Back by popular demand! This reprint of the original 1979 Lost Whole Moose Catalogue is a perennial favourite. It's the classic 70s statement about preserving a unique northern bush lifestyle
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Lost MooseExcerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
I live here now
by Kay Chappell
I am a Yankee, born and raised in sunny California. By now I'm getting used to the horrified "What in the ---- are you doing up here?" Sometimes I wonder; boy do I wonder.
We arrived in the north in August, 1968. It was 107 degrees F. when we left California, and now it was a cool, cool 60 degrees. I sat in the campground, wrapped in a blanket, teeth chattering, lips blue, watching with amazement people scurrying around in shorts. As one rather stout, shirtless chap wiped his brow and expostulated "Man, oh man, it's hot," I suddenly got real homesick. These people were crazy, pure crazy!
We finally, after much searching, found a house. (We were pleasantly surprised to find that the dire warnings of our parents and friends that all Yukoners lived in igloos to be erroneous.) We were surprised to know that water had to be delivered, and we had never heard of a chemical toilet, much less seen one. A bucket with a toilet seat perched on top was not my idea of luxury (until it got 20, 30, then 40 below outside, then I blessed it). Of course it was a trifle disconcerting and a wee might embarrassing to know everyone in the house could hear even the faintest tinkle in the contraption. 'The hardest part, of course, was retraining the whole family to flush after we got the real McCoy.
We were surprised, and heartened to learn that Texas can't claim all of the biggest things in North America. The Yukon can claim the biggest mosquitoes (and the most), the biggest, healthiest crops of dandelions, and the dubious distinction of having a biting bug that isn't there. No one who's lived in the Yukon, or even passed through, can doubt the existence of the no-see-um.
Nothing I had ever seen or heard about prepared me for a Yukon winter. Believe me, you only "dash" outside once in -40 weather barefooted.
You learn very quickly what that "funny little electric cord" hanging on the front of the cars are for. I admit that I still can't convince my poor, sleep-ridden body that it's time to get up in the morning when it's cold and dark outside, but I'm working on it.
Sometimes when winter seems ten years long and I yearn for green grass, paved roads and the aroma of chicken coops, I ask myself that question, just what are you doing here?
Well, where else is the air so clean and the people so friendly? After ten years of gazing at the enchantment of a "winter wonderland," snow so dry it crunches when you walk on it, so clean and sparkly, that when hit by the sun it explodes into a million glittering diamonds, I know. Can anyone describe the ice fog that insidiously creeps like a living, ghostly apparition over an open door sill?
How do you describe the ice fog? Cold, glittering shards of glassy ice, beautiful beyond description, or the Northern Lights, fantastic, dancing across the heavens, never still, surely painted by the hand of God.
The North grows on you, from the croaks of the ravens in the winter to the twenty-four hours of daylight in the summer. I remember once, getting up in a panic because the sun was already high in the sky, cooking a hurried breakfast, urging a harried husband he'd be late for work, and discovering it was 3:30 a.m. (He wasn't amused.)
Well, here I am ten years later, groaning how hot it is at 60 -- saying "eh," like an old pro, and never considering living in old sunny California again.
Guess I'm just an old dyed-in-the-wool Canadian-Yankee.
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Book Description Lost Moose, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-172-61-6567906