Saturday, September 22, 2012


I'm a fall and spring person. I love the fall and the first rainstorms. To hear the rain, from gently falling on the roof to pounding it so loud you can't sleep and feel it's coming through the roof any second. I love the fall for the change of the weather, especially from the heat of summer into the cool fall evenings and the chill in the morning.

But as everyone here in the Pacific Northwest, while we love the newness of fall and rain into the winter, we tire of the persistence of it for the next 6 months, and not just welcome the nice days but cherish the days of sunshine and warmth.

When I lived in Bellingham, north of Seattle near the Canadian border to Vancouver, British Columbia, there was a period longer than a month we didn't see the sun. Not once as the eye of every storm came over the city with just overcast and occasional rain and snow. But no sun.

I loved Bellingham for the summers and hated it for the winters. Here I love the fall through the winter and into the spring. I tolerate most the winter and love the few days we get snow which stays for a few days. I have difficulty with the long periods of storms, one after another, bring clouds and rain for days, into weeks.

Part of this is because I used to work in it. I spent weeks on field trips in the Olympics where all I got was rain. I never felt dry even with the best rainsuit, which I always had. My hands never dried out. My rainsuit and boots were always wet on the outside.

We used rite-in-the-rain notebooks and papers so our field notes were never a problem, but all the equipment and all the stuff got rained on and wet. I didn't miss it when I moved to an office job and now still don't miss it in retirement because I can choose when I go out in the rain and when I come back in.

And now, late September, it's nice to feel the cool evening, to sleep with the weight of blankets over you, and to wake up to the chill of the morning. For now, I know what's coming, but I'll take what is. That's enough to end the summer.

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