Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ah, Spring!

“Ding dong the merry-oh,
Sing it high! Sing it low!
Let them know
The wicked winter’s dead!”

I am in full celebration here because it's spring at last — spring at last!

Who can blame me? I live in the Pacific Northwest where it has rained 5 ½ years in the last six months.

Be advised — if you're being enticed to move to the Seattle area (as I once was), you may hear people say things like, “You know, it doesn't really rain that much in Seattle. In fact, Pittsburgh, PA receives more of the wet stuff every single year!”

Do not listen to these people. Note their pupil dilation — they are on crack.

Sure, sure, I've seen the statistics. Seattle receives a mere 37.07 inches of rain per year, while Pittsburgh is hammered by a whopping 37.85! I've lived in PA — trust me, I know what I am talking about here. What those Seattle pushers fail to mention is that PA gets its precipitation in delicious downpours, while Seattle’s accumulation comes in the form of continuous drizzly mist.

Do you have any idea how long it takes continual drizzly mist to create 37.07 inches of measurable rainfall?

Answer: one year that feels like eleven.

Those well-meaning, high-on-life folks also fail to mention that when it’s not raining here, there are at least 87 layers of useless clouds just hanging out topside. And so, we live in perpetual twilight (for those of you under the age of 20, I am referring to dim or diffused illumination, not vampiric lust).

It’s no wonder that Seattle is the only place I’ve ever lived where I’ve heard “sun warnings” on the radio. As in, “Be extra careful on your evening commute today, all you west-bounders. You may be temporarily blinded by an orange orb. Do not panic! It is a natural phenomenon and will be gone by 9 PM.”

But to be truly fair, I must admit that our winters have incredible benefits. Those too-damp, too-dark, too-muddy-to-play-outside days give us plenty of time by the fire to hunker down and dream of wondrous things. And that is why the Pacific Northwest is home to many amazing writers and artists…

Who drink lots and lots and lots of coffee!

Yep, the world can thank us, and our winters, for Starbucks.

Venti quad-shot mocha caramel macchiato, anyone?

PROMPT: Ah, winter! It wasn’t that bad, was it? Good news — even if it was completely, miserably wretched (yeah, I’m talking to you, East Coasters!) you can still get a lot of creative mileage out of it. Laura Ingalls Wilder certainly did in The Long Winter (catchy title, huh?). Today give winter a sweet kiss goodbye by thinking about all of its fabulous qualities. What was the best part of the season for you? Cozy firesides? Catching air on your snowboard? Singin’ in the rain… rain… rain? Write, paint, sculpt, create….

Then coffee!

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