Sunday, January 4, 2004

Unusual Weather We're Having...

It is 25 degrees outside.  There is an inch-deep layer of crunchy snice (snow-ice combination) on my front doorstep.  We didn't shovel it...because we don't OWN a snow-shovel.  This is, in fact, the first time in seven years that we've had snow on the ground that lasted more than a day.  AND it's supposed to snow again later this week.  What gives? 

This strange weather did produce a most unusual phenomenon in downtown Portland today.  Driving through town on our way to our concert, we observed Oregonians indulging in terribly uncharacteristic behavior.  They were actually wearing coats.  Even more shocking, there was  not a pair of shorts or sandals to be seen.  Normally, the inhabitants of this great state, at least west of the Cascades, have the idea that we live in perpetual summer.   What a sane person would consider "summer attire"--shorts, Birkenstocks, tank tops--can as likely be found on the people of Portland in the dead of winter as the middle of July.  You can always tell a non-native Oregonian by the fact that she owns a winter coat, and will actually be seen wearing it once or twice a season, when the weather demands.

The funny thing about this is, we don't really HAVE a summer here.  We have about eight weeks, from Mid-July to mid-September, when it doesn't rain. It gets warm during the day, yes, but it always goes back down into the fifties or sixties at night. Summer nights in Illinois had always been about wearing as little as possible, weather you were in bed or outside carousing.  After moving here, I had to get used to the idea of bundling up to go watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July.  The concept of needing blankets on the bed in August was new and strange.

So I don't actually know what makes Oregonians eschew winter attire.  Maybe it has something to do with consumption of mind-altering agents...another thing for which Oregon is famous. 

1 comment:

  1. All of us who were midwestern raised are familiar with what summer and winter are REALLY about. It's no doubt what season you're in - but don't blink, or you might miss spring or fall.