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Rain, Rain, Rain

Two Norwegians are sitting down having coffee. One man says, “When it started to rain today, I saw a tourist running under a bus stop. He said he was waiting for the rain to pass.” And they both burst out laughing.

When it rains here, it could rain for weeks. And windy. “Blowing like a mule’s ass,” my friend Joe used to say. That’s what autumn brings. For the last few days it rained side-ways most of the time. Gone are the majestic mountains from our vista, and white caps flicker all over the sea around us. Seagulls hover and struggle to make way. Occasionally the dude above takes a break to drink some water and a few holes open up in the sky and columns of white light beam down like the spotlights from flying saucers. Then the dude resumes urinating on us.

Before I go outside, I don my armor of GORE-TEX gear from head to toe. Umbrella? The Norwegians are now laughing uncontrollably.

The season changed abruptly. A week ago the leaves started to turn yellow. I’m told that in a week, there’ll hardly be any leaves left on the trees. The days are also getting shorter, exacerbated by the overcast sky: When I walk with the kids to school at 8 in the morning, it feels like we’re walking under twilight. It won’t be long before we’ll walk to school in complete darkness.

This is what we signed up for, and we have to make the best of it. We started today by making a great big pot of curry and invited some people over. I was told once that humans are waterproof. Or at least water resistant. So we need to get out regardless the weather. Marcus and I went geocaching today and found a treasure box next to the church just steps down the street. But no matter what the weather casts its long shadow on everything. For me, the dreadful contour of the arctic winter ahead is starting to sink in.

  1. There is no bad weather- only bad clothes! 😉

    October 1, 2011
  2. Ula #

    At least you know what to expect. In Ireland they say “If you don’t like Irish weather you can always wait fifteen minutes”. Totally unpredictable O_o

    October 1, 2011
    • True. Here at least you know what to wear. If you go back by wife’s comment “no bad weather just bad clothes,” then you rather know so you’ll be properly dressed. It’s a lot worse to be caught in unexpectedly bad weather.

      October 2, 2011
  3. Joe #

    Your forecast looks strikingly like ours in DC. To borrow a phrase from an older and wiser fellow than me (my friend Don, who was the real originator of this phrase), it’s been raining “like a mule’s ass” (for the uninitiated, this simile is not intended to have any bearing on reality, or any real illustrative purpose at all–“mule’s ass” is just the measure of all extreme things, so it can be “hotter than a mule’s ass,” “colder than a mule’s ass,” or “windier than a mule’s ass”…). I’m guessing that Don knew some pretty wild and extreme mules when he was growing up. Anyway, since August, I don’t think we’ve had three consecutive days without rain. Everything is so wet that the whole place smells like a moldy basement. We have mushrooms growing in our backyard now. The way you describe to looming long, dark winter sounds kind of ominous, but your big pot of curry sounds like a good step in the right direction. I may have to do that myself.

    October 2, 2011
    • Thanks for that clarification, Joe, the world’s foremost authority on the “Mule’s Ass Simile.” Actually I stand to be corrected. It’s not “blowing like a mule’s ass,” but “windier than a mule’s ass.”
      Speaking of mushrooms, we did managed to find 3 chanterelle. But that was it. There’s so much mushroom around. I wish I knew what’s eatable.

      October 2, 2011
  4. Peg #

    My sunny beach town has turned grey and cloudy for the last couple of days. I don’t think I would do very well with weeks and weeks of this wetness. I’m a California girl who likes her sunshine!

    I’ve tagged you as a winner of the “Versatile Blogger” award on my blog. Hope you don’t mind.

    October 4, 2011
  5. Kjersti #

    Hi Winston,

    I’m very much enjoying reading your blog. Your write so well; have you considered a second career as a travel writer?

    As for the weather, it’s going to be a long haul in the winter. (and you’ll hear the ‘there’s no bad weather, just bad gear’ many times. Secretly, I don’t quite agree with it – perhaps I’m a bad Norwegian:) think Norwegians say that to feel better about the fact that they chose live in a country with a pretty tough climate, and therefore anyone who complains about the weather is either a wimp, or an idiot who never learned what GoreTex is:) – not to mention wool socks by Ullvang or Devold (and if you don’t have those wool socks, get some!)

    November up North can be tough. But in December the advent and Christmas preparations are so “koselig” – and when the sun returns in January and the days get longer it feels very special in the North. And nothing beats the spring and summer. So hang in there, the reward for those long winter nights and all the rain will come in the spring!

    I’ll look forward to more blog posts!

    Hugs to the family from Boston,

    (Who lived in Finnmark for 9 years growing up)

    October 14, 2011
    • Hi Kjersti,
      Finnmark, wow! That’s serious. For the reader, Finnmark is north of here. Way north of here.
      Thanks for your compliment. Yes, I considered, may be I fancied, of becoming a writer when I was young. But really, I’m not that good. I’m like a reasonably competent home cook. It’s a different thing altogether to be a chef at a restaurant. Plus, I happen to like my tech profession.
      I suspect that most Norwegians don’t really believe this “no bad weather” mantra either. Otherwise, why is everyone talking about the weather so much, if it’s good all the time? But it’s still a good mantra, because it gets people out of the house, which is surely a good thing. I’m already well equipped with Ullvang and Devold. Part of becoming an honorary Norwegian.
      I have to think of ways to enjoy this time before the spring! It’s a terrible thing to be miserable to a third of the year. I’ll report back, of course.
      Best to your family from us!

      October 15, 2011

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