Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's Raining. Yay.

Those who do not live here cannot fully comprehend the gloom of the Pacific Northwest winters.  I remember back in 1975, making the obligatory Holiday Long Distance Phone call to my sister, who had moved to Oregon the year before.  We were sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner in suburban Chicago; it was probably 35 degrees outside and there was likely snow on the ground.  And my sister smugly informed us that it was 60 degrees and partly cloudy in Eugene.  Exclamations of amazement and jealous glances were exchanged around the table.

What my sister failed to impart, and probably didn’t even realize herself, as she’d only been in Oregon for less than a year at that point, was that while Oregon may have (relatively, and not always) “mild” winters, they come with their own set of challenges.  Days on end of oppressive gloom, torrents of rain from Pacific storms, landslides, flooding and power outages are our constant companions from October through April.  I know the East and Midwest are getting socked with snow and cold this winter.  But I have to say, at least they get to see the sun on a more or less regular basis.  All those jokes about “Residents are terrified by an unidentified object spotted in the skies over Oregon this morning…oh wait; it’s the sun…” and “Oregonians don’t tan, they rust”? They have their basis in indisputable fact.

Today is one such day.  Sideways rain, blustery wind, and at 9:30 AM, the sky has brightened all the way to a shade past twilight.  I come down the stairs in the morning making like Tinkerbelle lighting the Magic Kingdom—I turn on every light in the place as I make my way through the house.  It’s my only defense against the pervasive gloom.  Sure, it’s 53 degrees outside, but there’s no working or even going out-of-doors today, for more than just quick forays to the mailbox or to bring in the trash cans before they blow down the street. 

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the rain.  I really do.  And I love Oregon.  But sometimes, I wish that it wouldn’t rain quite so…enthusiastically here.  For three quarters of the year.  Sigh.           

1 comment:

  1. When I woke up this morning even my extraordinarily near sighted peepers could see that the SKY WAS BLUE. Whoo yeah. That was ten minutes to seven. By eight oh five. The clouds had closed in, the wind was blowing, the rain was pouring and the Weather Channel was cheerfully announcing a wind advisory in effect until late this afternoon. Smoky set a record for doing his business outside and checking out the lay of the land. Four minutes from out the door to hopping up in the front window looking "damp." He zipped through the door and is currently making sure the table in the back room doesn't escape.

    Ahhhhh! March in Western Oregon. I feel like a mushroom.