Tag Archives: rain

Weather fetishes

14 Mar

One of the things I love about living in the Pacific Northwest is the temperate weather. I can usually make it through Winter with a fleece and a raincoat.Summers are usually not too hot. You’d think there wouldn’t be anything for me to obsess about, and yet, I obsess over two things.

In the summer, when the weather is generally perfect, we get an occasional heat wave. When that happens, I check the two websites I have bookmarked. My favorite thing to do on these days is to go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  website.


It has a lovely little link on the right hand side called “3 Day History”, which gives you the temperature EVERY HOUR for the last three days. During a heat wave I can compare the hourly temperature from one day to the next and compare how quickly each day is heating. I might think “Oh, it is heating more quickly today than yesterday. I should take Lucy for a walk earlier.” I can also look ahead to see how soon the heat wave will break and pace myself.

In winter, I tend to use a local TV station’s website to track rainfall. I love the fact that they not only track how much rain has fallen in  day, but also in a onto and in a year AND they compare it to the average.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 4.58.00 PM

Is it normal to care this much that we are currently 13.34 inches above average in they rainfall year?

I also track rainfall on my drive home. As I cross the Willamette River on the Marquam Bridge, I take my eyes off the road and look at the water level.


I use two landmarks to help me determine how high (in winter) or low (in summer) the Willamettte is. First, I look to a little beach area next to a marina.


In high water the beach is gone and it has been absent most of March. I put my eyes back on the road. Next, I take a moment to look at the Hawthorne Bridge, which connects to land on the West side of the Willamette, just south of the little beach.


The bridge’s concrete supports have water level markings and I  have to dart my eyes back and forth between the road and the bridge a few times to determine how high (or low) the water is.

Just for the record, at the time of writing this, rain is forecast through Tuesday. Wednesday will be a transition day and it will start warming up on Thursday. Spring Break begins on Friday afternoon, so I am hoping we might have a little sunshine while I enjoy my staycation.

Real Oregonians don’t use umbrellas.

8 Dec

It is a truth universally acknowledged: real Oregonians don’t use umbrellas.

I have one, but I keep it in my closet.


I’m not really a closeted umbrella user. I keep it there because I have fond memories of my umbrella. It is a Christian Dior. Seriously.

Photo on 12-7-15 at 7.44 AM

I keep it because my parents gave it to me one Christmas way back in the 80’s and I’ve managed to keep to through countless moves. I remember when we got them (my sister got one, too, only hers was red paisley) my twin sister and I felt like this was a grown up sort of gift to get.

I brought it with me when I moved to Oregon, but I’ve almost never used it here because real Oregonians don’t use umbrellas.  We mostly get by with a good hooded rain jacket. In fact, I don’t actually own a winter coat, I just wear a fleece or hoodie under my raincoat. Our winter rains are usually the misty kind and so this arrangement usually works perfectly fine.

But this week is different.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 7.53.50 AM

Heavy rain and floods are forecast and I wouldn’t have even thought about my umbrella, except that I have bus dismissal duty after school this week. The area I have to monitor isn’t covered and, I didn’t think my simple water-resistant shell + hoodie would cut it. So, I pulled my umbrella out of the closet and brought it to school yesterday.

I was grateful for it when I walked into school yesterday in a torrential downpour

I was grateful for it at 3:45 yesterday as I waved cars forward to pick kids up in the pouring rain.

I will be grateful for it most of the week, I think.

Some days, real Oregonians, need umbrellas.




Listening to the rain #SOL15

15 Mar

My dad always told us his favorite poem was Fog by Carl Sandburg.I’m not sure he liked it because of what it said or because it was a short one he could remember.


The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
I spoke to my soon to be 84 year old mom on the phone yesterday and she told me it was foggy where they lived, and it hadn’t burned off as she had expected. I told her we were having fairly heavy rain and it seems will continue today and into tomorrow. Here is the forecast:
Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 6.40.47 AM
It rained steadily all night and I had the window open because I like to listen to the sound of rain at night. It brings back a lot of memories. Good ones mostly. So, I thought I would try my hand at creating a Carl Sandburg-like poem about the rain.
The rain comes
on centipede feet.
It runs swiftly
over rooftop and eaves
flowing down drainpipes
and then moves on.

It’s raining again

24 Sep

I was happy to see the arrival of the Autumnal Equinox this week. I was overjoyed to see the return of the rain yesterday. Lucy was not as happy.


While arthritic Fiona plods forward, rain or shine, Lucy is a fair-weather basset. Quite frankly she hates the rain. Although she is a native Oregonian, she huddles close to buildings and does her business, quite inconveniently, under bushes to avoid getting wet.

If bassets could tiptoe, I would say she tiptoes along, trying to keep her feet dry, even on a misty sort of Pacific Northwest morning. Meanwhile, my eyes roll back in my head. Fiona remains oblivious to all Lucy’s shenanigans. She is a meat and potatoes sort of girl. Get out, walk, so the business, walk some more, go home and nap.

If I recall correctly, Lucy will come around to the rain. By the time Autumn has become Winter, she will manage to walk normally through most. She might even suffer through cooperating on a short walk in light ran. But when a big storm rolls in, we are all happy to huddle and tiptoe and get back to the comfort of our home.



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