The first day in June is quite a celebration in Fairbanks, Alaska. The day itself signifies that old man winter has “officially” vacated the premises. The residents can vouch for this as they look to all the greenery that envelops the city with an energetic vibe–a reminder that it is now safe to accomplish the shitloads of summery items to do. It’s true. The construction workers are out in full force gearing up to tackle all the constructing that needs to be done (major potholes, deconstructing highways, etc). The greenhouses are all fluttering about like little hummingbirds woken from a long winter’s dead sleep.
When I moved to Fairbanks from California which feels like centuries ago, folks had warned me about the 24-hour daylight and how my body would take time to acclimate to the weather. I was surprised that the sun shining through my windows at all hours of the day didn’t bother me as I thought it would–neither did the 24-hour days of darkness in the winter. Although, I do recall attacking 1-2 bags of Doritos during the winters those first few years in Fairbanks.
When my two boys were in their pre-teen age, the first indication of June consisted of traveling to Anchorage for a soccer tournament. Those were the days when I’d spend the week leading up to June stuffing the RV with four days worth of survivor items, and we’d drive down anticipating how the games would turn out. The boys, and my daughter often fell asleep in the RV even before we reached the area in the highway that we were no longer in Fairbanks. Those were the days when we incorporated family down time by checking out new restaurants, and teaching them how to develop their palate. I sound like a Tiger Mom here, but I always wanted to take every moment and make it into a teaching lesson for them. God forbid, I raised barbarians. Thank goodness that they are fully versed in how to behave in a restaurant. Back to my point.
These past few years, our Junes have been a bit different. They are usually marked with errands, and planning on how to structure the garden and becoming inspired by the greenhouses. Yesterday, as I stood among the flower baskets at Risse’s Greenhouse (I was on a special mission on finding the perfect flower baskets to adorn my front porch), I stopped myself for a second and realized, “Holy fuck, when did I turn into a gardening granny?!?” No offense to the amazing grannies out there who love to garden because I envy their ability to putter about in the garden. But, how in the hell did a California chick become the penultimate advocate for gardening in June? One who was standing in the middle of a greenhouse pondering if she should go with the flower basket that consisted of fuschias and petunias, or the one with burgundy petunias and the creeping Jennies?
For a second, I patted and checked myself out. Ok, I was wearing my stylish skinny cutoff jeans with ballerina flats, and nice sky blue light sweater. On my shoulders is a cross body leather satchel bag from Ryan’s WP+ collection, and my RB aviators on my face. I literally did this because for a second, I could have sworn I stole the garden gnome’s outfit. I thought if I had succumbed to doing such things that it was a bit of vain comfort in knowing that I am still holding on to my ability to dress myself fashionably.
She’s still there.
I may have given up those long California days of heading to San Francisco on a weekend, but damn it–I’m holding on to my sense of style (even if it was absolutely ridiculously jackass-like to wear ballerina flats at a greenhouse where the ground was muddy).
The week leading up to the first day of June are now no longer spent stuffing the RV and feeling excited about how the boys will do in their games, and how I would comfort the husband (he coached them for 18 years) and the boys in their disappointing losses–they are now filled with planning what vegetables to plant in the garden, and what flower baskets are chosen.
But, it’s all good. As long as I don’t wake up as the new garden gnome.
To celebrate the week of going into June, I needed a bit of thematic approach going, and I realized I made a few kitschy things after a long day from the office:
I eventually found the flower baskets–they are now situated in their summer spot until the signs of fall in August.