Time for rain, giant pumpkins, and fleece

Tis the season when I stand in the rain every morning and evening urging Annie to leave the doorway and “go potty,” when I pile up damp towels and soggy shoes, when the sun is but a memory. The rainy season has begun, and the snowbirds are heading to Arizona.
It happened so quickly. Last week, I lived on the deck in the sun, reading, writing, playing music, doing yoga, snuggling with the dog or just lying flat out soaking up the warmth and light. Did you know that many of us who live on the Oregon coast are seriously short of vitamin D? It’s true.
We hadn’t had any measurable rain for two months. That’s normal in many places, but not here. The lawns were turning brown, and for the first time ever, fleas showed up at our house, finding Annie’s dense fur a fabulous playground. After a couple days of her hiding in her crate and literally dragging her tail, we made an emergency trip to the vet, thinking she was sick, only to find she was infested with fleas. An expensive triple-pronged pharmaceutical attack later, she’s feeling better.
The leaves have been falling for weeks, and now I understand why I should have raked them up. They have become a soggy brown mat on the lawn, now joined by the season’s first fallen branches. The bird bath, which had gone dry, is now a floating pool of pine needles. Although I did pack in a load of pellets last week, I never cleaned out the gutters, so waterfalls cascade right over my front door. I’m wondering how I’m going to keep my spa cover from flying off in today’s high winds; last year’s winds ripped all the straps off.
This is just the beginning. The weather forecasters say we will see the sun again on Wednesday and Thursday before the rain returns. Meanwhile, although I still have my tan lines, I’ll be putting on my rain suit to walk the dog. A neighbor stopped Saturday to tell me I was awfully dedicated to be walking Annie in the rain, but nine months out of the year, if we don’t walk in the rain, we don’t walk at all.
There are bonuses to the arrival of the rain. The mushrooms are popping up, just in time for the annual mushroom festival held in Yachats every October. People are hanging Halloween decorations—I’ve got my orange lights ready to string in the front windows. They had 100-pound pumpkins at Fred Meyer Saturday. And Christmas is coming.
I’ll miss going out without a jacket, but it is kind of nice to put on the layers of fleece and read by the flickering light of the pellet stove while the rain patters on the skylights.
When my brother visited in May, he wanted to know why everyone he met kept talking about the weather. Well, that’s because it grabs and keeps our attention around here. What are we going to do today? Well, let’s check the weather.
Wherever you are, try to stay dry and warm, but if you get wet, know it will feel fabulous when you change into dry clothes.

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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