This is my third year as a Jew married to a sourdough and I think I’ve come a long way from being a whiny city slicker to being a tough semi-Alaskan. I don’t even wear scarves anymore! For the other two or three Jews on the Kenai peninsula married to sourdoughs, here is some advice you may want to heed.
When I first moved to Alaska and dated what has fortunately become my current husband, I asked him a lot of questions like “how do you drive in the dark with all those moose crossing the roads?” or “what’s the difference between all-wheel-drive and four-wheel drive?” or “how come people here call snowmobiles snowmachines?” or “what are four-wheelers?” and he patiently answered every single one. I still ask a lot of questions, but now the answers have gotten considerably shorter. Just yesterday I asked how do you drive down an icy hill? He said “coast in first gear.” But won’t I slide?” “Push the clutch in” “But what if I go into the ditch?” “I’ll tow you” And so on and so on. I will say one thing, Jews are VERY curious people. Now Alaskan men, on the other hand, are men of few words. So what’s the solution? Advice #1: Women: Do all the asking while in the car so that your husband cannot weasel out by chopping wood. I’ve now gotten into the habit of writing down all my questions and asking them exclusively when we’re off to Anchorage or some other faraway place.
Speaking of chopping wood… what is it with Alaskan men and chopping wood? My husband seems to be at his happiest whenever he is out in the elements chopping wood. I’ll never forget the time when we were engaged and decided to spend a “romantic” weekend at a remote cabin. I never saw my husband. He was out chopping wood. Advice #2: DO NOT let your husband talk you into buying a woodstove… You will NEVER see your husband again.
Finally, do not EVER ask your husband for a road condition report or you WILL find yourself in a ditch! NOTHING and I do mean NOTHING fazes Alaskan men when it comes to driving conditions. Whenever I ask my husband how are the roads, he matter-of-factly says “Okay.” Translation: treacherous. But, at least you know that if he says they’re bad, you better find a hobby at home because you’re not going ANYWHERE for the next two weeks!
I find great solace in reminiscing about the days when we took a trip to visit my relatives in New York last summer and my husband was shaking in his boots when he found himself driving on a four-lane highway and was helpless when it came time to get onto the right lane so that we wouldn’t miss our exit! I saved the day by taking over the wheel…. Or how about the time when we went on vacation to Russia (yes, Russia!) and I got him out of a fight thanks to my flawless Russian! Ha!