Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vamos a la Playa!

The good thing about summer in Seattle? We don't have to worry about overcrowded beaches.

I miss the seasons. I really, really miss the seasons, especially long hot summers. Even the harshly bitter extremes of winter and the oppressive humidity of midwest summers, which I'm certain sounds a bit wackdoodle to anyone in 100 degree weather right now. So many people are suffering through heat waves across the country and while that is no picnic whatsoever, the thing is, those waves don't last for 9 or 10 months a year, as our weather tends to. Same with the biting cold of winter. As soon as you're about ready to hit your breaking point from the bitter temps...alas, Spring arrives and the earth as well as your brain begins to thaw. Then there's summer and when you just can't take another day in the 90's or higher, slowly there begins a shift into fall with a much needed reprieve. The reason Seattle's climate can be challenging for people who are used to seasons is because we don't have those extremes (except in the summer, which, we're still waiting for. tick tock tick tock, why did I buy a new bathing suit this year???) Here, each month just sort of spills into the next without much variance from the last and before you know it, it's the middle of July and you find yourself on line looking to replace yet another rain coat. (fyi: North Face jacket zippers SUCK, I got stuck in my jacket again today and refuse to buy another North Face zipper product ever again. Actually had to use a fork to get out of it.) Anyway, the one thing about the Northwest is that the weather is very consistent and predictable which is why many people who do not like those extreme changes and prefer a cold, damp season year round really love it here. And for those who enjoy four distinct seasons, it becomes a bit of a challenge.

Outside of the Northwest and maybe Southern California climates, there is typically quite a difference in temperature within a 6 month span. I'll share a conversation between me and Tom to put this into perspective:

(me) "Tom, what was the name of that restaurant we took your mom to for Christmas?"

(him) "Salty's?"

(me) "No, not that one. The one up in Ballard. Right on the water."

(him) "Oh, Ray's Boathouse?"

(me) "Yes, that's the one!"

(him) "That wasn't Christmas."

(me) "It wasn't? Was it Thanksgiving?"

(him) "No. Mother's Day."

(me) "Oh My."

I seriously thought it was either November or December but nope...it was May. Hmmm.

This October we will have been here 3 years and in that short amount of time we've met others who have lived here less than that come and go. It's hard to say goodbye and I'm starting to understand why people initially are reluctant to make friends with transplants because people new to the NW have a reputation as being "short timers", not to mention those who move from a warm, dry, sunny place. 

I am grateful that I've been able to live in 3 of the 4 corners of the US and really feel that moving to a new place breaks you out of your own comfort zone. You either adapt gracefully, resist forcefully or allow things to just be, but hope for a better tomorrow. 


ChiTown Girl said...

Is it wrong that that 5-day forecast made me cream my pants just a little bit?

Me said...

No, not wrong at all. People who LOVE the rain live here! I'm the idiot for being a sun worshipper. But I'm curious in your case, would you love it as much if it stretched on for 10 months? Pepper in a few dry days with sun breaks here and there but the majority of those 10 months are cold, dark and wet.

Sarah said...

I love rain like Chitown but would not want to live in it all the time.It is a nice change especially thunderstorms but anythink that lasts more than a few days and I'm ready for it to end.

Sarah said...

"anythinG" not anythink. Sorry!

Me said...

Sarah, I agree. Just like I LOVE snow, for a certain amount of time. I wouldn't want it to snow 10 months a year but I welcome it in the winter because it's something different and brings about a new season.

F said...

Can I commend you again for making it 3 years? You are stronger than me that's for sure. I'm a wimp when it gets below 65 and don't even get me started on the wet stuff. btw watching The Killing and think of you guys because all it does is rain rain rain.

ChiTown Girl said...

Yes, I do believe I would love it even if it stretched on for 10 months. But, that's just me. I love the lush vegetation that all that rain brings to Seattle. There's no question about why it's called the Emerald City.

Seriously, the only thing I think that would bother me about living there is the fact that there is no flat land. I had a hard time with how hilly it was, especially when we were walking around town. I suppose it wouldn't be such a problem if I wasn't so hopelessly out of shape! I would also imagine it doesn't make for easy driving.

I think I mentioned before that I think part of my problem with summer and all that bright sunshine is that it's a migraine trigger for me, so I think I would appreciate the dark weather. Does that make sense? Plus, I LOVE rainy weather, so I think it really wouldn't bother me.

Holy crap, I just glanced out my kitchen window, and it's raining here. No wonder I'm so giddy. tee hee hee... ;-)

Just in case I haven't told you lately, I LOVE you, and miss you LOTS!!! I hardly even want to BYFFI. :)

Me said...

I didn't realize you had migraines. Bright lights are awful triggers for them. This would definitely be your perfect place! (without the hills). I liken it to living inside of the astrodome because of the low lying dark clouds that envelope the city. It's like being inside all the time.

karen gerstenberger said...

Even the natives are getting restless this year - the weather is supposed to be sunny here in July! You know that I rarely complain about the weather, but this year has sucked. I think it's something global.

Me said...

It's just beyond anything imaginable. 10 months of crappy weather for a possibility of maybe 2 months of OK weather is something I will never get used to. Just can't quite grasp that concept!

Anonymous said...

The bad news about extreme heat and cold is that it can cause death. Although so does Seattle weather. They used to be have of the highest rates of suicide and possibly still do. I lived there for 5.5 years and never acclimated to the never ending days of grey. Make friends with Prozac!

Anonymous said...

Your absolutely right about everything. The weather around here is one perpetual stretch of gloom, no matter how you cut it. Normal weather in Seattle is gray, damp, and cold. Asshats who try to justify their existence always point to the summers and say how beautiful they are... Whatever. The only reason they can pick those two months of the year is because that's when ABNORMAL weather comes around (of course not all the time, as is the case with summer so far this year). Either way, normal weather in Seattle is shitty weather, and when you can only hype two months of the year, it's a pretty good indicator that the place you live in sucks.

Me said...

LOL! Asshats cracked me up, thank you for making me laugh. Even if we had 2 months straight of non stop sun and warm temps, still not enough to keep me here. This place fucking blows.

Diane said...

Six years ago I left Bellevue for the California Desert. At first I loved Washington, but after 20+ years I could not face the constant clouds and rain. I moved to be closer to my family, and without a doubt the sunny weather has helped my outlook on life. I knew the weather was effecting me, but not to the degree it was until I moved away. Every morning I wake up feeling grateful that we made the change. It really will wear you down after a while. Health and happiness is your right.

Me said...

Diane, I just wrote a blog post saying that very same thing. You never know how something is going to affect you until you actually LIVE IT. And that also applies in your case since you moved away, you realize now what you were missing! That is so great and I am happy for you. I knew it was going to be difficult but I didn't realize just how much the lack of light would alter my moods/personality/outlook, everything.