Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Plight of an Oregonian

Some say that summer actually starts here after the Fourth of July. When I finally resign myself to this expectation, I have a much more enjoyable summer. Many Oregonians live in constant denial and June is a whole series of disappointments. Well, the disappointments actually start in April, when we are ready for just one glimpse of the sun. If we do see the sun for an afternoon, there are more accidents because everyone gets crazed or blinded by the light. I have the Oregonian's plight, where if the sun comes out on a weekend, I am frantic to get outside and enjoy it at all costs. If it's rainy, I can stay inside all day on a Saturday. Shannon, a total homebody from Arizona, is completely unaffected by the weather and thinks I'm wonky. 

But once summer actually starts here, it is the best summer in the world. I've been to other summers in the world, so I can say that. July and August are filled with warm, occasionally hot, long, dry days. The weather is perfect for ripening the sweetest berries, pushing forth tomatoes and even peppers in a good year. 

As a teacher, I should really live in Arizona during the school year and vacation here. The time that I can leave is the best time to stay. I became a teacher in part so I could adventure in the summer, but it's awfully hard to leave Oregon's glory. 

In the past, my summers were full of road trips, river swimming, backpacking, hiking, gardening and biking. Now they are shifting. Shannon's immovable character kept me from being quite as active the last few years. Now that Ollin is in our lives, I hope to find some good summer rituals and traditions to help him enjoy Oregon summers as much as I do. Last week my dad and I took him to Powell Butte and watched his eyes take in the lush, green tree canopies, the forest floor, the cool air and birdsong. The garden is also a great place for him to absorb nature. Soon we'll begin exploring the rivers, the ocean and beyond.