Monday, July 12, 2010

The View from Here

Today I bring you two views of the world from our front porch. The sunny picture shows that the house faces north, straight up the Iliuliuk (sometimes spelled Iliuliuk, which was the natives' name for the settlement at Unalaska) Bay and on into the Bering Sea. It is sort of cool to think about looking out on the Bering Sea! Yesterday morning, this was the view. Incredible!

By yesterday evening (that is from 6 to midnight, when it is still light out) the view was as you can see in the other picture. In addition, it was raining! When you see the morning weather, you can generally count on the afternoon being radically different. The discussion goes: Hmm--it is cold and cloudy. Does that mean this afternoon will be better and we might even see the sun? Or does that mean that this afternoon will be worse--the wind will come up and it will rain? Either is possible. If we lived here long enough, we might be able to predict which is more likely to occur.

Interestingly the Unangan people (Unangan is the natives' name for themselves; Aleut being a Russian name) traditionally do not talk about the weather. Since talking will not change the weather, it is not useful to discuss it. Most modern Unangans (or Unangax or Unangas), however, talk about the weather just like all the rest of us. It is always interesting to us to hear an Unalaskan resident say, "Wow, it is really windy today." We don't know what is normal windiness, so we usually just observe and listen.

PS--My apologies for the sorry state that this blog got into in the past few days. I thought it was all chronological with appropriate dates, but something in the last two days went really haywire and scrambled the entries. I think I have them straightened out now. Also a big thank you to those of you who have communicated with me about the blog. I really appreciate the words of encouragement.

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