For those of you non-familiars out there reading my blog, you may not know I'm from Alaska -- the great state where, according to Homer Simpson, you can never be too fat OR too drunk. I quote that with the utmost respect - really - not only do I love Homer on oh so many fronts, but seriously - you need extra layers to protect yourself from the cold, and alcohol... well it also helps keep you warm.
Two weekends ago marked the beginning of the Iditarod sled dog race - as I was reminded by my friend's photos on her blog. I loved that time of year in Alaska - the increasing sunlight and warmth and all the activity downtown. I miss the place that was my home. If you're unfamiliar with the Iditarod, I suggest you get on that link and check it out. It's a big part of Alaskan history - and if you think an Iron Man marathon is hard... well it is. This isn't really like that. But the cojones it takes to mush 12 to 16 dogs over 1150 miles in 10 to 17 days... well, I can tell you one thing - I haven't got those kind of cojones. A good handful or so of men, and some freaking awesome women, do.
Sadly, she has since passed away, but 4-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher once came to speak to my elementary school to talk about what life was like mushing dogs. All the little girls in my class, including me, just wanted to be her. She had "Susan Butcher braids" we coveted - two plaits down either side of her head; thick, sensible and pretty. One of my boyfriend's acquaintances has those same braids. When I was introduced to him and said, "Love your Susan Butcher braids," not being from Alaska, he only stared at me like I was some sort of crazy person. As I've told you all before - I'm not crazy. I just have too much time on my hands.