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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Missing Blogger Returns to the Northwest

Warning: If you prefer Arizona to Washington in the winter, you might want to click your way out of here before I accidentally offend you. Move slowly, aim your cursor toward that X in the corner of your screen, and no one will get hurt.

I don't mean to be rude. Some wonderful people live in Arizona, like those in my husband's family (with whom we spent Thanksgiving and about nine other days) and friends of ours who talk, talk, talk about going south in the winter. Traitors. Who is left to rake their wet leaves away from the storm drains while they are gone, to keep the street from flooding? And in this economy, do they really feel good, knowing some poor sucker who works in a windshield wiper blade factory might lose his job because they didn't need to buy new ones?

That's another thing I don't understand about people who move to Arizona: all they do is hope for RAIN! So why did they leave the Northwest in the first place? They moved away from the trees, and then, if they live in a part of the state where trees can actually grow, they plant some, only to worry about drought and fire danger. On the rare occasions when it does rain, they're excited. If you overhear two women bragging about how many inches they got the night before, don't blush. It is not what you think. But some things never change; they're probably exaggerating.

Okay, okay, so the sun shines there almost all the time and your aches and pains go away. Big deal. Do they have mushrooms ready to pick right outside the back door? An adequate supply of oxygen available at a reasonable altitude? Good seafood? Ferns? Moss? Umbrellas in every color you could ever want? I think not! Not only that, people get more wrinkles. And I'll take slugs and slippery leaves in my back yard over wild pigs, rattlers, tarantulas, and scorpions any time.

When we returned to Washington, I wanted to kiss the ground. And I would have, except that I didn't want mud on my face. What I did do was take a long, deep breath of moist marine air. I could feel my lungs heave a sigh, and my parched skin plumped up like Mom's stewed prunes. My hair curled  into ringlets again, the "frizzies" springing back to life like magic. Oh, how welcome would be the sound of a seagull, a fog horn, or a ferry boat whistle, and the taste of clam chowder.

A neighbor picked us up at Sea-Tac Airport. As she drove Interstate 5 back home to Tacoma, I closed my eyes in peace, just relaxing and listening to her talk about a storm that came through while we were gone and how it broke off tree branches that, of course, we didn't need anyway since we have so many. As background music to her voice, there came the familiar hiss of drenching road spray from the tires of a monstrous truck speeding by in the lane next to us. Ahhh... home sweet home. Did you miss me?


One of the best things about being back is writing blog posts for Good Life Northwest again. In addition to this site, look for my feature stories and arts column on University Place Patch too. And don't miss the official
Good Life Northwest Gift Guide, coming on Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. I guarantee that these aren't your everyday ideas. See you then. And by the way, Arizona lovers, I was just kidding. Sort of.

Text and photo Copyright 2010 Candace J. Brown

1 comment:

Michael Steinman said...

Welcome back! I cherish anything that makes me laugh out loud at the computer, and this certainly did it. High spots in the Washington stand-up are the wipers and the inches, but the whole thing is, as we say in the East, a hoot. I find too much rain depresses me, but chacun a son duck shoes.