Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Januwary

So, January is in the books. We had 62 days of rain last month, 14 of them banked earlier and another 17 on credit, and people were starting to squeak about it. Not me. Seems to me this is right in line with a proper January. But we have a whole lot of new people moving into this town and a bunch of them must have thought they could drag some of their old weather in with them. They feel grumpy and misled. I'm not sure why. We do have a reputation for greenery. Even some of us are a little green--the sedentary types only on the north side. We who have been here a long time feel a little smug about it all. Like the newcomers don't have a right to complain.

Which doesn't mean the old-timers don't complain. It's just that our complaints have more legitimacy, coming on the heels of decades of legacy whining. Just you wait, the old-timers say. Get another thirty or forty soggy years under your belts and then you can start bitching. We're the old farts with a mortgage and medical bills asking the sniveling children what they think they have to complain about.

Yesterday I got caught on the sidewalk behind two people walking side by side with umbrellas. It was weird. Umbrellas are wide and pointy and a threat to the social compact. And the mark of the newcomer. There's no point in it. The anticipation of being drenched just gets all drawn-out. Jump in the lake and get it over with. Slap on some rain gear and get on with your life. If you have an umbrella and one other item, you've got nothing left to hold your beer with.

Thing about the newcomers, though, they might be right about having drug some of their old weather with them. It's not dry, but holy moly it's warm. Seems like every day in January was solidly in the fifties instead of twenty or thirty degrees lower where it belonged. And that simply can't be right. Nobody needs an abundance of degrees all the time. It's wasteful. You need a little chill to set up properly. That's what winter's for.

You need it to put snap in your soul. You need it to kill off the nasty bugs of your disposition, the lazy, entitled notion that the world is here to serve you. You need it to kill off the earworm larvae that will pester you in the summertime. (When the weather's fine, when you got women you got women on your mind. Chh chh-chh uh.)

There are people in this world whose chief goal is to live in a hammock and feel comfortable in their underwear all year long. Is there anything wrong with that? With shunning adversity? Or with spending half the year pining for the other half?

I think there is. I don't trust it. And I couldn't give you a single reason why, except that it comes from somewhere bone-deep, ancestral, a message from my fore-Vikings. I need to chew on butter. I need to tuck my fat yellow braids in my belt as I brace against the wind and look around for someone to cleave asunder with my broad-axe. I am not murderous, but I am ready.

And we need to be ready. There is adversity. Knock the frost off your pitchforks, people: those toasty fucks in Mar-A-Lago won't even see us coming.

30 comments:

  1. "Legacy whining"... I like that. It's like how I feel about voting: if you couldn't be arsed to go out and vote, don't whine to me about politics. You don't care enough to go to the polls, I don't care about your opinion.

    Yes, I am a judgmental little fuck.

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    1. I don't feel that way about voting. I just don't care about your opinion if you don't agree with me.

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  2. Warm we have. Too much warm. And how I would love to get used to your rain. Some parts of Oz have had some (too much) in recent times. We have had a teaser dribble.

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  3. Got a good belly laugh and a new earworm from this post(chh chh-chh) And I have a flaming pitchfork handy.

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  4. We moved to Seattle in 1965 because Hunky Husband got itchy and thought that God walked the halls of Boeing Seattle. Fourteen months later, after I had fallen in love with the Seattle area, HH dragged me back to Kansas, land of four seasons (of which I hate only Summer). (HH's reason for living was the 30-minute commute from our house to his work - and a promotion that was offered if he would return.)

    Umbrellas? Winter of 1959-1960, walking across the flight line, the wind turned mine inside out. I pitched it and didn't carry another until HH gave me one in the early 1990s. The first time I used it, in a downpour as I crossed a different company's apron between buildings, the wind turned the thing inside out. I chucked it into the first wastebasket that I passed. As I had been in the process of herding about 150 people out of our temporary offices to a storm shelter to provide safety if the reported tornado crossed from the west side of the airport to the east side, I should have known better. When anything is falling from the sky (including sunshine), I wear a visor to protect my glasses and eyes. Otherwise, Mom always assured me that as I was neither sugar nor salt, I would not melt.
    Cop Car

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    1. I'm not sure umbrellas were designed for tornadoes, per se, but they're still a bother for people who actually have to walk anywhere. I think they're designed for people with nicer clothes and shorter walks than I generally have.

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  5. Well...HH's reason for leaving (not living)....
    Cop Car

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  6. I was going to say be careful you don't make cleavage where there shouldn't be any, but then you said to get our pitchforks and head to Florida. We have the opportunity to warm up AND save the country. You're a brilliant strategist, Murr!

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    1. Speaking of cleavage where there shouldn't be any, when did I have to start flossing my back?

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  7. We have had far too much rain in the past few weeks. Flooded roads, mudslides, and fallen trees make travel hazardous. Both my husband and I have full-length slickers from LLBean. When we wear these and zip up the hood, nothing gets wet except the floor when we come back inside. Boots come up above the hem of the slickers so even our legs are protected. I HATE umbrellas.

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    1. Full length? Wow. I need to look for that.

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    2. I am on my second LLBean full-length slicker. That and my absolute waterproof Eddie Bauer rain parka. Who needs an umbrella. In grad school I would walk 10 blocks in the dark from my parked car in the downpour to get to my night class... everyone else would we wet to the bone. I on the other hand just had puddle where I stood and otherwise, completely dry. I am a many generation Oregonian and always had a rain coat. And frankly, this winter has a been a bit too sunny and dry to my taste! Love your take on this winter!

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    3. It's been good for the frogs. We've had a shit ton of frogs.

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  9. It's not moss on my north side - just sticky, soggy snow :)

    In my childhood (50's & 60's) and into the 80's I remember it was normal for our January and February to have a three to six week period when the temperature stayed around -20C to -25C. I don't think we've had even ONE of those days this winter. Only -15C on a few of the coldest days and a whole lot of milder interludes with sticky, soggy snow. That's been typical of the last decade. And we're getting more wind.

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    1. One of these January nights when I had to peel back about ten pounds of my beloved quiltage, I thought bleakly about the coming summer. This is not good, people.

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  10. Oh my goodness, Murr, this is absolutely your best post! All your posts are funny, sardonic, nasty and true...but this was the best. Are those all tourists with the umbrellas in that photo of hubby?

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    1. You know, they aren't, probably. That's at our downtown square during a particularlly wet Tuba Christmas. So everyone was staying put. It does speak well of our spirit though.

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  11. I agree we need the cold to be able to properly appreciate the warmth that follows, but I don't want to ever be the sort of cold you get. I wouldn't mind a fairer share of the rain though. We're so dry down here I'm surprised we don't blow away on a puff of wind.

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    1. We actually don't get much below freezing, or for very long, but there's something about a sideways drizzle that works its way into you. I do love it though.

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  12. The years we lived about 1000 miles north of you on an island off the BC Coast, in Prince Rupert BC, the cloudiest/wettest reporting weather station in the USA/Canada we learned the motto; "In Rupert we don't tan, we rust!" Sounds like it might apply to ya'll as well. Keep the WD-40 handy for your joints in the morning. We find it handy for mornings when it's -30.

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    1. That's a standard line for Oregonians too. We keep moving though.

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  13. I only bought a rain jacket from Eddie Bauer when we were leaving Seattle after a quarter century- having arrived w. full rain poncho, never worn again after the first few stares from locals. A point of pride, that, walking around as if it weren't always misting. We do now reside in Arizona, and the rain jacket does come out for the few moments of what they call rain here, just enough to wet your whistle, otherwise it hangs crackling to bits in the heat - plastic here does biodegrade if left out. As do we. Why we have Arizona rooms: to shelter from the destructive sun and cut the glare. We don't do green, except for this winter, w. lawn coming up everywhere. So, consider yourself lucky, Murr. Gloomy, though, right?

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    1. It's rainier in Seattle. You know, when it comes down to it, I guess I like gloom. One must have a rich interior life. There are those who might call that not having a life, but they're incorrect.

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  14. In the Desert we can tell the newcomers by whose sitting Poolside in Winter...

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