When I was a kid my friends and I used to lay down in the street gutters while it poured rain and enjoyed the happy wetness. As I’ve gotten older I guess I’ve become a little more averse to getting drenched that way (also to laying in gutters, but that’s probably for different reasons). When we moved to Seattle I was hit with lots of comments about enduring deluges of Northwest rain. The secret that I’ve learned in my almost 2 years living here is, and don’t tell this to anyone, that it really isn’t that bad. Yeah, it rains a bit, but I really think the stigma is a bit overblown, kinda like how in Kansas you see tornados at least every Tuesday.
We have had a wet streak though recently and it threatened to make the holiday weekend a little less fun, but we (by which I mostly mean Traci) were undeterred. We had said we were going for a hike and so off we went. I’d never walked that much in the pouring rain, in the woods, on purpose. It went surprisingly well. The kids were gonna complain about hiking anyway, and the rain, in an odd way, made it feel like more of an adventure, so we got very few complaints. Don’t get me wrong, it was far from ideal and there were more than a few slips on the trail. Also, people got nice and muddy. But we didn’t push too hard and tried to pretend like we didn’t notice that we all looked like we had just climbed out of the river. Of course since misery likes company, we invited another awesome family to go with us on Saturday morning. They mistakenly accepted and actually seemed to have as much fun as we did. There were some, uh, shorter legs in the group, so that slowed us down. But I was thinking – for us “tall” people walking a few miles is one thing, but for kids with legs as long as my forearms, walking a couple miles must feel like a marathon. The kiddos were troopers.
We did however, rush home to put on dry clothes and sit in front of our space heaters. Our garage looked like a Payless Shoe Source that had been leveled in a mudslide – at least 400 pairs of mud laden shoes that will never be clean again. Well, after that experience, what do you think we did…
We went and did the thing again on an equally rainy Monday morning, but instead invited 2 fun families to join in our forced fun on the trails. Again there was a some good slippage and I actually pulled my innocent white sock out of a shoe that had been sucked into a mud pit for a minute. The kids led the way though, and I really didn’t see much of them. I think they got up the mountain so fast they had time to build a make-shift cabin with indoor plumbing and satellite TV. They descended equally fast. Yeah, we were drenched and all, but the power of the cheesiness of being with friends/family and having a little nature adventure kinda made the rain feel a little less wet.
So the next time it rains and you see my name on the caller ID – answer at your own risk!