A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Sunday, December 22, 2019

2019 (Basic Recipe)

Pre-heat winter solstice to thirty-four below zero.  Using vegetable shorting or softened butter, grease the dry skin that is cracking open on your heels. Dust all surfaces with several feet of snow.

2 children (plus additional children as needed)
1 supportive spouse
1 supportive sister
Mother, father, and other relations, assorted
Long-lost friends, to taste
Not-lost friends, to taste (all friends should be hand-picked and of the highest quality)
140 acres of cacti
1 tent
2 dogs (plus 3 extra dogs)
1 cat (plus 4 extra cats)
2 baby squirrels (extra baby squirrels not recommended)
17,489,393,939,393 mosquitoes
2,681,140.8 acres of baked Alaska
15.2 terabytes of data
76 sub-folders
1888 unanswered emails

Combine children and spouse in medium-sized winter holiday break.  Whisk briskly through TSA in Fairbanks, New York, and, Boston, and Phoenix, using two crutches, an immobilization boot, and a metal pirate leg, [Note: whisking may not be quite as brisk as desired.] 

Add cacti and tent.

Gently mix memories with mother, father, sister, and other family members.  [Note: memories may be more mixed than expected, and may fail to rise]  Fold in compassion and empathy, and season with complicated logistics. 

Stir.  Continue to stir as much as possible, to avoid congealing and/or crankiness.  Stir using the crutches, the pirate leg, and a highly questioned combination of the immobilization boot and a snow bike.  Stirring for the entire length of the White Mountains 100 is not too much stirring, so long as your doctor doesn’t catch you.  [Note: She’s right behind you, on her bike.] 

Sift terabytes of data.  Sprinkle liberally through reports, papers, and gray literature.  Set aside in sub-folders, possibly forever. Spice up the mix with a dash of online publication and a spritz of All Things Considered on the baked Alaska.

Age children gently but continuously until they become teenagers.  Allow mixture to rise and develop freely in order to encourage bold flavors.  Season with rock climbing, horseback riding, MathCounts, snow forts, log forts, additional children (assorted), and dirt.

Place long-lost friends in large hallowed red-brick institution.  Shake vigorously with music from the early ‘90s.  Mixture will become light, bubbly, and warm, with the aroma of nostalgia and a sweet yet complex flavor.

Set spouse and children on two tandem bicycles.  Bake at moderate heat for approximately 230 miles from Delta to Paxson and across the Denali highway.  Be careful not to burn.  There’s way too much burning going on already.

Mix together children, dogs (including one fresh-picked pup with minimal damage), cats, mosquitoes, and baby squirrels.  Use extreme caution.  High-speed mixing is not recommended.  Retain squirrels until they are large and fluffy, then skim off into surrounding woods.  [Note: cats and dogs are already large and fluffy, and do not require skimming.]

Resulting mixture of two children plus one extra child will be very strong.  Allow mixture to mellow over 26.2 miles of the Equinox marathon.  Stir yourself enough to stay ahead of them. 

Gently fold in lectures on statistics, a climate adaptation plan for Igiugig, and an analysis of agricultural climate change impacts for the USDA.  Do not over-mix; results should be complex, but not utterly confusing.

Separate church and state.  Set aside governor and president.  Chill, but don’t chill too much.  Too much chilling suggests that you are not paying attention.

Coat with two pairs of longjohns, two pairs of socks, insulated pants, shirt, sweater, neck warmer, hat, mittens, and jacket.

Leave the emails for next year.

Add more friends and family, and warm.

Serves: the purpose

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