Why I don't care that summer is almost gone.
Don't get me wrong. I like the sun. I like when it's warm(ish) out. It's nice to walk outside, feel the warm blanket of the sun telling you everything is going to be okay today, and carry on about your day.
But... I'm not too upset that summer time seems to be coming to a clear end for us here in the PNW. As with anyone who's lived here for a decent period of time, the sun is little more than an old friend you see whenever it's convenient for them to come to town and then just see stories of their adventures while they spend the majority of their time with other friends. Friends not you.
And that's okay. You get to hear all the time about how big of a bummer it is for us and all the rain we get. But you know what we also get? Plants. Loads of 'em. Have you seen the cascades? The olympic mountains? You literally can't look in any direction in western Washington and not see green. Even in the heart of bustling cities like Seattle there are plants all up in your face everywhere you go.
Which is nice. But you know what else is nice? Not seeing a negative in front of your daily low temperatures. Ever. Or at least close enough. I saw a thermometer say it was 7 degrees here once in town and I almost lost my mind. I spent a year living in Wisconsin. -23 degrees on my drive to work? Why? Why is this a thing? Because snow? I've got mountains, I don't need to live like a freaking Yeti who just loves sweaters because snow. I can go snowboarding in the winter with ease and still take my gloves off without my fingers turning black.
Now this isn't to say we're winter-free over here. (Though it has been a good while by my memory). The downside to mediocre winters is that when the unthinkable happens? And the snow not only falls but has the audacity to stick to the ground like some uninvited plague of locusts? This place shuts down. We're talking store shelves cleared for the apocolypse, drivers playing curling with their SUVs, schools locked down with no signs of opening kind of shut down.
And you know why that is? Hills. We've got the sexiest damn hills you've ever seen. I know in other, flatter places they like to pretend they're called mountains buuuuuut no. They're not. And when hills get slippery and frozen? People like to go walk on them and rediscover why gravity don't play no games. But I would never trade this hilly area for anything. It made me uneasy to be in the midwest, look in any direction and realize there was nothing blocking my view. At all. Straight to the horizon like it was no big deal. It was not okay.
Give me mountains and hills and evergreen trees. Give me coffee shops every thirty yards (don't even drink coffee but I've grown comfortable with their presence and it's weird when you go somewhere and realize there aren't any for several blocks!) Give me snow so rarely we can't help but still marvel out how breathtaking it is when it finally falls. Give me soggy leaves in the fall and dandelions in the spring. Give me double-digits on the thermometer in the summer and ferry rides across the puget sound. Give me my choice of ocean, lakes, ponds, swamps, creeks, streams or rivers.
I know the world is a beautiful place. But when you've found a home that is beautiful and wonderful every season out of the year? That has nearly every kind of climate and natural region you can ask for? Who cares that summer is gone? Half our trees are about to get gorgeous and the other half are staying green. We'll be building fires for warmth but still be able to go outside if we want to at a reasonable level of comfort. And before you know it, we'll be back in spring because the changes here are both beautiful and subtle. We ease comfortably from one month to the next.
We're not without distinct seasons, we just get to enjoy them equally because they're not out to kill us.