Well, while most of the rest of the country is slathering on the sunscreen, we here in Oregon are rusting away in the rain!
It was a rainy June much like this 35 years ago when my family moved to Oregon (much to my protest!) from sunny southern California. I was 17 and had just graduated from high school the night before. I cried all night at graduation. I cried all night at Disneyland, where we went for grad night. I was almost too tired to cry anymore on the bus ride home, but I didn’t dare doze off. This was the last time I was going to see my high school friends. As the bus pulled up to the school, the waterworks started again.
Cyndi drove me home. I was living with a young couple who managed the apartment complex we had lived in. My mom got married (again!) and they moved to Oregon earlier in the year. I REFUSED to go! Said I’d just drop out of high school before I’d finish out the last few months of my senior year at some strange school in Oregon.
Charlie and Sue, whom I had babysat for on occasion had a spare bedroom in their apartment. And the thought of a live in sitter appealed to them. So, the rest of the family went to Oregon, and I stayed behind until graduation. I earned my keep by taking care of baby Tracey, and earned spending money babysitting on the weekends for the lady next door. No carefree high school days for me.
So, the morning after graduation, Cyndi dropped me off and mom was supposed to be there to pick me up around noon. I was already packed, so I just passed out in bed. After a while I could hear whispers. I turned over and my three best friends, Cyndi (in my graduating class) and Beth and Lynda (younger than me) were just standing there waiting fro me to wake up for my going away party. And of course I started crying again! (shouldn’t I have run out of tears by then?!?! sheesh!)
We goofed around in the front yard as teenage girls do. Taking all kinds of pictures of silly pictures of ourselves. Boy am I a puffy eyed MESS in those pictures! Most of the pictures were of just three of us as someone had to be behind the camera. We wanted at leas one pic of all four of us, so we got Sue to come out, we all piled into the back seat of Cyndi’s VW bug and pressed our faces in the back window for a picture.
We vowed to write lots of letters to each other and be best friends forever of course. And I vowed to come back! I was going to get a job in Oregon, save my money, and as soon as I could buy a car (and get my driver’s license!) I was heading back. It was the saddest day of my young life.
It was a long drive. The scenery was beautiful, but blurred by my tears. When we finally arrived at our destination; mom’s new husband’s family dairy farm in the middle of NOWHERE, Oregon; I thought I had surely died and gone to hell! This was no place for a person to start their adult life! It was so far out in the middle of nowhere that I couldn’t even catch a bus out of there. And it was RAINING! It’s JUNE! It’s COLD rain. I need a coat. I don’t own a coat! I wanna go back to California!
The rain running down the windows felt like prison bars. How can anyone live here?!?!? This place is totally DEPRESSING! What did I do to deserve this?!?!?!
Somehow I survived. I never did make it back to California, other than for a couple of visits and my 20 year reunion. I’ve lived in the Seattle area briefly a couple of times, Colorado for a short while, and Biloxi, Miss., for a short (but TOO long!) while. Oregon is home. Can’t imagine my life anywhere else now.
I can’t say I LOVE the rain, as many Oregonians will profess to doing. But I don’t loathe it either. I tend to believe that having to always have a ‘plan B in case of rain’ makes for a very resourceful and flexible people. We also REALLY appreciate the sunny warm days of summer when they finally get here. Not one ray of sunshine is ever taken for granted here in the Northwest.
But right now I am SO hoping for a DRY Sunday so I can get some furniture for the new store painted. It’s the middle of June and I’ve not gotten anything painted so far this month. Of course it’s been so busy at the store with the 50% off sale that I can barely drag myself home at the end of the day. Some days I even have to take a nap BEFORE dinner. I’m that exhausted!
Rain, rain go away. . . I have stuff to paint today!!!