Sunday in Seattle
I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping up with this blog, considering I'm on vacation. But of course my concentration hasn't been focused on it like a laser.
I've got a few more days here--returning in midweek to my home, where I hear it's been about ninety degrees lately. New England's like that; nothing subtle about the change of seasons. Weeks of cold driving rain and then bam!, it's summer, and you remember just why summer is not necessarily your favorite season, although it has its pluses.
I can just imagine how much the mosquitoes have loved the recent rains and proliferated to epic proportions. There's a joke in some parts of New England that the mosquito is the state bird, its only serious competition for that honor being the black fly. Both of these insects bite, of course, but true connoisseurs can tell the difference between the itch and swelling caused by one and the other (personally, I think the discomfort of the black fly's bite lasts longer and is sharper, but that's just me).
New Englanders live for summer, since so many of them own boats, praying for nice weather so they finally can get out on the ocean or lake. It's not often it works out the way they want, but it's all the more appreciated when it happens.
Seattle is a bit the same, from what I can gather from my short stay here--nice weather is an elusive commodity. The gardens are different--although not so different as one might think. The same azaleas and rhododendrons, which thrive here, and I've never seen such tall foxglove. Watering isn't necessary, of course, but sun can be an issue. Seattleites wait for the summer with almost as much anticipation as New Englanders do, because it's the only time of relatively reliable sunshine and warmth.
That's why I timed my trip for now; I figured I'd have a chance of good weather, and that's the way it's panned out. The quality of the light here is very similar to the light at home, as well--must be something about these high latitudes that adds a certain bright shimmer. And it stays light so late that I lose track of the time, enhanced by the fact that I rarely wear a watch.
The food is good in Seattle--very very good--and I think the shopping, too, although I've not done much of it (I must remedy that failing before I leave). I can see there's a big hip music scene, a predominantly young one. Lots of street people and panhandlers, though, not unusual in a large liberal laid-back town like this, especially one where it's possible to live on the street year-round without freezing to death (although one might be in danger of drowning).
The rain, when it comes, is mostly short-lived this time of year. It can be a sunny day and suddenly, without your even realizing it, the cloud cover comes and you feel the first familiar drops and try to take cover. Real Seattleites don't care--they do it (whatever "it" might happen to be) in the rain. People carry a windbreaker or fleece wherever they go, and most of the time they get a chance to use them several times during the day. Taking one's jacket off and on is an aerobic exercise in Seattle.
And now I'm going out. It's cloudy, with a chance of rain. So, what else is new?
[ADDENDUM: About three minutes after I published this post, the sun came out; beautiful day. But by the time I came to write this addendum and remark on that fact, completely overcast again.]