The rains have been toying with us for a while, now. Every time a front came through, we would ask ourselves, “Is this the beginning of the rainy season? Is it time to put away the sunglasses and sneakers, and set out the Gore-Tex parkas and mud boots?”
Well, I believe the above 10-day forecast makes it abundantly clear. Winter has arrived. We can look forward to mostly gray weather until spring.
It’s not all bad. When I was in the midwest, I missed the wet weather. Even in the dead of winter, the Pacific Northwest remains green and lush. I grew up on Puget Sound, which has even grayer and wetter winter weather than Portland does.
I guess I have gills. The truth is, too much sun and dry weather can make me cranky. We can go weeks, months even, without a drop of rain during the summer, and there’s nothing like that first rain shower after a long dry spell. I encourage my children to join me on the sere, brown grass, doing our own peculiar rain dance. But we’re not asking for rain, rather we are celebrating its arrival. And I love the smell of rain after a dry spell — it smells clean. And there’s nothing more soothing than listening to the patter of rain through an open window as you drift off to sleep.
There is a kind of rain that occurs here that I have not experienced anywhere else. It looks almost like a heavy fog, or as if you were walking under the world’s largest produce mister. You can’t actually pick out individual droplets, and if you didn’t know any better, you would say it wasn’t even raining. But you only have to be out in it for about 30 seconds to get soaked to the skin. I love that kind of rain. I used to take long walks at night when it was drizzling like that, when the streetlights would create halos of light in the fine droplets hanging in the air. It makes me feel rejuvenated. There was nothing like it in the midwest, and while I lived there I missed it horribly.
Lest I sound like some kind of hydrophilic deviant, let me assure you that by the time spring rolls around, and the clouds roll back for the summer, I will be as thoroughly sick of the rain as everybody else. I will cheer when the grass dries out and I can put my raincoat away until fall. But for now, it’s not unbearable yet. I can appreciate it for what it is - the inevitable backdrop to winter here in the northwest. Cold, miserable, and familiar. And somehow comforting.
No, I’m not buying it.
Rain is nice. Especially violent thunderstoms that I can watch from inside the house with a hot mugga coffee in my hands. But weeks on weeks of it? No. Thank. You. I live in Northern NJ, and we just completed a 9-day total washout in which we received roughly a foot of rain in places. CNN set up camp in the town I work in, to broadcast how nutty this flood was.
Persistent rain makes me evil. Rain like that feels like fingers on a chalkboard. Someone upstairs, or someone named Katrina, Gloria, or Floyd is screwing with our collective Northeastern heads. Especially when temps are in the 60s, where most people would be wearing a light sweater over their clothes if anything at all, and now you need to get your umbrellas out and wear a raincoat.
No. Thank. You. You can have your rain.
But that’s just it. We rarely get inches and inches of rain at a time. What we get is 0.3 inches spread out over two days. It’s a very different animal. I *hated* getting caught in a thunderstorm in Illinois, because it was like standing under a downspout, but it would be over in 10 minutes. This is much more gentle, more civilized.
This will be my first winter in Portland, and I *know* that I’m going to miss those cold snowy winter nights when it is so cold that your piss can freeze on the way to the ground. I love snow. I hate rain. BOOO!
It’s 2005. Why do we still have weather?!?
Shouldn’t they have domed all the cities by now?
I completely agree with you, PA. I’m from the midwest and while I don’t miss the snow and ice *in any fashion* (when people tell me, “We’re going to the snow!”, I just want to smack the shit out of them), but I miss my occasional rainy day. And thunderstorms. Man, do I miss thunderstorms.
One of the personal downsides to moving to California is that there isn’t the occasional rainy day. Or even cloudy day for that matter, and fog doesn’t count. The rainy season is 5 months long but…well..somehow that just doesn’t count. Nothing pleases me more than to wake up to a cloudy (or even foggy, for a change of pace) day. If the sun isn’t out when I wake up, I’m a happy camper. I wouldn’t describe myself as ‘goth’, but I can leave sunshine for the most part. Sure, a nice day here and there is good, but it’s rare when you hear me look out at a clear, sunny day and say, “Gee, it sure it’s beautiful out here today!”. It rained here this morning, and I couldn’t have been happier!
Gimme my clouds and rain any day….until 5 months down the road when I will finally say one day, “Okay, the sun *can* come out today!”
But the forecast seems to be lying…the last couple days have been great…