Slack Tide: You know it's April in Juneau when …

Skunk cabbage and speed traps begin sprouting up all over town.


Jogging suddenly seems strangely attractive, although not quite enough to make you do it more than once or twice.

Everyone’s walking around in Folk Fest hoodies.

Speaking of which, you’re nursing a wicked string-band hangover. Best cure for that: Parliament-Funkadelic — balance you right out.

You question spreading all that gravel on your driveway this past winter, now that you have to rake it from your lawn.

You find yourself sunbathing in nothing but a sports bra and athletic skort, in some cases laying directly on snow.

You find yourself wishing you were a woman so you could sunbathe in nothing but sports bra and athletic skort, too—but alas, you have to keep on your stinky tech-wick longjohns.

Children are once again swimming at Sandy Beach.

You wake each morning to the sound of your neighbor pressure-washing every square inch of his property.

Your garage resembles something you’d see on that TV show “Hoarders.”

You break out the blackout curtains, aka the tin foil and duct tape.

You’ve grown so blasé about viewing the Northern Lights, you won’t get out of bed unless “they’re actually doing something.”

You start devising strategies to locate and acquire all the prime sand toys and gardening implements available, before every retailer in town sells out until next April.

You discover why it was a bad idea to leave your mountain bike outside all winter.

The snow retreats enough from your yard to reveal that your wife was serious when she threatened to kick the jack-o-lanterns off the porch if you didn’t remove them by New Year’s. And here you’d thought she’d caved in and thrown them out, herself.

You feel the intense urge to smoke something. In your Little Chief electric smoker—what did you think I meant?

The scale says you’ve gained five pounds of buy-two-get-one-free Cadbury Crème Eggs weight.

People are burning stuff.

You are also burning stuff.

Your kids have started peeing off — and, in some cases, on — the deck.

You have also started peeing off — and, in some cases, on — the deck.

Now that the 9 am first chairlift ceases to be a consideration, you can reintroduce crepes to the weekend breakfast rotation. And Bloody Marys.

You step in bear scat taking out the garbage.

Snow cover thawed, you’re forced to cover that pile of old tires and extra roofing tiles in your yard with a giant, electric blue tarp. After all, you don’t want it to be an eyesore.

The question once again rears its ugly head as to whether or not to finally bow to peer pressure and just raise chickens already.

You start promising your daughter you’ll build that playhouse you promised to build last April… right after you put together the basketball hoop you promised yourself you’d build the April before that.

You’ve started pricing manure, several different varieties.

A primal urge takes hold to swing a war club—a softball bat will suffice.

You’ve rented (or are planning to rent in the very near future) at least one piece of gas-powered machinery.

The neighbor’s kid is out there scraping gook off the sidewalk. Man, he’s really working hard over there—you wonder if you can rent him out, too (it sure would cut down on the gas bill).

You find yourself installing a new mailbox. Again.

All those pieces of junk you said you were going to make into flower planters … now you either need to make them into flower planters, or at least cover them with a giant, electric blue tarp. Again, no need for eyesores.

It’s time to decide whether to lose the winter beard or go full-on 2013 Boston Red Sox with it.

You’re walking around in flip flops, even though the thermometer tops out at 50.

Deviled eggs re-appear at potlucks. The Spanish call them “huevos diablos” (not really, but you can imagine what it’d be like if they did).

Instead of feigning interest as someone you don’t know, but wind up standing next to at a bonfire, drones on and on and on about backcountry skiing, you now feign interest as that same person drones on and on about early season fishing.

You take the ice skates out of your trunk and hang them up for the season—lake’s looking a little soft for spring skating.

You start counting the days until they open the public bathrooms at the playground. Just the other day you had to take your little son to do his business in the porto-john, which wouldn’t have been so bad except you were wearing roller blades (your shoes were in the car and you sure as hell weren’t stepping foot in there with only socks).

The tanzanite stores stir back to life.

The kids now go to bed an hour and a half later and wake up an hour and a half earlier, thereby effectively limiting your child-free alone time to brushing your teeth and passing out while watching “Game of Thrones.” Most effective birth control, ever.

You’re happy when it rains so you can finally clean your house.

You’re happy when it rains so you can actually make it through a whole “Game of Thrones” episode without falling asleep, maybe even two. Or three.

You come to realize you’re addicted to “Game of Thrones,” so much so you’ve begun to think of yourself as a scion of the House of Stark.

Tourist season is coming. The North remembers.


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