Happy April, life is picking up isn’t it! The weather is more pleasant, enough to entice locals to wear a short sleeve shirt or shorts when the sun is out. That’s one fabulous thing I love about spring and find amusement in that I am totally guilty of. When we get those first nice sunny days of spring it turns into go time! Time to pack up the family and speed to a sunny location, even at 45 degrees it’s time to fully wash,  detail and wax the cars and hose off the driveway! Everyone comes out of the woodwork when the weather is nice and some cannot wait to wear their summer attire. I often find myself observing Juneau’s “spring fashion” and thinking “dang, that looks a little chilly” but in reality, whatever makes you happy if you can stand it! This is how I feel these days when I see Alaskan kids swimming at the beaches. I guess I’ve lost some of my adventure and will power to withstand the ocean water like I used to. Now I know April is still way too soon for people to think of swimming outdoors in Alaska but it’s not unheard of at the end of spring and early summer. During the summers growing up, my life long friend Stephanie and I would spend hours swimming at Lena Beach. For those who haven’t swam there before, unless it’s very low tide you kind of have to jump right in to avoid the barnacles and rocks unless you have some fancy water socks. Stephanie, our siblings and myself would swim or use cheap floaties from KB Toys, and if we were lucky we’d lounge on a blow up raft and talk about our fish fears. We’d let the wind carry us out into the cove and then dare each other to jump off after taking about salmon sharks and whales. During the late summer when the salmon were spawning, we’d dare one another to “bathe with the fishies” though I am not sure we ever made it to the actual bathing part. I remember bringing a pair of goggles to the beach and learned very quickly that underwater viewing in Alaska wasn’t for me. There was just too much to see and no way to sprint out of the water fast enough in case a fish appeared or an unidentifiable shadow that was probably kelp or seaweed came into view.  Though reminiscing of summer swimming might be more appropriate for a June or July column, as I sit here in the heat of the sun, it almost feels like summer. I hope you are enjoying the nicer weather as much as I am!

Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.