This weekend is the Ambler Elders Basketball Tournament. I’m sure you all have marked this in your social calendars as the not-to-be-missed event of the season. Seriously, though, it’s exciting stuff around here. It’s a basketball tournament for high school and adult players, men and women. I think we have ten teams registered, but I’m not terribly certain of that.
Our village population has swelled to nearly twice its size, I think, from all the teams and friends and family that have arrived during the day. Most of them snowmachined from nearby villages, but there is one team from Anchorage, headed up by a former Ambler resident. Everyone is very excited, of course. Since the villages are really just three or four very extended families, everyone is happy to reunite with cousins, parents, siblings, etc. Or possibly meet someone they’re not related to for a potential crush.
There have been many games and events cancelled over the past couple of months. Students can’t travel if it’s 30 below, and planes can’t fly at all if hits 50 below. The gasoline starts gelling up and then your plane falls out of the sky or somesuch. Now it’s 25 ABOVE zero, which makes comfortable hanging out weather. (I’ve redefined my idea of cold. If the air doesn’t actually hurt when I go outside, then I judge it to be a pleasant day.) Since the villages are really just three or four very extended families, everyone is happy to reunite with cousins, parents, siblings, etc. Or possibly meet someone they’re not related to for a possible crush.
The teachers are in charge of the concession stand during sports events, which means my weekend will be spent serving popcorn, fry bread pizza, and candy. And eating popcorn, fry bread pizza, and candy, of course. There will be lots of home brew consumed as well. Alcohol is illegal in our village, but home brew is very much an open secret. The recipe includes macaroni, baker’s yeast, any kind of fruit juice, and lots of sugar. Not as potent as white lightning, maybe, but it will still get the job done. I plan on avoiding it since I don’t want to lose my job and I’d rather not get a bad batch and possibly go blind or die. I’ll wait until I get back to Texas and have a margarita or twelve.