Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trading snow shovels for sunscreen



If I hear one more person complain about the hot weather we’ve had lately, I just might punch him or her in the face.
People in the Inland Northwest have severe amnesia when it comes to weather. For approximately nine (sometimes ten) months out of the year, the weather here flat out sucks. During the winter, we have outright scary snowstorms that not only shut down airports and cause local stores to run out of snow shovels, they make driving to and from anywhere downright scary. Spring and fall are jokes here. Occasionally we’ll get a warm day or two, but it’s usually followed by extreme rain or wind. It’s as if, like that kid on the Simpsons, Mother Nature says to us, “HA HA!”
The locals do not handle this well. We always act like we’re downright shocked that the temperature is below 30 degrees and snow is falling at a rapid rate.
“Can you believe this weather?” we shout to each other as we shovel our driveways for the third time that day wearing five layers of clothes and ski masks.
Everyone here complains about the cold, and I’m probably the whiniest bitch of them all. I absolutely hate being cold. There are a lot of things about living here that are great. The weather isn’t one of them. I get so tired of digging my car out from layers of snow and ice several times a day (yes, we have a garage, but it’s full of crap. Isn’t yours?) and even with the heat cranked up (and our outrageous winter utilities bills), I can never get warm. Everyone in town bitches right along with me.
Spring was an asshole, as usual, with tons of rain and wind and hardly any sun. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, the clouds parted and revealed the glorious sun and blue skies. It has been absolutely amazing. Temperatures have been between 75 and 85 degrees. Finally, I got to put away the down comforter. The heat has been turned off until further notice. All my summer dresses are in full rotation. Sunday brunches with the girls have been moved outdoors. My husband and I refer to this as “above the covers sex” weather. It’s beautiful, warm and gorgeous outside and I’m loving every minute of it.
Alas, people in the area don’t seem to agree with me. Even though the warm season is just beginning and there was snow on the ground a mere month ago, they seem to have forgotten this. It started last weekend, when my husband and I took a road trip up to Sandpoint. I was sitting outside at The Loading Dock enjoying a vegetarian hot dog and basking in the sun when I heard a kid say,
“It’s too damn hot today, dude. This sucks.”
Since then, I have heard several people bitching about the weather. I’m beginning to think people just like to complain, because seriously, this is paradise.
If anyone has the right to bitch about the heat, it’s me. We don’t have central air in our house, so it’s not unheard of for our living room to be 90 degrees during the day. Also, my car’s AC has never worked despite repeated attempts by many trained professionals to fix it. I sweat profusely throughout the summer and neither my house nor car give me a break. Between the constant heat and the fact that my Irish skin burns after approximately 45 seconds of sun exposure, I’ve probably got a thing or two to whine about.
But no relationship is perfect, and much like the one I have with my spouse, I choose to focus on the good things. And there are SO many good things. Farmers’ markets and fruit stands, amazing events like Art on the Green, the Coeur d’alene summer theater, the 4th of July, my wedding anniversary, Seattle Mariners games, lazy days at the lake and the local bar scene, to name a few. There’s something about summer that brings me to life. I’m always reminded of the goals I made at the beginning of the year and that I only have half a year left to get on them. As an added bonus, the heat dulls my appetite, which is normally that of a logger. By the end of summer, I’ve normally just about shed my winter weight.
I started today by waking up with only a sheet covering me. I met my friends for breakfast and we sat outside, enjoying the sunshine. After some gardening, we got out the grill for the first time and BBQ’d dinner. It’s hard to be miserable about the weather when you’re enjoying fresh grilled asparagus with garlic and olive oil.
On days like this, it’s hard to be miserable, hot or not. So really, people here need to shut the hell up about the weather or consider heading to Australia. They’re having their winter, and trust me, the residents are bitching about it, matey.

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