Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Having lived in Seattle for the past 5 years, rain and stormy weather is not new to me. But I must admit, the word "storm" takes on a whole new meaning when you are living 200 feet from the Pacific Ocean. While the entire Pacific Northwest has been drenched with over 13" of rain this November, the really scary stuff was reserved for those of us at the beach.
It started with torrential downpours early in the month, continued with thunder and lightning rivaling that on Poltergeist, and ended with sustained 40 -60 MPH winds on two occasions over the past week.
Last Saturday evening, the sky was growling, the surf was pounding, and I was ready to take my 5 month old and crawl under the bed. I literally jumped out of my skin at 3:30 AM when I was CERTAIN we were being attacked (by who?) because the thunder sounded like a grenade outside my window. (That is either a testament to the thunder or my sheltered life, so maybe I should just be thankful). That particular storm completely blew out our condo building elevator breaker and fried my television (along with a dozen others in my building), but we survived to tell the tale.
I was lucky enough to witness a truly spectacular sight was last Wednesday, after the strongest winds left Westport without power for over 12 hours, was the evening sky. The closest streetlights were across the bay in Ocean Shores, and in the absense of light, there was the most amazing display of the milky way that I have ever seen. It was a breathtaking view, and was a sharp reminder of the good that sometimes comes with the bad.
When it was all said and done, the tree branches and debris were cleared from the roads and the power was back on, we weren't that worse for the wear despite how scary the howling winds and the complete and utter darkness were at the time.
It made me understand the ads I used to see for "stormwatching" specials and the stream of people that come into town when the sky is particularly foreboding. So for you Seattleites and Portlanders who frown when the skies get gray, take a weekend and visit the beach, bundle up take a walk on the beach in the weather, and experience the splendor.