November 16, 2020

Rain in the Forecast


[This less-than-spectacular picture is of the resident elk herd--our first sighting.]

So, we made it! Here we are in Oregon!
It is really good to be here.
Also, it is very wet.
Every single day.
That's what coastal living is all about, right? 
That's what brings all the amazing wildflowers, ferns, and gigantic trees!
It's just a huge change.
I mean, I knew it would be, going into this move, but there's knowing and then there's experiencing.

So here's an abbreviated version of the forecast for this week:
RAIN--every single day. Some days more than others, maybe.
If you're lucky.
Oh yeah, and WIND. Also every day.
That about sums it up.
In addition, right now there are 5, count them, 5 separate weather warnings for our area.
Let's see if I can get them all straight:
there's the storm warning for tomorrow--very very windy and rainy, stay indoors, and away from trees and/or windows; okay, add to that a high wind warning (see advice above); let's not forget the gale warning--I think it's basically the same as high wind, but for the ocean/rivers--they discuss wind speed in knots in that one; what am I up to now? only 3. Hmm... oh yeah, two separate coastal storm or wind watches, in which you are strongly warned to stay the heck off the beaches and out of the water already! Basically a coastal jet is forming, which I think means really strong winds, going up the coast. 
So in other words, batten down the hatches, kids, we're in for a blow!

Is this normal for this area? 
I have no idea! We just moved here 2 weeks ago!
It is definitely not normal for anyplace I've ever lived!

In the middle of all of the rain and high winds, the sun will come out and it gets oddly warm for November. This evening it was positively balmy out there--60 degrees or some crazy thing--while lightly sprinkling, of course. 

I'm not complaining, really. 
I'm just...adjusting.
My decade of desert living has left me unprepared to be encompassed by water every day.
There's an old saying that goes something like this:
"In the West, whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting!"
It's so true! 
Well, I can't vouch for the whiskey, but water is a big deal!
People get so worked up about water rights and there's water ditch companies who divvy up the shares of ditch water. (Half a share may get you a 40 minute turn every 10 days, at random times of day and night.) Secondary water is a thing that you have to know about.
Water is a constant worry.
In the winter, you watch the news to see if this year's snowpack is big enough to make a difference in the ongoing drought. Every summer, you watch the reservoirs dip lower and lower with dread. 
Will this be the year the water runs out? 

And now we're here. 
1 mile from the Pacific Ocean.
1 river across the street and another between us and the ocean.
Countless streams and creeks every which way.
One of the biggest rivers in the U.S. just 30 miles north of us.
A puddle at the end of our driveway that has its own tides, based on the way it ebbs and flows on a daily basis.

So we are trying to adapt. We purchased rain coats for all who did not have them. We fixed the broken wiper on my windshield. We are learning that if you wait for the rain to stop to do something outside, you'll never go outside. 
Meanwhile, the lawns are green here. Still, in November! Flowers bloom in many yards, unaware that just 2 states away, they would be covered with snow right now.
We go on hikes in woods so green and verdant that we can hardly believe it.

We are rich with water!
Now if we can just figure out to live in it.
Maybe we need to grow some gills. 

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