I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.
– Bill Watterson in Calvin and Hobbes
After four days of very cold crisp sunny days, it is raining tonight and predicted to rain for the next week. We are back to gray and miserable, right where we were for most of December.
What a relief.
There has been too much perfection for too long: four days of 360 degree views of snowy mountains and foothills that gleam in the sun, glistening crystalline fields of frost, sparkling clear waters in Puget Sound, and bright blue cloudless skies is hard for any northwest native to tolerate. It is hard work keeping up the smiles and general good humor that goes with excellent weather. There is always a clear expectation that one must be outside enjoying the rare sunny day, when it is far more appealing to curl up with a good book and a warm dog by a roaring fire, pretending not to notice how nice it is out.
We native Washingtonians are congenitally grumpy people, born to splash through puddles and lose our boots in footwear-sucking mud. We don’t carry umbrellas because they are useless when our horizontal rain comes from the side, not from the top. We wear sunglasses on mid-winter sunny days because we can’t possibly get our eyes to adjust to so much brightness. We wear hoods, sometimes even when we are indoors, just in case, because you never know.
Gray is preferred. Gray with wet and cold is even better. No one even questions a bad mood on days like this. A good mood would be highly suspect.
So I savor the opportunity to be disgruntled with such obvious justification as a rainy evening.
Downright crabby. No apologies needed. No excuses given.
It’s almost enough to put a smile on my face.
- photo by Josh Scholten