“Sort of wet today.”

Dec 16, 2010 | 2 comments

The Lower Meadow

       Yesterday and the day before there were windows of blue sky but, otherwise, it has been raining steadily for a week or more here in Oysterville.  It’s not the kind of light, almost drizzly, rain that I remember from my California days. This is torrential, gullywashing kind of rain. Nor does our rain here on the peninsula always come straight down.  It is often driven sideways, and depending on the direction of the wind, can come from anywhere, but mostly from the southwest.
     One of my favorite commentaries on our weather was written by my uncle Willard in his book Oysterville, Roads to Grandpa’s Village:
     In an ordinary year, a hundred inches of rain fall on grandpa’s village; we have mutated until we breathe with comfort air that is half water, or water that is half air.  I suspect that if the peninsula were to sink beneath our feet, a mishap that in some downpours seems imminent, we could live submerged without serious inconvenience.
     As I write, our lower meadow and the grassy area behind the church are winter lakes.  Our sandy soil, so dry instantly after watering in the summer, is now saturated to the point that it can absorb no more.  The ducks and geese have many places to rest and feed during their yearly migrations and we are treated to close-up bird watching right in our own front yard!
     Until serious wind is added to the rain, we don’t usually refer to the constant downpour as a ‘storm.’  I think my fourteen year-old aunt, Medora, got it right when wrote to a friend in Olympia on Wednesday, September 3, 1913:
     We are having a regular winter storm. Do you know what a storm is? Not an Oysterville one.  You see, we get it from both the ocean and the bay.  The wind has already knocked the remainder of our cherry tree down; the cupboard of dishes in Sue’s playhouse toppled over and consequently she will have to abandon her house till next summer; a great piece of the trimmings of our house blew off; apples and pears litter the ground.  It is a real storm.  The bay is covered with white caps, the water has covered our lower meadow; and you could almost go down the lane leading from our house to the bay in a dinghy.  To cap it all, it has rained night and day since Monday evening in regular torrents.  It is not an unusual storm.  The natives merely remark, ‘Sort of wet today.’
     Some things don’t really change.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Courtnier

    Ah yes, but at least today we got those blue patches breaking through this morning!

    Reply
  2. Stephanie Frieze

    On our recent trip to Las Vegas I commented as our plane circled to land that I could not understand why anyone would willingly live in a landscape so desolate. I am sure it has it’s own sort of beauty, but during my own exile in the Bay Area I grew so hungry for the green of the Peninsula that it was a physical ache. I commented to my sister-in-law that although I was enjoying the sunny 60s of Las Vegas, that more than a couple of weeks without rain makes me itchy. She nodded in agreement and we decided that we are true Pacific Northwest mossbacks. Medora was correct, rain is not a storm. A storm blows the plow your husband put on top of the barn into the yard.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *