Posts Tagged ‘rain’

Seattle has its idiosyncrasies. It’s what makes this city unique. It’s what gives the city its specific “feel.”

In general, we don’t use umbrellas. We’re more a head-down-and-face-the-weather sort of town.

In general, we’re polite and courteous. Drop your wallet and chances are someone will help you retrieve it (9 out of 10 times, according to a Reader’s Digest study). We say good morning and thank you to the bus driver. We rarely honk our horns at each other, except for a polite little “bip” when the guy in front hasn’t noticed the light’s turned green.

And, in general, we don’t jaywalk. As evidence of this, I supply a recent video that shows Seahawks fans waiting for the light to turn green before they cross the street to revel in their team’s recent victory over the Broncos.


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Simple LivingIt’s pissing down rain in Seattle. The lecherous wind tugs and young women’s skirts as they tick-tock their high-heeled way to work, and the few who bothered with umbrellas wish they’d left them at home. The sky is locked down in gunmetal grey and the sun is a dim memory, consumed by the overhead drear. It’s already been a long work-week for me, having put in three days’ worth before the end of Day Two, and I haven’t slept well for worrying about my family, still roiling from our matriarch’s recent death.

And yet, inside, I’m sunny. (more…)

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Mahonia after rainThe Pineapple Express.

That’s what we call it, and yesterday, I smelled it coming.

6AM. Dark. Walking between the streetlight pools, heading to the bus stop, the wind picked up. I lifted my head, facing the wind, facing the southwest, and I felt it on my face, felt it warm and moist like a facecloth at the barber shop. I could smell the greenery in it, the lush growth of Hawaii and the tropical waters between. This wind had seen land before, jetting from Oahu to Seattle, bringing us rain and rain and rain.

It blew all day, and today the rain is here. Four to seven inches in the elevations, bringing floodwaters to the rivers, rain to my garden, and warmth to my budding groves.

The Pineapple Express has arrived.


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Obey the Kitty!All Saint’s Day. All Hallows.  All Hallows’ Evening. Hallows Even. Hallowe’en. Halloween.

Not my favorite…well, you can’t really call it a holiday…not my favorite festival. Not even my second favorite. To be honest, my least favorite, which is to say, I really dislike it. A lot.

Growing up, it was just another example of social stratification, another peer-review spotlight that illuminated my inner nerd. You must understand that, back then, at that age, carrying a violin to school on a regular basis did considerable damage to one’s street cred. So did liking to read. Wearing glasses didn’t help. Neither did being sports-deficient. So, being a scrawny, gawky, four-eyed kid who walked to school, a violin in one hand, while reading a book with the other…it pretty much guaranteed that I was going to peg the lower end on the Cool Scale.

Halloween just rubbed it in.

There was only one time where Halloween and I got along. One night. In college.


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Kurt R.A. GiambastianiI was torn.

It was 3AM, and I was torn between sleep and listening to an old friend. We hadn’t talked, hadn’t seen each other for 50 days, and for us, that’s a long time. Usually, hardly a week goes by without at least a chat. Sometimes we’ll lose track of the days and, especially in the summer, a month will pass us both, but soon, we always meet up. We might meet on the street, or when I’m out in the gardens, or, like today, I look out the window and realize my friend is out there. (more…)

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Seattle’s reputation for grey, rainy, dreary weather is well known.

I grew up in California, just north of San Francisco, so I know from dreary. In Sausalito, you can set your watch by when the fog rolls in, and that Humphrey Bogart movie set in San Francisco? The one with all the fog-filled streets and misty, noir nights? Well, they didn’t make that up. I also spent some time living in the Judean desert, even vacationed in a spot where it was literally 125°F in the shade. Each climate was integral to the locale; each city had been born there, and would have been out of place in any other clime.

When I moved to Seattle (a quarter-century ago), I knew what I was getting into. I love the rain, the overcast, the clouds, the drizzle. I love the “sun-showers,” the virga (go look it up), even the moss in my lawn. Seattle and I—we’re like that.

Other folks…not so much. And this year is one of those years that tries men’s souls and tests the patience of women. This is one of those years that sends Californian transplants running back south (which explains a lot about Portland, if you think about it) and makes even the hardiest PacNorthwesterner sign up for email alerts for flights to Arizona.

In short, this is a June-uary year, a year where summer looks like it will never get here.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of summer. Summer is my least favorite season. I hate traveling in the summer; it’s crowded, hot, expensive, and, well, hot. To me, 73°F is a nice summer’s day, and (despite my time in Jerusalem) anything over 90°F is just evil-hot.

But this year has been exceptionally dreary. Our spring just plain wasn’t, and this June—a month known for “blue-tarp camping” and indoor-contingencies for outdoor weddings—has had maybe…maybe three nice days, all told. And that’s “nice” by my standards, not yours, so you get the picture.

But it’s part of who we are here, like finding two Starbucks catty-corner across from each other at an intersection, like finding seven kinds of IPA at the Safeway, like hearing the grind of studded tires in May even though there hasn’t been snow for months.

And I’m loving it. Saturday afternoon (June 23rd), I sat out on our deck (covered), wrapped in a big-shirt (fleece), sipping a cup of coffee (French-pressed), and listened to the birds sing and the raindrops fall. The cypress branches hung low like rain-heavy clouds and everything was clean and green and moist and beautiful.

Keep it coming, June-uary.


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