Kindergarten in Alaska - Double Dog Dare - "A Christmas Story" story.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

Kindergarten in Alaska - Double Dog Dare  - "A Christmas Story" story.


School begins next week in Camas, Washington. It's such a bittersweet time for many parents as they send their "babies" off to school for the first time. Fortunately, our climate is much friendlier to our Camas kindergartners, than the one where I first went to school.

Kindergarten in Alaska -Double Dog DareImagine my mother sending her "baby" off to school in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Winters in Fairbanks are very dark and very cold. For nearly three months out of the year, there are about five (5) hours of daylight. Add to that delightful scenario, temperatures that often drop in excess of 40 below, and you've got an unforgiving environment.  

Kindergarten in Alaska -Double Dog Dare

Therefore, what I remember about Kindergarten, is dressing up in layers and layers and layers of clothing.
Yep, much like Ralph's little brother in, "A Christmas Story."

Kids in my kindergarten class, rarely forgot their jackets, snow pants, mittens, or hats. We had to bundle-up, even though the winter recesses were quite short.  Getting dressed and undressed was a sweaty, but necessary, struggle that we endured repeatedly throughout the long dark months.

Kindergarten in Alaska -Double Dog Dare

Running in clumsy boots on the playground, frequently resulted in a face plant in the snow.  And, snow in the boots and mittens, and sometimes, snow down the back of a jacket, thanks to a mischievous boy.

But, what I remember most about Kindergarten, is my "Double Dog Dare" day. Only, no one dared me. No, quite on my own, I stood at the monkey bars and tested the myth.  My parents had warned me, and so had my older sister and friends. "Don't ever put your tongue on metal bars, it'll stick."

tongue on poleGuess what? It does, and mine did - stick, quite firmly on the frozen bar of that playground equipment. Fortunately, unlike the scene in "A Christmas Story,"  there were no fire trucks called in to rescue me. Instead, a few of my friends noticed my miserable plight and told our teacher.

Kindergarten in Alaska -Double Dog DareIt must not have been Miss Cabiness' first year on the job. A Dixie cup filled with warm water, poured over "just the right spot," did the trick.  I remember her giving me a quick hug, and with a smile, she said, "Well Debbra, I guess you won't be doing that again." My face was red, the tip of my tongue raw, but I'd learned my lesson, and I never did that again.

Bottom line: Kindergarten wisdom.

My kindergarten year certainly taught me about the importance of dressing appropriately for the occasion.

I also learned it's possible to withstand a bit of discomfort and inconvenience for the sheer joy of outdoor playtime  life. 

Plus, I discovered when people, who you trust, tell you something's not good for you - it generally isn't

Most important though, I learned lessons are best not repeated, and people are amazingly resilient. 

Real estate has certainly taught us a few lessons in the past several years, but I'm sure you're resilient too. Perhaps, we would make a good team, as you consider your future Real Estate decisions. Let's get started and explore your options. 

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.






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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Debb- I'm going to remember this the next time I complain about it being cold (60degrees!).  And thank you for sharing your "Christmas Story" story.  Well at least you learned and remembered some valuable lessons. Glad you're in a warmer climate. 

Aug 30, 2011 07:32 AM #1
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Me too Kathy, I don't remember as much about it as I should, but I do remember the discomfort of being cold and wanting to go outside all the time. My mom tells me she'd bring us in, thaw us out a bit, and bundle us back up for short play times. Gee, what a lot of work?!

Aug 30, 2011 07:36 AM #2
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Debb, great story.  Growing up on the farm I heard another type of "myth" about not peeing on the electric fence.  I am glad I never pushed that myth because I now know it is not a myth :)

Aug 30, 2011 08:22 AM #3
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Debb, remembering back is the best isn't it.  I love the snow but I don't think I would want to live in Alaska, but then I have never been there either.  I do know it has some beautiful countryside and mountains, and I know this only from television and photos.  Fun rememberances.

Aug 30, 2011 09:43 AM #4
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

That's beyond cold...cute story and pics as well Debb.

Aug 30, 2011 10:34 AM #5
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Charles, that certainly made me chuckle. You left that one out of your Kindergarten story. I was lucky that the "few" kind friends of mine were the only witnesses - they never told the story to other kids and somehow, I escaped the "stupid stunt" without much ridicule - except from my older sister. Of course. :)

 Anita, beyond cold is a good description. The northern lights were amazing could hear them crackling for miles. Spooky to a little girl.

Mary  - it can be fun. Although, I was pretty shy as a little girl and I much prefer being in my "skin" as an older Debb. :) Alaska is magnifcient, but I prefer SE Alaska to the interior (Fairbanks area). Perhaps, you'll get up there for a trip one of these days. Cruises through Alaska are pretty nice.

Aug 30, 2011 10:36 AM #6
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great memories!  That bundled up nonsense is something I remember well from going to school in Canada.  So much time and effort would go into getting dressed up just to step outside.  You can have that!

Aug 30, 2011 12:37 PM #7
Judi Boad

Hi Debb~ Kindergarten in Alaska! Thanks for sharing your story. I sure am glad you remember your teacher giving you a hug after she released you from your frozen confinement, that cold winter day!

Best regards from Seattle,

Aug 30, 2011 12:39 PM #8
EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat
Russel Ray Photos - San Diego, CA

You make me really glad that I live in San Diego. I get depressed with a mere eight hours of daylight in the dead of winter. And the rain. We can get as much as an inch of rain in one day... And the cold.... It can get down into the 50s. lol

Aug 30, 2011 01:55 PM #9
Robert Rucker III
Fairbanks, AK

Hello Debb,

Thanks for sharing your story. When it comes down to true appreciation for your story I may have just a slight edge since I am in Fairbanks, Alaska right now (smile). This morning at about 4:30 AM it was 42 degrees above so... its coming. This afternoon the sun was shining and the sky was full of geese headed south for the winter out of Creamers Field. . Have a wonderful Labor Day Holiday and again thanks for sharing.

Aug 30, 2011 05:24 PM #10
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

OUch Debb ~  I did something similar.  I was sledding on a metal disk, hit a bump and had my tongue out and it stuck to the disk.  No teacher with warm water for me...nope...I had to rip my tongue off the disk.  OUCH














Aug 30, 2011 06:27 PM #11
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Georgina - yes parts of Canada would experience much the same weather as Fairbanks. I really don't know how my mom handled it with two little girls who always wanted to go outside and play...

Judi, she was always one of my very favorite teachers. She was filled with compassion and had a genuine love for children and teaching.

Eric, my folks used to winter in San Diego and I visited a number of times. I love your climate and the beautiful beaches.

And, because it's so perfect, you're right, it's easy to get spoiled. (Not that you are...)

Aug 31, 2011 02:48 AM #12
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Robert, I'd love to know more about you and what you're up to in Fairbanks. I did visit the Creamery link, is that where you work? If so tell me more. I went to your profile page, but it appears you're new to AR and haven't had time to finish filling out your information.

Just for the record, I do remember wonderful sunny and warm summers in Fairbanks. :)


Dawn, OMG. I was a lucky kid to have a smart teacher save the day. I'll bet your tongue was sore for days. 

Aug 31, 2011 02:55 AM #13
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REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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