Damp days

Friday, April 29, 2011

A week of ferocious rain has affected nearly everyone in these parts, mostly in not a good way.

I'll admit I tried to make the best of the situation. I bought grass seed to patch some bare spots in my lawn. As long as it was going to rain and rain and rain, why not get something out of it?

What I got, I think, is a lot of grass seed floating down the Mississippi River headed for the Gulf of Mexico.

Earlier this month we traveled, on purpose, to one of the rainiest parts of the U.S. We went to the Oregon Coast knowing that sunshine would be rare at best. When we arrived, Portland was struggling through more than 40 consecutive cloudy days.

This is why we didn't move to Oregon when we retired. We seriously thought about it. But we didn't know if we could survive not seeing the sun for so long.

Over the past 40 years, we have been going to the same coastal village in Oregon and enjoying the many moods of the ocean. We had never been during the storm season before. We got a better rental deal on an oceanfront house because the weather would be lousy. We told the rental agent that the Sullivans have a long history of bringing sunshine to the Oregon Coast. He pleaded with us to arrive quickly.

OK. So here's what happened. When our plane landed in Portland and we retrieved our luggage and walked across the street to get our rental car, it was dripping outside.

We got in the car, checked to make sure we knew how to turn on the windshield wipers and headed for the interstate that would take us down the valley to the turnoff over the intercoastal mountains to the ocean.

I swear when the front bumper of the rental car slipped out of the airport parking garage the sun peeked out. And then the sun shone -- all the way over to the coast to our rental house.

That's what happened. It was just as I had promised. Quite frankly, I expected a phone call or a visit from the Oregon tourism folks offering me a word of thanks. As it turns out, no such visit occurred. I suspect all the Oregon tourism folks were out enjoying the sunshine.

Over the next few days we had two full days of glorious sunshine. We also had some stormy days, which was OK, because we had never truly experienced an Oregon Coast storm -- something Oregon natives and visitors make a trip to the ocean to see during winter months.

We can attest that the storms are powerful and awesome. Horsetails on incoming waves danced dozens of feet into the air. The water churned into foam nearly to the horizon. It's not sunshine, but it's just as beautiful.

Then we came home. To a week of rainy storms. Where's the magic?

Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the Southeast Missourian.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: