Don’t forget your raincoat

“Does it always rain like this,” a tourist asked me last week. “No,” I said. I wasn’t lying. Sometimes it rains sideways, sometimes it rains softly, sometimes it rains needles, sometimes it rains ice pellets . . . Okay, and sometimes it actually does not rain for a day or two. In fact, in August and September, it may not rain at all.

I feel for those folks who come to the Oregon Coast looking for sun. All those travel articles and brochures make it look as if we all frolic on the warm beach all day long. Well, not so much.

We did have sun a few days ago. I remember it. Due to the rarity of this phenomenon, I blew off work and took my dog Annie to the beach. The wet sand lay hard and crunchy, water rained down from the cliffs, and moss grew on the rocks, but it was not raining. We actually played in the water. Annie, being half Lab, will jump into any puddle, ditch or rivulet, but it’s rare for me to take off my shoes and walk in the surf. And my toes did not freeze. When we got back in the car, I actually had to turn the air conditioning on to cool down.

The next morning, a wet one, I had to turn the heat back on, along with the windshield wipers and the lights. Rain is always possible here in June, but this is more than usual. One Facebook friend called it “June-vember.” We had a light winter, so now we’re paying with a wet spring. I just hope it’s dry on Fourth of July.

Our plants are ecstatic over all this alternating sun and rain. My poppies and roses are blooming, and the lawn grows six inches a week. Whenever we get a sunny Saturday, we hear the roar of lawnmowers and weed-eaters all over Western Oregon. On the days in-between,it’s more of a squoosh, squoosh, squoosh.

When you see people walking through uptown Newport wearing shorts,tank tops and goose bumps,you know they’re not from around here. The natives are the ones in raincoats, long pants and boots.

But we don’t want to discourage the tourists. So if they ask if it always rains like this, just smile and say, “No, it doesn’t.”

Author: Sue Fagalde Lick

writer/musician California native, Oregon resident Author of Freelancing for Newspapers, Shoes Full of Sand, Azorean Dreams, Stories Grandma Never Told, Childless by Marriage, and Up Beaver Creek. Most recently, I have published two poetry chapbooks, Gravel Road Ahead and The Widow at the Piano: Confessions of a Distracted Catholic. I have published hundreds of articles, plus essays, fiction and poetry. I'm also pretty good at singing and playing guitar and piano.

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