Iconic Northwest Rain

Al Roker’s voice rings in my head. Wet weather in the Pacific Northwest. What else is new?

This week’s writing challenge felt like a photo challenge as well: Write about something iconic. I mulled over this assignment, asking myself, What is iconic to me? How to capture it visually? What to write about it?

Inspiration struck on Thursday as I drove from Bellingham to Olympia in the pouring rain. What could be more iconic than Seattle Rain? But again, how best to capture it visually? From the freeway, I recklessly snapped a few photos through my windshield with my phone. This after sitting out the month of Phoneography challenges, because as much as I enjoy my LG slider, it is no smart phone, and certainly nothing special as a camera phone.

I admit to taking my Canon DSLR out of my bag and trying to take a few photos with it when the car was nearly stopped in traffic. Then thought better of it.

What I really wanted to get a picture of, and write about, was my passenger on this drive. I’d been traveling more than an hour when a ladybug came out of nowhere and landed on the inside of my windshield. More sinister bugs are ushered quickly out of rolled-down windows, but what about the rain? Can ladybugs fly in the rain?

She flitted from the windshield to the steering wheel, landing with one of her wings partially out-tucked from her red and black carapace, a dark lacy prom dress sticking from a limousine door. I aimed my poor woman’s camera phone at the ladybug as she circumnavigated the steering wheel, but I was too close, she moved too fast, and I couldn’t get her in focus.



For a short time, she disappeared into the center of the wheel, then reappeared for another few laps before disappearing again and that was the last I saw of her.

My attention back to the assignment at hand. Wet weather in the Pacific Northwest. When I google-imaged “Seattle rain,” I found several lovely shots of the Space Needle through raindrop-spattered windows. Yes, that’s the picture in my head as well. But I wasn’t close enough to the Space Needle. On my drive back north on Friday, I think it was too gray to even see the landmark.

Sunshine is easy to capture. Snow is glorious. But rain? I had a harder time. The images on my memory card didn’t reflect what I thought I saw with my eyes.

I gave it a go. Here’s my collage.

Getting organizized in 2013

You know that feeling like you left something behind? Or there was something you were supposed to do? Or you walk into a room and forget what you walked in there for?

Yeah. That.

My first day back at work after the holiday, I overslept egregiously. Mind you, I like to sleep in, but rarely do I actually OVERsleep to the point that I open my eyes, see that it’s 9:30 and think, OMG WTF how did it get that late?

See, since Rob started his new job, I’ve been driving him to work every morning. While I was in Los Angeles over Christmas, he drove himself, and we never discussed whether he’d drive himself or if I’d drive him this week. So I expected him to wake me at 7:10 yesterday. He did not.

I unhurriedly got myself together. (What? It was the first day back after a holiday. Besides, my office just moved. All I had to do this week was unpack.) As it turned out, I needn’t have gotten to work any earlier than 10:30 anyway, because the furniture had not been delivered and the Internet not hooked up. So I went home to work the rest of the day there.

Today, I set an alarm, got out the door closer to my usual time, and was halfway to the office when I realized that I left my cell phone at home. Normally, I wouldn’t go back for it, but since the phone hasn’t been hooked up yet at the new office either, it was my only means of communication. After turning around and going back, I beat yesterday’s arrival time by a half hour.

Still no Internet, but I spent the morning decorating my wall. My new office has very high ceilings, and I have even more Salmon Homecoming and Festival of the River posters, so I’ll need to get a ladder in there to finish the job.

wall (13)

I love that bulletin board. I mean, I really love it. Love it so much I’ve even blogged about it before. There’s a open space in the center for a picture of Isis, which I brought home with me, because it wasn’t secured very well and I didn’t want it to get lost when the bulletin board got moved. (I love it so much, I wanted to move it intact.)

I almost didn’t hang the bulletin board today, because as you can see, it requires two nails. I started to mark the space on the wall when I realized that I didn’t have a level. Leaning the board against the wall, I thought, “I’ll bring a level next week and hang it then.” I went ahead and hung the framed print on the left. Rob got that for me at a garage sale, and it shows a tribal canoe paddling past the Seattle skyline, Space Needle and all. Then I hung the framed Seattle Times article below  it. The front page article from summer 2010 used photos I took of the epic Fraser River sockeye fishery.

By then, I thought, what the hell and went ahead and hung the bulletin board. I may have had to hammer in one of the nails twice. It may or may not actually be hung straight.

If you know anything about me and Rob, you know that I’m the self-described uptight one, and he’s the easygoing one. So it struck me as funny today, the yin and yang of our frame-hanging personalities. I get so eager to see stuff on the walls, I’ll stick pushpins in without a thought to layout or angle. I’ll hammer a nail, step back and see that it’s not straight, pull out the nail and hammer it in again.

Rob takes measurements. He uses a level. He puts thought into the matter. He is precise.

Before I met him, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to use a level to hang a bulletin board. I didn’t even own a level. I made do without one today, and I think my wall looks spectacular.