And the rain brings the cool. I took the dogs out for a run in the industrial sprinklers of West Valley Middle School across the street this evening just as thunder clouds were rolling in. We ran and played in the rain as the cloudbursts slapped fat rain drops across our faces. The air was still heavy with the heat of the day but the wind was cool and the rain cold. It all swirled together and gave the moment a dense tangibility. Marvelous.
There is a massive grassy hill behind the school where if you climb up above roof level (and you can climb much higher) you can see much of the city. This I did (while the dogs tired themselves out running up and down) and was treated to blowing patches of falling rain splattering the roof tops for miles. Hey, when you only get eight inches of rain a year you’d better enjoy it when it comes.
Holy smokes, it’s scorching here. The picture below was taken on our back deck in the shade at about 5:00 this afternoon. Tomorrow I think we’ve got a chance to hit 100 degrees. It still feels better than 85 and muggy in Grand Rapids though.
Ugh, since it’s been far too hot to do anything active outside we’ve been painting like crazy the past couple of days. Mary decided to attack the kitchen, pulling apart and repainting all the cabinetry while I’ve been busy working the roller on the living room, kitchen and one of the bedrooms (the other two bedrooms likely will follow as energy dictates). Everything is coming along nicely, but it’s also involved double digit hours of work.
Meanwhile, I think I really am going to love it in this city. At least for a while if nothing else (ultimately I’d like to be closer to the Pacific, but until then there’s plenty to explore). I can see if you need big city ambiance why you might be frustrated living in a smaller agricultural community (though as 72,000 pop. and 229,000 in the metro it’s no podunkville). And I suppose if you have no other option but to live in the higher crime areas, I can see why you might want to get away. For us though, I think the pace and the size will fit us just fine.
We’ve got all the big chain stores we need. Affordable and pleasant grocery stores. Affordable housing (this is by far the nicest house we’ve lived in at a mortgage we can actually pay). Easy access to mountains, rivers, and green space. The Pacific coast is a weekend trip away. Pleasant climate but with actual seasons (fall colors, snow in the winter). Vibrant Hispanic influence (soccer is everywhere here). No real traffic to speak of (my drive to work is a zippy low-traffic stretch of road past orchards and the Yakima airport, I also drive home to views of Mt Adams and Mt Rainier).
And then there’s always Seattle, two hours away.
I know we won’t be here forever, but so far, no complaints.