My sister is an Army wife too. For the last year (or is it two?), she's been living in Alabama. Before that, it was North Carolina and before that it was temperate Monterey, California. She hasn't seen much snow in the last five or six years.
My BIL, her husband, has just finished one school and is doing another short course, but then they'll be off to their next assignment. They've been waiting for weeks to find out where the Army would send them. Their top pick was Hawaii, and I think even I was beginning to envision a tropical island vacation in the future.
No such luck.
The other picks on their list were Colorado and Kentucky, but they didn't get them either. Nope, sometimes you just go where the Army wants to send you.
Like to Alaska.
No other state is as diametrically opposite Hawaii than Alaska. But being a good soldier's wife, my sister is embracing this new adventure with good humor.
Did I mention he reports in January?
Looking on the sunny side, all four hours a day of sunny side that there will be in Alaska in January, they will get there when it is coldest and darkest, so things will only improve. My husband was up that way in June, and he said it was stunning. And since the sky is still pretty bright at 10 pm in the summer, you have plenty of time to see it all.
Of course, living in Alabama, resources for cold weather gear are pretty scarce, and so I offered via email to see if there were any winter coats for her kids at the thrift store here. She emailed back that she was going to do some research since winter temps can get to 50 below and most winter coats for those of us living in the Continental US just won't cut it. Even the squall coat I've offered to loan to her is only rated to 35 below with a sweater.
Nonetheless, having a normal winter coat, especially if I can find one for only a few bucks, is probably not a waste of money. After all, I emailed her, the kids need something to wear in the spring and the fall.
Ahem. Perhaps it is only her older sister who is truly in a good humor about her husband's assignment?