The weather. You can’t do anything about it.

Recent storms in the Mid-West and Southern states bring to mind something we, as Northwesters particularly Oregon, both despise and cherish. RAIN. Everyone has an opinion on RAIN. I happen to like the RAIN because it tends to relax me and keep me calm. But there is limit to the amount of RAIN I can take. The winter of 2009 was one of those times. I specifically remember when it rained for 30 days in a row without seeing the sun. That became depressing. This last winter and spring was unusual, more for the milder temperatures than normal with what seemed like less RAIN than normal.

RAIN comes in many forms. Mist, sprinkles, showers and gully washing clean your gutters out storms. We don’t have many gully washing storms like they do in the south. Those storms are tough. Thunder and lightning with strong winds and maybe tornadoes. We normally get showers. The problem is they last from October to April. We get lots of snow warnings but the weathermen have yet to understand weather patterns in this part of the country.

But have you thought about what good things the RAIN does for us. It keeps Oregon (at least the West side) green providing for the thirst of trees, flowers, grass, and slugs.  In its flakey state, it provides winter playgrounds and later summer playgrounds in the lakes, rivers and streams. In its frozen state, like an ice storm, it keeps all the utility comes busy (overtime!!!) and my mean work for out of area utilities as well.

It also works as a natural repellent and population control. People from other states-I won’t mention the names, California-move to Oregon to escape the pressures of really big cities, high costs, and bankrupt governments to come to laid back Oregon. One winter is about all they can handle and move on. They suddenly realize the sun overrode all the other downers. Only the really strong can appreciate RAIN blowing sideways in an ocean storm at the beach. True Oregonians consider this a weekend activity.

Now let’s consider the cost of RAIN. It’s basically free, except in Portland and the surrounding metro area. Bull Run, Portland’s pristine water source, is fed by RAIN only, no runoff from mountain snows. City officials are using this free commodity to overcharge residents so they can build bike paths, special homes and other non-essential items. But that’s a different blog.

You can always tell a true Oregonian. They’re the ones without umbrellas. Maybe a hat or cap but no umbrellas. They seem to be able to walk between the RAIN drops and not get wet. Their shoes however do get wet. Another clue of an Oregonian, water proof hiking boots. Oh yes, shorts year round. And since we have Nike and Columbia Sportswear in the region, dressing right is easy.

So next time it’s been raining for days or weeks, think about the good things rain provides for a few minutes then go back to complaining. But guess what, it won’t do any good. You’ll just appreciate the sun that much more when and if it shines.

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