So you may have heard about our (almost) “record rainfall” here and wonder to yourself “Self, I thought it rains in Seattle all the time…what’s the big deal?”. The big deal is that we usually get a day off. After 27 straight days of rain, we got that day off yesterday. I even saw blue sky. Thankfully, the big yellow orb in the sky didn’t make a full appearance to burn my corneas. OK, I’m just kidding, but what can I say, it gets cloudy here in the winter. I’ll be in Vegas later this week anyway.
The other thing that added to the weather story here is that we have been getting big fat raindrops. Here’s the thing about Seattle rain…it doesn’t actually rain all that much, just frequently. It’s a gentle misty rain, the kind that I’m convinced does wonders for ones complexion. What we’ve been having are big soggy tears. The ones that make a noise when they hit the windshield.
Here’s my personal experience with adjusting to the rain in Seattle. First year here, I was so glad to be away from snow and any weather reports that included the word “minus” or “wind chill”. I missed the sun but I was so soaking in what I felt was a real Seattle experience and excited to be working at Microsoft that, although it took a little getting used to, I was OK. Someone filled me in on the fact that only “tourists” use umbrellas (I still do on very rare occasion meaning days I have blown my hair out…I’m a girly girl, you know?), so I was ahead of the curve on that. After year one, I kind of knew what to expect and planned excursions during the winter months to points south. All my upcoming business travel will be in the west (Vegas twice, LA, San Fran and San Diego, but I didn’t pick the cities…I swear). I had my Mexico cruise. That’s more than enough to get me through the winter.
When the sun peeks out here in the cloudy months, I go outside and take advantage of it. People who are into winter sports really love these rainy months because of the skiing, snow boarding etc (and it sounds like they have been getting a foot of powder or so per rainy day up at Snoqualmie lately). Steve Sinofsky talks about that here. That’s not me, by the way. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to keep from being cold.
I also think that there are things about the culture here that mitigate some potential negative effects of the “rainy season”. For example, people here do stuff in the rain. The go out jogging, they walk their pets, whatever. They know they don’t melt so they just do those things. Also, I personally find that there’s a coziness to a rainy night. Many of the restaurants and nicer bars here have fireplaces that you can sit around. Even some of the coffee shops (like Victor’s) do. I like that. And I like that my lawn looks pretty all year and that I have social permission not to wash my car for months on end.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate muddy paws in the house, not a fan of frizzy hair, too busy to really water proof every piece of footwear I own (if you are like me, you just avoid the puddles), but honestly, it’s not that big of a deal. I’m just glad that at no point in the last seven years have my nose hairs frozen (oh come on, we all have nose hair…mine just stays inside my nose). I think that no matter where you decide to live, you have to deal with *something*. When I was in California, it was earthquakes (which scare me…a lot). When I was in Chicago, it was tornadoes (or ice storms). You gotta pick your thing that you can deal with. Me, I can deal with the rain. Good thing too.