At Palmer I remember missing some of the smaller things like nail polish that I had back home. I tried to be prudent this go around and bring those items with me. And yet, I find myself not even using them! I guess they weren't all that important after all. Here is what I am missing this time:
- Weather. In Massachusetts, we get all four seasons. My first year living in Colorado didn't exactly provide me with them. It essentially remained hot year round, and hot for me in the winter is anything above 30 degrees in December/January. The fact that I didn't break out a peacoat until, well, ever really was sad. The fall was much too warm for my taste (seriously?! 70 degrees in November??), and the colorful leaves aren't as colorful as home. Then again, I can't really expect autumn to be any better than how it presents itself in New England. At the Pole though we don't get any weather...at all really. This includes snow. I know, shocking, but it's too cold here for it to snow so we don't even get those beautiful flakes.
- The sun's warmth. I think this one is another obvious one though. I don't necessarily miss the sun itself because I know what it's like here with sun (no sleep as it never sets), but I miss feeling its rays. While the sun is starting to come up and we can see its glow on the horizon right now, I won't feel any warmth until I get to New Zealand.
- DOGS! Oh my God do I miss dogs. I keep looking at adoption ads and upcoming litters for sale of various breeds. I more specifically miss my dog, Lilly, but she's warm and safe at home in Boston with my parents. I will be so excited to pet a dog again when I leave.
- Walking. Another weird one. It's too cold for me to spend too much time outside walking around. I get all paranoid about damaging my facial skin from the wind too so all of the layers on my face can make breathing uncomfortable. I try to walk on the treadmills here every once in a while so I'm not totally just sitting on my ass, but that's really boring. It's not like there's much outside stimulation. I am so looking forward to walking to the point that, gasp, I am excited to get back to CO and go hiking, snowshoeing, whatever have you. Who would have guessed I'd be excited to do outdoor sports?! Certainly not my friend Emma Soucy.
- Cooking. We don't really get to do much cooking just for ourselves down here. If we cook, we are supposed to cook for the whole station. I did that a few times at Palmer and helped Mike in the kitchen quite a bit, but it was a smaller population there. I'm just not interested in cooking a meal for 46 people. I miss cooking whatever I like and just for myself.
- Good Internet. Also an obvious one. It sucks not being able to load bank accounts most days or getting up early to use the internet on the good satellite only to find out that it's down for the day. I'm looking forward to being able to stream on YouTube and Netflix again as well. We have lots of movies here, but not many new ones or ones that pique my interest.
- The smell of rain. Not so much the water itself, but how water makes our olfactory senses work overtime. We can pick up on the smells of flowers, grass, and other wildlife. Hell even the dirt. I miss all of that. There aren't any scents here, and the greenhouse smells more chemical to me than like the earth.
- Looking like me. Odd again. I am always in Carhartt bibs here and most days when not in them, I look like a freaking hobo. Sweatpants and old sweatshirts or tshirts abound. It's because I didn't want to bring any nice clothing down and ruin it. It's also pretty pointless for me to do anything to my hair or wear makeup here. It'll be nice to get home and not feel like a slob. Yeah, I could put jeans on, but they don't really keep me all that warm. Oh and dresses...yeah can't wear those here.
- Sunglasses. No sun here so I don't need the. Even with the sun up, they won't help me much. My Ray Bans are metal-framed so a big no-no in the cold. They also won't do much to protect my skin from the cold wind so when the sun is up, I'll need to wear my goggles for some kind of sun protection. Why do I miss my sunglasses? Because I usually end up using them as a de facto headband. I don't know how else to keep my messy hair out of my face so, yeah, looking like a bridge troll it is.
So there's a short list (or not so short) of things I can think of right now that I miss. I only have 77 days left until my assigned off-ice date of November 4th. Weather can always push it back, but I'm hoping that I get to leave on the assigned date (means I'm out of the Pole on the 3rd, one night in McMurdo, and Christchurch on the 4th). It may take me a while to remember how to be a functioning human in the real world. Let's hope I don't embarrass myself out there too much.