Californians: Do Not Read This

Today: I woke absurdly early this morning in Lynden, Washington and decided to go for a walk and get breakfast at Dutch Treat. There was a slight chill in the air at 6:20, it had rained recently and the sun was still fighting with the cloud cover. In all likelihood, it would rain again. Did I reconsider or go grab a jacket or an umbrella? No. It did rain on and off on the way to the restaurant, but I never for one moment regretted my decision.

A few years ago: My younger brother Andrew had just moved to Kansas City, Kansas to work as an assistant baseball coach at MidAmerica. He was going out and the weather forecast called for rain. A friend told him he’d better take an umbrella. He said, “Why? It’s just rain.” I got a call after. When people in Kansas tell me you’d better take an umbrella, a very wet Andrew told me, you had better take an umbrella.

The usual rap on western Washington is that it rains so much here. And it does, but “rain” means something very different here than in much of the rest of the country. Rain here is usually light and sporadic and not altogether unpleasant. The real issue is that it’s cloudy a lot and therefore can be depressing.

Of course, we play up both of these things to convince Californians to stay put. Given that our state has a moderate climate, a lush landscape and no personal state income tax, the rain is the only thing standing between us and sky-high property values.

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