When you live in Western Washington, there comes a time in the Fall when you need to brace yourself.
I suppose this is true nearly anywhere that has swings in the weather — certainly, when we lived in Michigan, there was a time when you needed to brace yourself for the winter ice and snow. (And break out the shovel, snow-blower, rock salt, pick-axe, and any other heavy machinery you might need.)
But here we brace ourselves against the Rains of November™. And so I dove into the hall closet and brought out (with great reverence) the awesome raincoat that Kathy’s Mom gave me back in 1999 when we first moved here.
“You’re moving to Washington, you’ll need a good raincoat,” she told me. Never have truer words been spoken.
The raincoat she gave me is an exceptionally waterproof garment — it makes a duck’s back look positively porous. It is made by L. L. Bean, Stowaway model, very light-weight and with special Velcro closures at the wrist. It also has lots of waterproof pockets, always to be desired in a good raincoat.
When the rains settle in, it is possible for them to stay for months at a time. When we first moved to Washington in March of 1999, people were talking about ’90 consecutive days of rain’. They tended to look a little wild when they talked about it.
We have a new rule in our household: if we want to have ice cream and if we want to watch any kind of video or show after supper, we must go for a walk. As you may know, I will do nearly anything for ice cream, and so Sarah and I pulled ourselves together with appropriate rain gear.
When you raise children in Washington, there are certain deleterious side effects which are not immediately obvious. Contrary to popular opinion, people from Western Washington do not actually have moss growing on the backs of their necks and behind their ears. But there are definitely some internal chemistry changes which occur, and it is possible there is also some unfortunate neurological damage.
David and I were driving a few blocks from our home for a sandwich at Subway, and he looked out the windshield at the rain and clouds, and sighed happily.
“Don’t you just love a good, rainy Sunday?” he asked. I returned his gaze rather blankly, not being Washington-bred.
Later during our meal, when the sun broke through some clouds, he became visibly annoyed. “It just won’t be as fun, playing Ultimate, without the rain,” he grumbled.
Some people who move from California to Washington can experience SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). They buy special sun lamps to fight against the depression that the cloudy skies brings. What will happen to my children if they grow up and move to Phoenix or San Diego? Will they buy special cloud generators for their homes and offices? Time will tell, I guess.
The increasingly-innacurately-named Project 365 — Day 305