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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Weather Affecting Disorders and other scary stuff.

I'm in the Northwest, the area of the United States  that starts in Mendocino, California and goes up to Alaska.  The Northwest is where weather starts, where Pacific storms hit the coast and then move east to bother the rest of you folks.

Sometimes, the twirling and compression zones are quite large, as the satellite pictures at the Weather Channel show. The entire Pacific Ocean gets into the act for months and months, pinning everything and everyone in place with anger and fury of biblical proportion.  And, if something is not strapped down, it will end up in Toledo, or Chicago, or...

Remember the history of Lewis and Clark, the Corps of Engineers that traversed the Mississippi and headed west to chart the new West Territory, the one that gave impetus to that historical event called the Oregon Trail?  Well, Lewis and Clark got to the mouth of the Columbia, the river that separates Oregon from Washington State,  and the group was pinned down for months by the terrible weather they encountered.  For months, they couldn't move, had to stay put at camp, chewing on rawhide, hard tack, beans and roots.  Since they couldn't move, they probably couldn't hunt, couldn't wash their clothes, couldn't take too many moonlit walks. They relied on the local native population for food and supplies for themselves and for their animals.

Well, the weather is still the same, I'm here to report. 
Last night, after a glorious sunny Wednesday, the weather changed to a Pacific storm that pounded us all night, winds and rain and branches and anything that wasn't pinned down whirled and slammed against the house, against cars. Trees fought each other, and the old ones collapsed.  

No wonder I had a headache all night!
No wonder this morning I can't think of anything else

We have these storms- 50-80 miles per hour winds and torrents of water- for a good seven months, lasting a few days at a time. After a storm, a beautiful sunny day kisses us all back to good spirits.  At the end of the rainy season, in June, the tourists will arrive and marvel at the old groves, the amazing green pastures, the spectacular clear skies, the hardiness of people and things.  They marvel and envy those of us who moved here. They won't understand this strange attachment we have to all this danger. 

36 comments:

Grandmother said...

Oh my! You are a hearty lot. And tolerant of that which sends the rest of us scurrying. Sounds scary alright. Hope you're okay.

janis said...

Same here! It was such a gorgeous day and then turned violent. Living in Indiana, one thing we can count on is a change of weather in a heartbeat!
I sure wish I made time to hose down the screened in porch yesterday! It's back to 40 degree temperatures after three days of blissful 70 degrees!
On a lighter note, at least I don't have to live like Lewis & Clark's people!

Rob-bear said...

I'm glad there are people like you, Rosaria, who are prepared to "live dangerously" on the west coast (or the wet coast). You encourage us who live dangerously with heavy snow for 5 or more months a year.

For the record, temperature here began at -29°C (-20F) with more than two feet of snow on the ground in front of our house.

Would you care to trade some snow for some rain? ;)

Helen said...

I completely understand your love affair with the Northwest and the coast .... it's life affirming.

fiftyodd said...

Wow - and I thought the Cape of Storms with our constant wind was bad enough! (Cape Town). But we don't have much rain and our temps don't go below about 10 degrees at night in 'winter'/

NormalToEatPB said...

Frontiersmen huh, maybe you would like this book series about the Berrybenders by Larry McMurtry the first book is Sin Killer :) It starts out a little boring but gets rather interesting

rosaria said...

I couldn't handle snow and cold at all. But, after a few years, and a couple of exit strategies in place during these wet months, we are adjusted.

It is temperate most of the time, temps rarely dip into the freezing zone, and never get above 70. With a sweater and a raincoat, we are good to go anywhere.
We walk daily, a couple of miles at least,which we do most days. When the wind is way too strong we use an indoor threadmill in the sunroom.

Linda Myers said...

We attended a retirement seminar three years ago to clarify our "what's next" values. We realized the only thing we don't like about where we live (just north of Seattle) is January. So we're making plans to be gone for most of January and February next year.

Terra said...

It is raining here as I read this, and I like the notes you include about Lewis and Clark. I don't like staying home in bad weather so get cabin fever rather quickly.

dianefaith said...

I'm diagonal you -- SE instead of NW. We had wind here last night, strong enough to rip the roof off of a building or two. The plastic box sign at one of the banks was totally destroyed. It was interesting to see one of the bank VPs, looking spiffy in his suit and tie, out there shoveling up plastic bits this morning.

RNSANE said...

It has been raining for days on end down here...with barely a break in the weather. We've been having rock slides, trees crashing into cars and houses and flood warnings. I guess we shouldn't complain too much after the East Coast has been bombarded all winter with so many blizzards. All our Spring flowers have drowned, though.

Rob-bear said...

Even if you can't handle snow and -29C, you're still an inspiration, Rosaria!

The Boat House said...

Hope you are feeling better today. You need to take a short trip inland to the Mary Hill Museum, overlooking the Columbia River, on the Washington side of the river, west of Bigg's Junction, Oregon. I went to a Lewis and Clark seminar there a few years ago. Just an aside, the group never took off their buckskin clothes for the whole trip. When the trip ended the skins had to be peeled off of their bodies, they had rotted into the skin. The Lewis and Clark diaries belittled the tribes there because they wore cloths made of peeled cedar bark. The tribes wore this to keep insects away. The expedition hated the Salmon the tribes fed them when they were starving, thinking the fish was poison, so much for civilization. Oh well, I for one feel lucky to have a washing machine, and clean clothes to wear, and I am glad they found the passage to the Pacific NW.

Feel better soon,

Nancy of the Boat House in Birch Bay

Eva Gallant said...

I still remember how beautiful and was there in September of 2009. It might just make all that wind and rain bearable.

Retired English Teacher said...

Your's is the second post I've read today about the weather in the Pacific Northwest and way its affective results. I would not do well living there this time of year. We get wind, but we don't get all the rain and dreary weather. Of course, part of the beauty of where you live is a result of the rain.

I guess if you are chewing on rawhide, hard tack, beans and roots, it hasn't gotten as bad as it could. I can also understand the romance of living in such a spot.

Barbara said...

I feel your pain in Newberg, Oregon.

The Broad said...

I lived in Olympia, WA for all of 2008 and was amazed how much wetter it was than the NW of England. I had never before seen forests of trees covered in moss! But the Spring and Summer that year were glorious. My husband and I took a trip down the Oregon coast and it was just magnificent -- something we remember often and hope one day to see again. I returned to England on the 14th of December 2008 early in the morning just as a blizzard was starting and in fact you had quite a winter 2008-2009!

Brian Miller said...

wow. ok i am on the other side of the world...or at least the states but we had nasty wind last night taking out trees....sounds like i may want to stay away from your neck of the woods though...smiles.

Joani said...

Guess that is why I live in the desert. Of course, people wonder how I can stand the heat in the summer with temps 110+. But, I hibernate and then when the weather is like it has been recently, warm, breezy, a little rain now & then, I so enjoy living here in Arizona. Monsoons sometimes R destructive like U R describing UR night last night....they come in August or September. I just grin & bare it and hunker down. Have a great day.

Arkansas Patti said...

I just came from a blog by someone in your area that was wondering why she had been in a funk lately. She finally realized it was the weather.
Those really are violent storms you have. Would love the rain, not the winds. Just keep thinking Summer when you will be able to gloat about how wonderful it is as we turn into salty puddles.

yaya said...

They say old age ain't for sissies..guess where you live aint' for sissies either! We had tornado warnings yesterday and ice and freezing roads today...but the sun came out in the afternoon and we had no snow..I'm happy!

Cloudia said...

You could live on a boat like me, Hearty Soul!




Aloha to you
from Waikiki!


Comfort Spiral

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Anonymous said...

Winds that high? They qualify as hurricanes here in Florida.
You are a hardy bunch!

Trish
www.synchrosecrets.com/synchrosecrets

becky said...

Loved how "couldn't take too many moonlit walks" made me giggle...you're so funny, Rosaria

Hilary said...

I love dramatic weather.. but not too much of it. Stay safe.. and I hope your headache is long gone.

NitWit1 said...

We just had two thunderstorms which proably originated in the Pacific. The rain was deluges but we needed it as we had fire bans everywhere, while people were trying to clean the winter's neglect away.

Nowhere on earth is Paradise, I guess but we choose what we can live with.

Maggie May said...

You live in a beautiful spot that seems to be laced with danger! Hope you keep safe.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Zarko said...

Thanks for your blog! We had nasty winter, but spring has come. Hopefully I won't need any of your advice :-)

Marguerite said...

Sounds a bit severe for me. Got to have my sunshine, 12 months a year!:)

Karen Lange said...

This sounds much like the Nor'easters that come through where we used to live in southern NJ. Nice to hear about the the temperatures you enjoy, though.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. It's great to meet you!

Have a great weekend,
Karen

Amanda said...

there is something about extreme weather that does attract certain folks -- i've never been one to want to live in a climate that never changes -- too dull.

having said that, i'm not sure i could handle 50 - 80 mph winds too often! ;-0

Forrest Seale said...

I'm gonna Fex Ex a very long rope to your address. Please use it to tie the clouds so they can be kept on your side of the Cascades. OK? Please?

erin said...

i love this, in its way, rosaria, how tourists come and don't know the heart of it, what is in the vein, and yet they celebrate. they're like children. those who live it simply know it. it is their breath, their cadence. the others come and go, play. we set to work.

you live in a hardy and wonderful place. it is making you. but then you know this.

xo
erin

karen said...

wow! It does sound incredible.. good for you, for sticking it out, and thanks for the wonderful description in this post!

I've enjoyed catching up, and reading your thoughts on so many things - especially the retirement topic. glad you were spared tsunami destruction there, and so happy to hear that you got your blog back. How dreadful to hear about the blog-jacking!!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I think I would find your weather somewhat scary!

Vagabonde said...

I did not know about your weather – 7 months of rain and storm! Well that would be hard to take unless you love the place. That sounds pretty rough to me, really.