… And down comes the rain

After being pummeled by relentless raindrops a couple weeks ago, and as the rain becomes more intermittent, I’ve grown to focus more on embracing Seattle’s warmer temperatures. Luckily, our home was impervious to the floods that left much of Seattle and Southwestern Washington residents feeling like drowned rats. Much of our office, like many, was forced to remain home to cope with the raging floods by siphoning sewage and filthy waters from their soaked basements. And although our townhome (with no basement) escaped the treacherous floods unscathed, the excess water and the damage it wreaked left me feeling rueful for others in our neighborhood who weren’t so fortunate. But in spite of the crippling floods, I must say Seattle’s weather (replete with ample sun breaks) overall is a cakewalk compared with the winter storms that wallop the Midwest.

As I experience my first holiday season in Seattle and with Thanksgiving behind us, I can finally empathize with others who do not have their families nearby during the most cherished of seasons. My Thanksgiving holiday was stung by vapidity, though I cannot say it never has been before, since I have predominantly worked several past turkey days. Though I did take comfort that with my family sprinkled throughout the United States, it was not as if they were hovered around lush, porous cranberries flanked by dark meat poking fun at my absence. However, I am heading back to Chicago (a.k.a. the frozen tundra) for the holidays on Thursday, so although it will be cumbersome dealing with the bitter cold, I am extremely excited to see friends and family that I haven’t seen in some time. Much of the past month my focus has been confined to work and wrapping projects for my class at Seattle University, so it will be invigorating to enjoy a respite from the daily grind, to spend time in the Midwest again, and see so many people I care about again.

Despite the distance from so many loved ones, I am enjoying Seattle and the eye-opening culture that comes with it. Interestingly enough, my roommate said how markedly different I am than I first arrived. My foot-on-the-pedal, fast paced tendencies that I toted with me seem to have abated and it seems my former scales of distress and anxiety have been shed, likely because I have somewhat adapted to the more laid back environment on the West Coast and I’m not tangled in a daily routine I’ve known for too long. Even I have noticed the changes within myself, and I’m not sure if it is just the change of scenery or Seattle, but I am much less prone to panic attacks and much of my stiffness and anxiety has melted when dealing with rough patches lately.

But although I am enjoying my new home, nothing will ever beat going home to Chicago for the holidays!

8 thoughts on “… And down comes the rain

  1. We were starting to worry about you! Great to hear from you. You should have come to my house for Thanksgiving…I’m so sorry I didn’t think about it. Please take this as a standing annual invite! We always have tons of food and a slew of people.

    Glad you’re surviving the rain. Now try it without the umbrella. I haven’t taken an umbrella out in years. Don’t even know where one is at this point. You know you are a Seattlite when you ditch the umbrella and don the hooded jacket and fleece vest.

    Have a great holiday with your family in Chicago. My part is the Saturday after New Year’s Day, if you are back by then PLEASE COME!

  2. Thanks Ardell! Now that things are slowing down for awhile you will hear from me a bit more, I have so much to write about 😉 Thanks for the invite, I will be back so I should be able to attend and cook some things for your party as well!

    And you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that I haven’t owned an umbrella at all since I’ve lived here and don’t plan on getting one. See you soon, we definitely have to get together and chat over some libations!

  3. Seattle is a nice enough place, but it is not a real city like Chicago. Give it some time, you’ll realize how provincial Seattle is. Seattle has the same self-doubt and need to justify that it is good enough, “world-class”, etc. The difference is that Chicago is truly world-class, while Seattle can’t even hold a candle to San Francisco. Or even Portland, in some ways.

    The rain is not so bad for a midwesterner, I rather enjoy it and actually plan extreme hiking outings for the fall storms. The only thing that may weigh on you is the limited daylight.

    You may also notice that construction standards are abysmal compared to the brick three-flat that have raised so many generations in Chicago (I was born in one in Rogers Park). Seattle has a lot of this flat-finish stucco stuff that tends to leak in places and require expensive resurfacing and sealing fixes. I’ve seen this in several condo buildings in Lower Queen Anne.

    Enjoy the outdoors in all seasons. That is certainly why I live here, and have decided to have and raise my children here. The RE is terribly overpriced, but that will change soon enough.

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