I’ve been absent from this blog since Oct. 9. I returned to Oregon for a public lecture and a fund-raiser for my nonprofit, Isis Initiative, Inc. I enjoyed blue skies and warm fall days. (And we raised almost $1,000 for our scholarship program.)

When I left, snow had fluttered and dusted Fairbanks lightly once or twice but nothing had stuck. The local residents claim we’ve been having unseasonably mild and beautiful weather, i.e. the snow is late. When my friends, Ed and Kathy, dropped me at the airport Saturday morning, I told them it would probably snow as soon as I left.

I returned to find three inches of snow on my deck–and discovered the sun is rising much later. I saw the first hint of sunrise at 9 a.m. What a difference 10 days makes!

The snow here is magical. It’s so light I could sweep it from my deck with a broom. When I look at it, it sparkles, as if it’s been sprinkled with fairy dust. Its charm is deceptive though: it’s still cold.

In the middle of the night, I trekked to the outhouse. I haven’t bought a pair of boots yet, so I made the short journey in my pink flip flops. Standard operating procedure before I left for Oregon. Returning to the cabin with cold feet, I decided it’s time to buy boots…and pronto.