is waiting . . . John Deere is waiting . . . Fairbanks is well connected by air, so he could keep doing all his Professor-things.

Yup. The Mrs. is putting the finishing touches on book #3. About visiting Seattle - that's a must. Just a matter of when.

See, I could have one of those, but The Mrs. wants me to continue to hold a job, and the mowing would be, well, continuous at that point . . .

Actually, the .45 was made up for the humor-value. In reality (real reality) she prefers a .357 - go figure.

The New Boy was asleep in his crib.

The back yard is big enough for a game or two. I'm expecting some wonderful flag-football games as the boys grow.

Yes. I normally chuck those registration forms, but I had to fill it out to get the free sun-canopy.

Heh heh heh. Well, while this hat wasn't free, it was unexpected. And just a little cool. I wear it sideways like a rap star. Yo.

And under the Astroturf? Sweet, sweet oil.

jonathan b. horen,
Wow, I'd forgotten about that one. The favorite from The Mrs. for Lance was "Pumkinhead." (Her graduate thesis dealt with gender-roles in horror movies).

The horror indeed!

It's got to be green to get the hat, I think. The thermometer was out in the Sun, so not so correct.

I've heard that she's more than a bit strange. Maybe it's being called "Sean".

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why beer-free Tuesday? That makes me sad...

3:07 PM  

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