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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Weather Watching


This pine, and many more like it, are still standing on my property after centuries of Pacific Coast weather. If you have never heard of the Pacific Coast weather, stay tuned. I will be your eyes and ears, reporting to you live. Or, as long as I am alive.
We moved here Christmas 2002. Our family, the entire extended family, two married children and their spouses, an unmarried college student, and a then small grandchild, all roughing it in a four bedroom house barely supporting us. It felt as though we were stuck in the middle of nowhere. The local hardware store had one set of everything you needed; and a lot of things you were going to need, but didn't know it. We ended up returning to that store for lots of things, including rubber boots and buckets.
During our stay, it never stopped raining-a hard rain that came at you from everywhere, soaked you through and through in two minutes, and no type of covering was sufficient to keep you dry-, we lost power, including heat, lighting and cooking ability. The wind was hauling most of the day and all through the night. Shingles and branches and assorted debris was flying around and bumping into windows, doors, walls, roof. The Pacific was roiling and spilling over the sand dunes into the adjoining lake, threatening to smash our cottage into the abyss.
When the roads became passable, children began leaving. We drove the first set to the airport 150 miles away. The second set drove themselves back to California as well. Our youngest remained through the second week; he was rewarded by a beautiful, calm, sunny and dry week. He helped us collect the loose shingles, pile our broken branches and clean out our property.
He had been through an earthquake in 1994 when we lived in California. He knew about nature's fury; and he had developed a certain calm about it all, a certain stoicism and faith.
Every winter since, only he returns to spend Christmas with us, unafraid and untouched. The others have returned for shorter visits, under better conditions.
We know that with global warming the weather will change in many places. We all need to make adjustments and preparations.

40 comments:

janis said...

I think I had a taste of that kind of rain this morning! As I got out of my car, it started that crazy kind of pouring cats & dogs. (We have had it hit or miss for the past 24 hrs). Me, a raincoat & Golf umbrella braved the three block walk from the parking lot to my office bldg. Even with my protection of coat, umbrella & tall buildings, I was SOAKED by time I got to my office. 5 hrs later, still feeling damp in this air conditioned bldg. Moist shoes & all!
We always say, "if you don't like the weather, move to Indiana, it will change any minute!" One extreme to another!

Fire Byrd said...

We have had a summer of hot sunshine, followed by torrential rain , followed by howling gales, today is no exception.
And the trees are loosing their leaves early in some cases. But the birds are still carrying nesting material in their beaks....
All very odd.

Brian Miller said...

i have been through a few hurricanes...inland far enough that they were not the brunt but enough to throw trees around and wash out roads...weather is scary stuff becuase you never know how bad it gets until it does...

Nancy said...

I hope you have a peaceful winter. I know the storms on the coast can be fierce. Living in Portland and listening to the news casts was often very intense. But I love your place on the ocean, and I think it would be worth the winters.

Amy said...

I'm fascinated by the science of weather. It can be such a beautiful and frightening thing. I'm one to stand on my porch when the tornado sirens wail so that I can be witness to the magnificence of Nature.

Here in Arizona it is "monsoon" season. I've yet to feel more than a slight breeze this year and it has done no more than sprinkle for a few minutes over the course of the past several months. I miss the wildness of Texas weather. It feels like I'm missing something here.

Your weather updates are a welcome read. Through you, maybe I can feel the rain.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Rosaria....I think it is so exciting that you took the plunge and moved to such a beautiful place. Everywhere has it's drawbacks. We spend the latter half of summer praying that a hurricane doesn't get in the gulf.
I hated the snow and mostly ice I delt with in Tennessee for 30 years. You just have to marvel at nature's fury and take it as it comes. Great post! :)

Gaston Studio said...

Being from Savannah GA, I've been through a few hurricanes myself, with a couple of direct hits included. I know that kind of rain and wind. Kudos to your youngest!

Angela Recada said...

What a lovely old tree and property you have there. It sounds like you were true pioneers that first year.

Renee said...

By the way is adventure your second name.

xoxox

Lyn said...

It sounds as though you have come to an understanding - between you and the Pacific Coast weather. Your vivid imagery took me along for the ride. I can just see you and the family huddled through the wind and the rain and then breathing in the freshness and calm that follows a storm. I can also tell that you love your home and living in commune with nature. And I don't blame you a bit!

An English Shepherd said...

Very true. The weather here in England is usual very mild but who can tell?

Wizz :-)

Beth said...

Wind and rain and lack of electricity all at the same time?! Sheesh! That might mean the family would have to talk to each other. (kidding)

We don't get direct hits from hurricanes but many a hurricane remnant has headed over us. Falling pine trees, hail, and torential rain can be exciting!

Stay warm and dry this winter. Might I suggest saran wrap? Traps in the heat and keeps the moisture out.

Hit 40 said...

Your grandchildren are adorable!! Great pictures.

...your going to be mad at me. I am not convinced of global warming. Have you seen the articles about the sun spots that may indicate that we are going into an ice age?

Don't get me wrong. I think everything that we should do to prevent the "global warming" just makes good solid sense whether the earth is warming or not. I try to do my small part with recycling and tree planting.

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm always fascinated by the way people describe storms as "nature's fury." Do you think nature gets furious? Or are storms just a lot bigger than we are so they seem angry?

The picture of the tree at the top is magnificent! And whoa! What an experience that storm must have been. Glad all of you came out of it safe and sound!

Deb said...

I found this post very interesting. I live in the Northeast and we have seen some wild weather of late. Last winter we had an ice storm which left us without power for ten days - now that was an adventure! It certainly makes you appreciate the basic neccesities of life! Take care!

shabby girl said...

I've never seen any other coast but the Pacific. It's home. I love it. Weather and all, earthquakes and all. I would love to hear more stories about your life there!

Clippy Mat said...

We, here in the Niagara region in Ontario, Canada, were waiting a Tornado that didn't come tonight. Thankfully. In a few seconds I pictured the devastation that could happen as the wind and storm whipped up and then passed on. We were so lucky.
thanks for visiting my blog tonight and so I found yours.
:-)

Rob-bear said...

It seems that you are living on some kind of climatological "fault line." I think your youngest's parents are like their son, living unfazed in an "interesting" place.

What did Paul Simon say? "I can gather all the news I need from the weather report." Something like that.

Thanks for the news.

willow said...

Oh, I know. You're scaring me. Do you have a generator? We're thinking of investing in one, especially since our well pump doesn't work when we are without power.

Ribbon said...

Sounds like you have to be brave to live in your neck of the woods!

lovely post... wishing you a mild winter.

best wishes
Ribbon :)

Shadow said...

you just be safe now!

Delwyn said...

Hi Rosaria

Is it common to have these blustery storms in your winter then...

Perhaps its a good thing that the family now spread themselves throughout the year...

Happy days

Dave King said...

I probably will not be able to convey to you how much I enjoyed that read. The descriptions and comments were absolutely spot on. And what a sensible moment of forethought at the end! Thanks.

The Writing Instinct said...

Although it has been one of hte coldest winters ever (the mornings and evenings/nights) the days have been getting up to 25 degrees celcius; quite warm. Crazy weather all round. And when the kids notice how warm it is in the day compared to the night then something must be wrong. I don't ever remember being too hot or too cold as a child. We just played.

karen said...

What an amazingly realistic description of the stormy, rainy weather! I really dislike that sort of weather, and I could just imagine how it must have felt. Quite awe inspiring!

lakeviewer said...

Hi folks,
To set the record straight, the winter storms here have been violent and noteworthy forever. The population here is just above 1000, most of whom are fair-weather people, spending time between Arizona/California/Nevada in the rainy season, and on the coast in the summer.

People buy, stay a few years, get too old or infirm, and move back closer to their families, or to conveniences.

People who have lived here for a while have learned to hunker down and weather the stormy weather, invest in a generator or two, have extra wood for the woodstove or fireplace, and preserve their food stock.

For two-hundred years this coast survived on lumber harvest and fishing. Both industries have dwindled; now, mostly retirees live here. Our school population is a good indication that there are few jobs and few resources for making a living.

Artists, writers, ranchers, fishermen and retirees live in a symbiotic union here. We buy locally whenever possible; we barter and exchange, we share a love for natural beauty and its preservation.

Our congressional representatives conduct civil town halls; our newspapers publish all the letters they receive; and our biggest issue at the local school board meetings is the distance our athletes travel to play sports within their league.

We can walk the length of our town in twenty minutes; most people can walk to the grocery store, the library, the post office, the coffee shop.

The town is situated twenty-four miles of Bandon-by-the-sea, a resort town whose golf courses have won many accolades. People fly in and out of the little airport subsidized by the town to play golf that is similar to the original links in Scotland. Those of you from England, Ireland and Scotland would feel right at home in this weather.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Helen said...

Having lived through three direct hit hurricanes in 2004 (Orlando area) I so appreciate the descriptive word images in your post.

Margo said...

I love the mood of your writing here - it sounds like the beginning of a Mary Alice Monroe novel (she writes about the southern coast) I'm kind of a bad weather addict - I love watching it... I'd probably come every Christmas :)

Lori ann said...

Dear Rosaria,

I had a lovely time catching up with your latest posts, it sounds like you and your husband had a wonderful time with the grandchildren. Your photos are so beautiful also.
I hope your weather is not too much of any one thing.

take good care.
xo lori

Abraham Lincoln said...

I hate to think what will happen to the wildlife and the polar bears are just a beginning. We are a crazy people and killing the planet we live on just to make money with nowhere in the universe to spend it when the earth is gone.

I have the issue of "breast feeding" on my main blog today Pick a Peck of Pixels

Cynthia said...

What an interesting move...I don't think most people would 'settle down' to such wildness. We have weather here-rain and wind- in Puerto Rico...but it alternates with plenty of sun...some say tooooo much! I see the beauty though...the entire idea of expanding our notion of weather change is a point well taken! <3

California Girl said...

I'll have to look up Port Orford on a map...no idea where that is.

Meanwhile, enjoyed this story of your move. East Coast is drenched in rain this summer, particularly New England. As a former southern Californian who experienced the '71 Sylmar quake and the '94 tremors from the Northridge quake (we were in San Diego by then) I hear ya. Nature's fury. I've lost my home to flooding (KY '79) and each area has some kind of recurring natural disaster type weather to contend with. In northern NH, at the base of Mt. Washington, we freeze our asses off each winter!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

What a lovely post. I can imagine it all - think you needed some red slippers.

Woman in a Window said...

And just like that, with a smack smack of the hands and a wipe on the pants, you accept it. Global warming and weather, it's coming our way. Best to buy the rubber boots and whatnots now and be ready.

I like that you are sturdy enough to weather flying shingles!

sallymandy said...

Oh, I can't imagine living anywhere but in the northwest! It does make me try to figure out just where you are, as I have relatives in both coastal Oregon and coastal Washington.

♥sallymandy

Debbie said...

The weather is changing so fast. It is not at all like it used to be. I hope we can adapt.

potsoc said...

In Qu├ębec we are still talking about that 1971 snow storm. In the night from March 4th to 5th enough snow fell in Montreal to fill the streets from buildings to buildings on each side and bury the cars parked on the curb. We woke up to see only radio antennas sticking out of the snow. That is how we could spot our cars. My street was cleared only 3 days later...with a bulldozer.
In January 1998 an ice storm coverd us in 6 inches of solid ice. Our electricity carrying grid collapsed and some areas were without elecricity for up to 6 weeks.
Last week our Toronto area was stricken by 3 tornadoes...unheard of for over a century.
July was cold and rainy, August is very hot...and rainy. Not our usual weather.

Sarah Laurence said...

It is pouring in Maine too, but we need it to break the heat and humidity. That’s a shame about the weather spoiling your family time when you first moved in. It is fun living with nature, but it’s challenging too.

Willow said...

How well I know that Oregon winter weather! A total of 30 winters of it. But it's never boring.

Down here at Willow's Cottage, we two are making similar adjustments as your children to budget cuts and unpaid furloughs and gearing up for the school year.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Loved hearing about what is on your coffee table...thanks for playing.