78 Minutes of Summer

The past two weeks in Seattle were gorgeous: sunny, clear blue skies, in the 80s, not too hot, not too cold. Everyone was outdoors eating their Molly Moon ice cream and drinking their mojitos.  People sprawled out wherever they saw grass. Seattleites were downright cheerful and perky. Grant and I walked around our neighborhood – six miles at a time – going nowhere in particular, just wanting to follow the sun. We’d say things to each other like “Seattle’s such a different city when it’s sunny,” “unlike other cities in the summer, you know, there’s no mosquito problems here, no sticky humidity, it’s the perfect summer weather.” We’d think to ourselves “huh, it’s not so bad, maybe we can live here for awhile.”

It seemed summer had finally arrived for us just as it was coming to a close for everyone else. And you see, that’s the problem. Other places had a full summer, which made Fall welcoming. We, on the other hand, had about two two-week summers. We’re not ready for Fall or Winter or Spring. We’re still longing for summer. Seattle going from a sunny 84 degrees last Sunday to a cold and gray 64 degrees the very next day is cruel and confusing, but is what Seattle weather is all about. As I write this, I am wearing two long sleeve shirts beneath a thick hoodie, and thick wool socks over knee-high socks. And just last week, I was in shorts and a tank. It’s like last weekend was just a mirage. I read an article not long ago discussing Seattle’s short summer, and in it one person said living in Seattle is like having a beautiful girlfriend that’s always sick.

So here I am on a Saturday writing about the weather. Grant and I talk about the weather – ALL DAY LONG. “Did you check the weather report?” “Does it show sun later in the day?” “Is the rain moving this way.” “They say it might be sunny on Wednesday. We have to go somewhere on Wednesday.” We’ve never been talk-obsessively-about-the-weather kind of people until we moved here. In Hawaii, the weather was one note, so there was nothing to talk about. In fact, when we lived in Hawaii, I avoided the sun, so much so that I’d jump from shadow to shadow). Now, I’ll stop whatever I’m doing and literally run out the doors just to soak in the sun. Actually, it’s kind of comically sad the way I peek out through the blinds of our apartment when I think I see sun. Our neighbors must think I’m some weird voyeur.

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