Thursday, January 20, 2011


THIS POST IS ONE FROM MY ARCHIVES, I found it and thought it warranted a re-post!

Driving home...observing...
As I drive, I let my mind wander. Sometimes I talk to myself, asking why or why not A specific incident. Usually it is reliving a situation, and how I SHOULD have reacted, instead of HOW I DID!

Sometimes I sing along to the radio, depending on the mood I am in.

sometimes I just look.

Last night I was just looking...I was heading south out of Oak Harbor, having just come from Albert and noticed just how dark it had gotten while I was in the store. From the parking lot the sky was all dark and cloudy, even though it was only 445! I thought at the time it was unusually dark. AS I topped the hill, I was heading west, and noticed immediately that there was a break in the clouds. Usually when a front moves through, the west clears last, and that is where I was looking. But what I saw was TWO fronts. The first was passing through, and was on it's way out. The 2nd front was just coming in off the Pacific, and was hanging low on the horizon. Right in between, in the light lavender and mauve colored stripe of clear sky was the planet Venus was shining brightly. It was gorgeous, a ray of peaceful hope in a very troubled sky.

The clouds on the receding front had the cottage cheese look, and were back lit ever so slightly by the fading light. Just enough to give them definition, and let you know that it was about to get very windy.

My Father was an outdoors person, with no formal training, just a love for the nature around him. He Read voraciously about it, and LOVED the Weather, the geophysical sciences, and the forests. So naturally as we grew up, and had no Television...(horrors!!), we went out into this vast encyclopedia of living things every weekend, and we observed. Weather was a big interest, as it would adversely affect out lives if we did not watch it carefully. Dad would tell us what the weather was going to do just by looking. We had no weatherman on the 6 o'clock news. He would point out the subtle differences between the clouds, and even though he didn't know the scientific terms for them, he could tell us what they each meant. The Horsetail clouds way up high meant that warmer moist weather was coming in a few days, and it usually did. He could point out where the rain was falling and tell us how much longer we had to walk the beach before we would get wet, SO we always headed back to the car JUST IN TIME!

Last night I saw that one system was moving through and that the end of the system was usually followed by winds, and that the second one was moving in with rain and winds. By the time I had made it to Coupeville, the winds had started, and lasted about an hour, and then it was calm until after midnight.

I know by listening to the sound outside just when it will start to snow, (I have a young lady thoroughly in awe of me!) and I can smell it coming. I really can. I can tell by the way the wind is blowing what might be heading our way. From the south and strong, usually means the storm is going to be warm and wet...A Pineapple express, coming in from Hawaii. From the North usually means that the jet stream has dropped and the lows coming in off the pacific have been diverted to the North, and then whipped down this way, bring cold rain and wind.

I can tell by the moss growing on the North side of everything in my back yard, that we have not had very much exposure to the sun this fall and winter. It will take a lot of scrubbing this spring to get it all clean again.

This is usual weather for the Pacific Northwest. All wet and gray, hardly ever any snow in the lowlands. Dad brought us here in 1954, from sunnier climes, and Both Phyllis and I fell totally in love with the place. It was like living in the middle of a national forest. We learned about nature by observing Dad, and we learned that not all of God's knowledge can be gained by formal schooling. Sometimes the best lessons are ones we observe first hand from someone we trust.

I know I did.


catmomaj said...

I really love this post ML. Your words brought to life what we are so fortunate to experince here in this special corner of the world.

Dick said...

A good post and well worth re-posting. I agree that the Northwest is magical in so many ways but I've also learned that every place has its good side.

My Navy son has started his new assignment at NAS Whidbey. He is trying to get housing for him resolved, hoping for some sort of BOQ sort of thing he can stay in during the week, then go home to his family in their house in Port Orchard on the weekends. I haven't talked with him in a week but will call today to see how that quest is going. So far he is liking NAS Whidbey.