Rain by any Other Name is Still Rain

In Southern California the weather was fairly straightforward.  Unless you were in the middle of “STORM WATCH [INSERT YEAR HERE]” it was hot and sunny and it was not a legitimate topic of conversation.  In Seattle, things are different.

Weather in Seattle is not only a legitimate conversation starter, it’s an obsession.  Chit chat in the elevator, at the grocery store, at the bank, all revolves around the weather, and in particular, the never-ending rain.  For Seattleites – real or having lived here long enough to be delusional – there is an unquenchable optimism that perhaps we’ll get a little sun this week – maybe even on a weekend.  (For inexplicable reasons, sunny days usually come during the week and the worst weather reserves itself for the weekend.)

And there are all the ways the media can describe the rain.  “Rain changing into showers.”  “Increasing rain.”  Scattered showers.”  “Areas of rain.”   “Some sun breaks.”  Yes, sun breaks. 

Sun breaks were a concept unbeknownst to me until moving to the land of nine-months of gray.  A sun break is the 20 or 30 minutes of sun that may break through the rain clouds in the middle or at the end of a day of never-ending gray/rain/drizzle.  People live for them and will happily abandon their offices and sit outside for the duration of the sun break no matter what the temperature. 

 There are also sun days.  These are the sunny semi-warm days that generally fall mid-Spring to psyche you into thinking good weather has finally arrived.  When the sun days hit, those who can – a surprisingly large number – abandon their offices and head for one of the lakes,”beaches,” the wharf, the parks, anyplace they can sit, walk, bike or run outside and soak up the forgotten sun’s rays.  Dining al fresco suddenly becomes an option and everyone is outside.  Until of course, Seattle decides to slap you in the face with colder and wetter days to remind you who’s boss and to make you really really appreciate the sun of the summer.

Apparently Season 2 – 9 Months of Rain – Has Begun

It started pouring today – probably an hour ago – two hours before I drive to West Seattle for dinner at Spring Hill.  Even though I should know better, the Southern California girl in me hears the rain, shrugs, and thinks it will be sunny tomorrow.   And then. . .  I talk to my husband.  The conversation generally goes something like this:

Me:  “It’s pouring outside, I’m going to have to rethink my shoe selection.”

Him: “Yeah, I should probably take the window fans out tonight.”

Me:  “Why, it’ll be sunny tomorrow, right?”

Him: “Honey.  It’s over.  We’ve officially entered Season 2 – 9 months of rain and gray.”

And then I cry. 

Ok, not really, well, maybe just a little bit on the inside.  So, goodbye strappy sandals and flip flops, goodbye short sleeve tops and dresses, goodbye sun.  Hello boots, sweaters and Vitamin D supplements. 

Alaska Air get ready for some serious mileage accrual, I’ll be seeking out the sun soon!

Rain Delays at the US Open

On Wednesday, as Kate and I were shopping in SOHO, I received an e-mail from Puget Sound Susan G. Komen, a breast cancer charity I volunteer with, informing all volunteers that PINK had generously donated 50 tickets to her upcoming concert for volunteers to enjoy.  Now Kate and I had planned on going to this concert but it was sold out (it subsequently switched to a larger venue, but I still had not bought tickets yet) so this e-mail was like a winning lottery ticket.  I immediately e-mailed back to request 2 tickets and 30 minutes later they were ours!  We celebrated with mini-songs about free PINK tickets and went along with our day.  Later, Kate said that she knew then that things were going too well.

At 2am Thursday morning my husband arrived from Seattle and at 10 am we headed to the US Open.  The day started off with the Williams sisters dominating the women’s doubles semi-finals and with a bitter cold wind.  Sweatshirts were donned.  Next up was the mixed-doubles finals which turned out to be a really amazing match with a wild card entry (Parrott/Gullickson) upsetting the defending champions (Paes/Black) to win the US Open Mixed Doubles trophy and prize money.  The most amazing part was that Parrott had picked Gullickson as his partner only two days before the tournament started! 

Last but not least, was the men’s quarterfinals match between Del Portro and Cilic.  By this time the weather had gone from bad to ugly.  So ugly in fact that half the stadium was empty before the match concluded.  We had another stroke of luck at that point with the distribution of courtside passes that allowed us to view the final 2 games 5 rows from the court!

And then our luck turned.  Rain came in Thursday night, interrupting and then suspending the Nadal-Gonzalez match.  The rain continued throughout Friday, pushing our semi-finals tickets from Saturday to Sunday and our just bought at over value through Craig’s list tickets from Sunday to Monday.  Of course, our flights were scheduled to depart Monday. 

Saturday, we headed to the Guggenheim for some indoor exploration, but only two floors were open so the trip was short (about 30 minutes) – we checked the Open schedule 3 times.  We continued to check through lunch, dinner and before the show we decided to see, “Burn the Floor” started (all dancing, amazing, see it if you get a chance).  Finally, at 9pm play resumed.

After the show, we watched the last few minutes of the women’s semi-finals on TV, rechecked the schedule and rebooked our flights (total hassle for me, not for my husband who is flying Alaska).  We head to the semi-finals in a few minutes and it is sunny and warm so far.  Cross your fingers that it stays that way – we are.