The Upside To A Downpour: A Northwesterner’s Guide To Loving the Rain

In the Washington state town I grew up in, we called the current weather we’re having  “June”. Because of climate change, Olympia now averages about 50 inches of rain per year, which is quite a bit. But back in the day when I was being raised there, it averaged nearly 70 inches. I can remember not just days but weeks and even months we barely saw the sun. Our skin tone wasn’t just pale, it bordered on clear.

But it doesn’t need to be as doomy or gloomy as it seems. When you grow up in it, you learn that rain has a lot of upside–and not just, you know, because it helps growing things stay hydrated and alive.

Here are a few examples to hopefully help you cope:

–Rain gets you out of ALL outdoor chores. Lawn is three feet high? Sorry dad, it’s still too wet to push a mover through.

–Rain lets you watch all the TV you want, guilt-free: how else could I have become an amateur expert of such shows as Gilligan’s Island or the Brady Bunch?

–I hear you can also read books

–If you’re a kid, there are no better conditions to play backyard tackle football with your neighborhood buddies in. Even if the grass IS three feet tall.

–Rain songs! I Love A Rainy Night. Smoky Mountain Rain. Rainy Night in Georgia. I’m No Stranger To the Rain. Rain has inspired some classic songs you can re-acquaint yourself with.

–Speaking of songs, to quote Kenny Chesney: There’s Something Sexy About The Rain.

–And there is–which is something I personally realized, for the first time around 1976, every time Michelle Price walked into our sixth grade class after recess on a rainy day.

–Status takes a back seat: everybody looks equal when they’re wearing rain gear. Or soaking wet.

–Rain makes your bed feel more comfortable. C’mon, you know it does.

–Rain makes comfort food –casseroles, mac and cheese, meatloaf–taste better. Again, it just does. Try eating meatloaf and mashed potatoes this week and then again in the middle of a July heat wave. If you don’t now, you’ll agree with me then.

–When the sun does come out, rain makes you feel like you earned it. It’s like, sure, chocolate tastes great, but if you have it every day, with no effort involved in getting it, is it really all that special anymore? But if you haven’t had chocolate in, like, a year and suddenly someone busts out a Hershey’s bar… someone might lose a finger.

–Lastly, it’s a great chance to gather the family around for a fun game of Monopoly! Just kidding. It’ll never be too rainy for that.

So…even though you might be reaching the limits of your own personal rain reservoir, don’t despair. There are still plenty of ways to enjoy it and remember–we live in Sacramento. We’ll be back in the 90s and missing all of this by mid-May.

More from Tom Mailey
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