Date Night in Rural Alaska

Kyle and I have never really gone on many dates.  When we first met and lived in two different villages our dates consisted of getting together for a dinner over Skype.  When we were in Koyuk we would sometimes take a walk up to Corinne’s and get a movie or a snack. Although an outing to Corinne’s was a lot of fun, it never really felt like a date. Maybe this is because our students were always there too? 🙂

Dillingham has a few more options – we could go get dinner at Subway, enjoy food at the Bristol Bay diner, get coffee at Tide Table, go for a hike, walk on the beach. Yet, we never seem to go on dates here either. Our first few years here we were busy with grad school. Now there’s the whole element of kids. We have great babysitters, but we can’t have babysitters allthe time.

A few weeks ago, we sat down to decide whether we wanted to make any large purchases or do any home improvement projects this summer. With the kitchen and bathroom remodels complete there were only a few small maintenance projects that hadto get done. So we started to talk about other ideas of things that we coulddo. I started to list my pipe dreams: a fancy propane grill, a fenced in area for the dogs, a hot tub…

At first Kyle nixed the idea of a hot tub as impractical, “Where would we put it? Would it really stay warm in the winter? What would our electric bill look like?” I gave him some time to do some research and talk to our friends in town that have one.

In the meantime, I accidentally ordered one from Target. I had it in my cart and pressed the checkout button accidentally. I realized it five minutes later and went back to their site to cancel it. Although I got a confirmation of the cancellation, two days later Kyle got a notice that the 70lb inflatable hot tub was on its way to us. By then he had warmed up to the idea. I sighed with relief: I can only imagine that amount that Target would have charged us for return shipping.

At first, I figured that we would just put it on our lawn, but Kyle convinced me that this was not the best option for any day where it rained or was cold. So he drew up plans for a large deck on the side of the house. The building of the deck warrants a whole blog post of its own, for now just know that everyone had all their limbs at the end and the deck got done within a week.

Once the deck was done, we filled the tub with hot water from our kitchen sink and settled in to enjoy it.  Since its completion, we’ve been out in it every night after the kids are asleep and the chores are done.  We used to just collapse onto the couch and maybe watch a little bit of tv in the evenings, now we get quality relaxing time together.  I’d argue that it’s actually even better than a date night out and about- we don’t have to make plans, we can just relax together each evening.

Erika Written by:

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