There is no other place on earth that appreciates a sunny day like the Pacific Northwest. The natives here celebrate by prancing around public areas wearing less clothing than they would at any beach, and trying as hard as possible to turn Rosey Red before the sun disappears. A sunny afternoon can find visitors to our area marveling at people lying perfectly still in public parks – so many of them, that collectively they resemble a Jonestown Temple assembly.
I want to complain about the gray, because I am a Southern California girl at heart; one who has traded in her tan lines for vein lines. 20 years in the Northwest has me so translucent that when asked for my ethnicity on a form, I mark “other”; and write in "Portland Pale".
Gone are the days of oiling up my body, laying down in the sun, and timing "20 minutes front, 20 minutes back, 20 minutes left side (legs scissored to get inner/outer thighs) 20 minutes right side (same scissoring)... repeat until 2 hours is up. Now it’s: "There's the sun! Stop the car!" - whereas I jump out of the slowing vehicle right in the middle of a highway and turn my face skyward for a 30 second sun soak (oh the warmth -- oh the delight of it!) before the clouds and rain rush back in, washing away any hope of a Vitamin D fix. (I then have to run to catch up with and jump back into my van - because the sun got me so excited I forgot to put the damn thing in park.)
Sometimes it’s hard not to feel sorry for myself about no longer being a California tanning babe. But my skin tone isn't the only thing that's changed in the last 20 years. My preschooler looks at the wedding pictures in the hallway and asks "Who's that with Daddy?!" As time and rain clouds have marched on, the only thing hard about my body today is getting it into jeans. I abhor those dang low cut jeans! Mine don’t show off a cute little tattoo, either; you know what shows when I bend over in my low cut jeans? My Icy Hot patch.
Here’s to nostalgic sun worshipping. I know it’s up there somewhere, above the clouds... “Somewhere, over the cloud beds, skies are blue...”
* I do feel guilty fussing about clouds when part of our country is recovering from tornado destruction. If you click on the link below and “like” it, a dollar will go towards tornado relief. Please help if you can.