Sunday, September 18, 2011

It rained again today

But that didn't keep Ray from work on the greenhouse.

He worked by himself today and got an amazing amount done. The glazing material is an interesting plastic material that is double-walled with hollow channels between the two walls. It looks very similar to sign material you might be familiar with, but much more durable and heavier weight stuff. It has a lovely frosty look and diffuses the light very softly. It feels cozy inside.

Working in the rain is pretty standard stuff around here. We learned long ago that in this part of Oregon if you wait for the rain to quit you will never get anything done.

When we moved to Portland in 1993 it was February and raining as we pulled our moving truck into the driveway of our dark and dreary rental house. It didn't stop raining for months. I consoled myself with the idea that we didn't have to live here forever. The first winter was the worst. Once we moved into our own house that had big windows and a more expansive feel we didn't feel quite so trapped in gloom when it rained, but I still had places, like Idaho and Ashland, where we had lived, and where the winters were cold, but often sunny and bright as a goal for the future. But slowly we became Portlanders, rain and all and I can't imagine living anywhere else now.

While other places tolerate rain, even welcome rain after long dry periods, in Portland the rain is a lifestyle. We embrace the gifts it provides in the form of gardens and flowers and a green that must be seen to be believed, that covers our hills and parks and riverbanks.

We dress for the rain. I find myself assessing shoe purchases in terms of how they might survive the rain and whether that cute cut-out design is going to result in wet socks. There is a reason the largest bookstore in the country is here in Portland. We read. We go to movies and plays and concerts. We meet in coffee shops, where there is a handy bucket for your wet umbrella as you come in the door. Do you know coffee tastes way better on a rainy day? Do you know a car radio (NPR, most likely) sounds just right accompanied by the swish of windshield wipers? Walks in the rain, providing you have good shoes and a waterproof jacket, can be lovely. The sound of rain on the roof at night, and a warm quilt, are the combination that provides the deepest, most restful sleep.

So the rain is back, and just like that summer is over. I could have waited a few more weeks. Summer seemed pretty short, but we could get a warm, dry break later in the fall. I washed the quilts, so they are ready for cool evenings and today I got out the crockpot.

My blog friend, Joanne, in Maine wrote that she cooked a pot roast today too. I wonder if it's raining there.


  1. Your lyricism (almost) made me yearn for rain. Perhaps I should print out the lovely paragraph on the benefits of rain in Portland and laminate it, for use in March, when really, the ferns in Forest Park are astonishingly beautiful and comforting.

    Or, you can just post the 'graph every month from now until next July:-)

    The greenhouse light is magical, by the way.

  2. You are right, Terry, the longer I live here, the less the rain is an encumbrance and more a lifestyle for us. I was so happy to put on my new red raincoat and boots this week-end. I was ready and not sad at all.

  3. Yep, you nailed it. But a few more 80-ish days are forecast for this week, and my tomatos and I are looking forward to not-quite-fall-just-yet.

  4. I laughed when I read this post. Growing up in Seattle, I never thought of postponing a thing because of rain. Moving to the dry side of the state was interesting. I get grumpy when we haven't had rain for 6 months. I miss the clean air that smells so wonderful after a rain. My husband thinks I am nuts.;) I know you understand.

  5. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Ed has always said he sleeps best when he hears the rain running in the gutters. (of course, he grew up in Seaside)

  6. I had the joy of visiting Portland this past summer. I fell in love, with thousands of roses and a myriad of other flowers. Even the sky, when gray, was many shades of gray. And, oh my, the fabric stores. This is a fantasitic city!