Thursday, July 21, 2011

I will not complain

I used to hate winters in Boston, because I couldn't handle the cold. In my twenties, I was very, very thin. (You know those people who can eat anything and never gain an ounce? That was me back then. Alas, now that I'm over 40 and post childbirth, that's no longer true). Because I had so little body fat, cold temperatures took a toll on my body.

A store's motto, however, changed my perspective. I had a boyfriend who planned a hiking trip with some other guys in New Hampshire's White Mountains in November. He visited a ski shop to buy outerwear for the hike, and told me that the store had a motto proudly displayed on its walls: "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." Hearing that made me consider that maybe the problem was that I wasn't dressing warmly enough for the cold. I began to wear more layers and found it made a difference. For the first time, I could appreciate, or at least not loathe, Boston's winters. (Of course, gaining weight once I hit my 30s helped, too).

I also made a decision to be grateful for the weather, whatever it happened to be. That attitude served me well during my years in Boston, but I had forgotten it here in Washington. I found myself once more loathing a season, but in this case, it was Western Washington's nine-month rainy season from September through May.

But now... most of our relatives and old friends are living in parts of the U.S. that are sweltering. And meanwhile, I've heard a few locals here in Washington complain about the cool summer. I can't join them.

I will not complain. I know what I could be experiencing, and by that measure, this summer in Tacoma has been beautiful. Yes, it's cooler than usual, but the sun peeks out for several hours most days (sometimes even the entire day!), and by afternoon it often hits a balmy 70 degrees. I drive from work with the sun on my face and have a good hour or so to watch my daughter ride her bike outdoors after I get home. I can drive with the windows rolled up so I can hear the radio or a CD, without needing to turn on the car's AC. We not only don't need AC in our home, we've only needed to use a fan a couple times this summer -- saving both energy and money.

Yes, I most certainly can't complain. Instead, I am grateful for the summer we're having, and I pray for all those suffering across our nation.


FYI: Crunchy Chicken offers a great list of tips for keeping cool this summer.

For more on what's happening this summer across the U.S., this Weather Channel post shares some sobering information.

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