How the Grinch Stole Solstice, Almost{14}

Boz the bulldog in tall grassBoz is quick to point out that chest-high grass is no dog’s friend. Rain or no rain, it’s time to mow.

If weather was a game of rock- paper-scissors, I’d have to say clouds trump sun in our neck of the woods, just as paper covers rock. Every year, we await solstice and the arrival of summer like worried parents anticipating the return of a prodigal son sun. Will it show up at all and how long will it stay?

I forgive its extended stay in the southern hemisphere and try to make its brief visit here in the Pacific Northwest as pleasant as possible. But yesterday, the weather Grinch showed up to rain on my solstice parade and dampen everything, including my spirits. I awoke to a steady drizzle and temperatures reserved for late November.

Hours later, under a blue tarp by a steaming and determined fire, I experienced a change of heart. I had munched through my first messy s’more, belted out some tried-and-true campfire songs, shared a dewy blanket with a wet dog and dry Oregonian, and challenged a twelve-year-old to a croquet rematch. “This time no mercy!” (His words.) It was there among the din of drizzle and laughter, that I had my ephiphany, no doubt much like the one the Grinch had that fateful Christmas morning on Mt. Crumpit.

How the Grinch Did Not Steal Summer in the Northwest

(With apologies to Dr. Seuss.)

“Pooh-pooh to Northwesterners!” he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
“They’re finding out now that no summer is coming!
“They’re just waking up to a chilly temps. and drizzle!
“Their mouths will hang open, their spirits will fizzle,
“Then they’ll start to cry that this summer won’t sizzle.

“That’s a sound,” grinned the Grinch,
“That I simply must hear!”
So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the rain.
It started in low. Then it started to gain…

But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!

He stared down at Vashon!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every islander from Burton to Dockton to Tahlequah,
Was singing and playing! Without sunshine at all!
He HADN’T stopped summer from coming!
IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet all wet in a puddle,
Stood puzzled, and shivering and completely befuddled.
It came without brightness! It came without heat!
“It came without sweating and dry grass as your seat!”

And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe summer,” he thought, “can’t be stopped by a downpour.
“Maybe summer…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

And what happened then…?
Well…on Vashon they say
That the Grinch’s barometric pressure
Rose three points that day!

And the minute his forecast didn’t feel quite so right,
He threw in a warm breeze and some late evening light
We raised our keg cups, shared a fine summer toast,
Handed the Grinch a warm blanket,  and a marshmallow to roast

As summer solstice led to a shorter next day
Our hearts were warmed by the laughter and play,
Our foul weather coast is master to none,
So here’s to embracing both the rain and the sun.

Teasing Georgia rose withstanding the latest rain storm.

While a little rain never hurt anyone, it’s the lot of rain that takes it out of you.

blackberries in bloom, June rain

Blackberry Blossoms (like other NW residents) are no strangers to days of drizzle.

What I was blogging about one year ago: