My Uncle Paul was up to visit us for a couple of weeks. When he came, Dawson City was still in winter. In front of our house, the city was working on clearing the big wide snow bank on our side of the road:

But when Paul came, everything started to get much milder. I drove out to the airport and waited by our little baggage claim area for Paul’s plane to get in.

Paul came just in time for our town’s spring carnival – Thaw dis Gras! Jeff played on a snowshoe baseball team. Every player had to wear snowshoes and the ball was a big rubber dodgeball like ball. Paul and I were cheerleaders as Jeff’s team got clobbered by our premier’s team.

Afterwards we walked over to the bi-annual fur show held at the school. This event lets local trappers show their best furs and compete for prizes. There were door prizes called all day, and free stew and bannock. Here are some pictures from the fur show:

Lynx
Fox
Marten
Lynx butts
Jeff showing Paul the wolf and wolverine pelts
Wolves
Wolverines

I watched a live demonstration of how to skin a marten and process the hide. It was pretty interesting. I have no desire to ever trap fur for a living, but as it is a local industry, I’ll support those that do.

We made sure Paul was fed well while he was here.

And maybe there were some beers with friends a night or two too:

We invited Paul’s favourite mining reality show star, Parker, to our table for a couple beers that night, so that was sure to have made his trip! Then we left Paul with our friends and Jeff & I went home to sleep! We received regular reports of their adventures for the rest of the night!

Over the last couple of weeks, each day seemed warmer than the last. We sat at least three afternoons on the front deck in the sun!

And one day our friend Tim was spotted grading our street and removing most of the snow off the street!

One morning was luckily cold enough for the start of the Percy DeWolfe sled dog race. Snow was moved back onto King Street for the mushers to have a safe start. I think Paul was pretty impressed by how loud and excited the dogs were to start racing! With the river getting soft and covered with overflow in places, the route was shortened this year to keep the teams safe.

Back at home that afternoon, Uncle Paul continued to chip away at the 3 feet of snow piled on the back deck until it was clear!

Then Paul and Jeff got busy removing a few boards to investigate just how rotten the deck is, and what is holding it up. Jeff and I have big plans for this back deck. It will need to be a super tough and strong deck for the heavy thing full of water we plan to put on it 😀

Life is too short to put off the good stuff. Let’s get a hot tub.

~ me

Paul was here while all the snow slid from the roof from our house and garage, and every other building in town.

And for the frozen hard windrows of snow left in the middle of the streets.

Everything started to get soft and a bit muddy.

And then it rained overnight last weekend! We woke up Sunday morning to this:

Our entire town was covered in water, water over ice! Everything was too treacherous to walk or even drive on until the gravel trucks were able to get out and spread gravel on the roads.

However this is an early sudden spring! Most of the drainage holes on the streets are still frozen solid so the water couldn’t drain. We had roads and intersections completely under water all over town! City crews have been out this week fighting the frozen drainage pipes with steam and pumping water from the streets to the newly thawed sewers.

The Sunday when the streets were so icy, Hank was just not impressed. You see every morning Uncle Paul took Hank for at least an hour walk, at Hank’s insistence, and on Sunday, it was just way too slippery for that to happen. Hank wasn’t pleased.

They had many talks and negotiations like this. Sometimes Hank would insist on an afternoon walk too, but Paul wasn’t so easily swayed.

Luckily by Monday the town was more traversable, so by Monday I was able to get out to the bakery and get Uncle Paul one of his brother’s (my Dad’s) favourite treats – a fresh pecan sticky bun!

Paul approved of the sticky bun!

I was worried that there really isn’t much to do at this time of year with a visitor. There are really no back roads I’d want to drive on during the thaw, and most tourist stops are closed until summer. We did okay though and found things to do! One night we even went out with our cousin Veronica to a film night and watched a film about a Yukon fella who saw an UFO, met the aliens, and then decided to morph into Elvis and tour the territory. I kid you not!

Other nights Paul wandered down to The Pit, our town’s iconic old watering hole, to have some pints with the locals while I took it easy. I’ve been sleeping so much better at night lately! I have had no problem falling asleep after getting out, sitting in the sun, or just talking all day.

Paul left a couple days ago, full of love for Dawson City. He was first up here in the 70’s and he wonders from time to time what his life would have been like if he stayed up here back then. He’s been up here a couple times now since we moved here and I bet he’ll be back. Dawson City isn’t a place you can shake from your soul once it creeps in!

Quick Health Update

When Uncle Paul arrived, I was still having a tough time getting around. At Thaw dis Gras, it took all of my energy and effort to walk a block and a half. A few days before Paul left, I was able to walk four blocks to the Chinese restaurant for lunch, and then walk back home! Big improvement!

I had blood drawn this week and the Doctor called to say everything is looking better. I’m not normal yet, but my neutrophil number tripled and my hemoglobin has increased from 80 to 90. He said I should keep washing my hands to be sure not to pick up any sickness, but I’m going in the right direction. I’m still weak, and I tire out so quickly, even sometimes just from talking! I can’t see a daily improvement anymore though, but I can see a weekly one.

Next week I travel to Whitehorse for another checkup and the following week I aim to restart work at half my regular hours. I’m eager to get back to normal life!

And a quick hair update while I’m at it. So this time I didn’t lose all my hair. I lost about 95% of it and these squiggly ones that stayed kept growing after being buzzed off in January.

Just a couple of days ago my hair sprouted! You probably can’t even see it, but I have a fine layer of really short peach fuzz starting (most noticeable in the photo above on the right, if you zoom in). I have no idea what to do with these longer hairs. Trim them off? Keep them for warmth? Ha, I don’t know, but they are super goofy looking.

My eyelashes have fallen out in the last couple of weeks but my eyebrows seem to be staying this time. It’ll be really nice to have hair by summer! Although not having to shave my legs for months has been a nice perk!

Lisa

Lisa (Verkley) Schuyler is a blogger reporting live from her new home in Canada's Yukon Territory. Often found wearing a hoodie, covered in pet hair, Lisa is a mis-placed forester who now spends her days engineering happiness for WordPress users. Lisa loves nature, animals, and most importantly, her handsome husband Jeff.

3 Replies to “Uncle Paul brought an early spring

  1. Happy spring, Lisa!

    > Life is too short to put off the good stuff. Let’s get a hot tub.

    couldn’t agree more. Hope you’re getting some sunshine!

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