THE UMBRELLA DILEMMA

I’ve never seen so many umbrellas in my life.

That is what my oldest daughter posted on Facebook this morning.  She is a freshman at a small Baptist liberal arts college in East Texas.  Today was the first day of significant rainfall since she arrived.  Everyone brought their umbrella to class.

Except her.

The reason she didn’t bring one is because she grew up in the Pacific Northwest.  On Puget Sound, we knew how to spot the foreigner.  It was the one who is carrying the umbrella.  People in Western Washington do not avoid the rain–they plow through it.

She didn’t bring an umbrella because we don’t own any.

Tut Tut, Looks Like Rain
Tut Tut, Looks Like Rain
(Live Radar from The Weather Channel App)

Here in the Texas Hill Country there has been a drought for the past three years.  Rain has been scarce, but today, oh boy, today it has rained like a typical November day back in Port Orchard.  My youngest daughter was planning to go the high school football game tonight, but when I picked her up she doubted her friends would go because they cancelled everything–the band, the dance, the cheerleaders, the concessions, everything because of the rain.  Rain.

I distinctly remember watching Belle march in a monsoon with the South Kitsap band.  Yeah.  Different culture indeed.

How do the people respond to the rain where you live/grew up/used to work and so forth and so forth?

I STEPPED OUT AND THE WHOLE WORLD FELL APART

As a man who grew up in Tornado Alley and now lives in Northwest Washington—home of slate gray and high winds, I found a lot of interest in the way the media covered the recent earthquake/hurricane situation on the East Coast.  For starters, had either of these events occurred anywhere else, neither would have received very much attention at all.  The only reason these seemed to matter so much is because ALL THE MEDIA LIVE ON THE EAST COAST AND THINK THEY ARE ALL THAT MATTERS.

Okay, I wrote that in all caps, and that was a little too strong.  I apologize.  I am actually not that convinced the issue is East Coast bias as much as  the media’s need for the next big story.  But for most of the time in which the “historical” category one hurricane was moving along the seaboard, I was busy with life.  I took Mrs. Greenbean away to celebrate our 18th Anniversary (horray—our marriage is old enough to vote!)  We spent two nights in beautiful Leavenworth and stayed at the best Bed & Breakfast ever.  I did keep tabs on my iPhone and Sunday afternoon after I returned from church I watched some of the coverage and I have searched the internets.  Here are some interesting things I noticed.

1.  The only voice of reason during the earthquake was coming from Shephard Smith.  Amazing—as he is usually the one who gets so super excited about things.  It is interesting to me that had this earthquake happened on the West Coast, or anywhere else for that matter, it would have made the “crawl” at the bottom but that’d be about it.

2.  What is this lunatic reporter doing?  Apparently the ‘toxic sea’ foam is actually raw sewage.

YUCK

3.  Michele Bachmann just flat-out makes me laugh.  I don’t think she meant anything spiritual or evil about this; but you can’t be saying things like this and expect to be understood or elected!

4.  Cliff Mass is the best weatherman ever.  I love his blog and I think he is very cool because he got fired from public radio (KUOW) for protesting weak math education here in Washington.  His weekend blog seems to have put things in to perspective nicely.

5.  It is curious that the name of the hurricane was Irene, when the word Irene in Greek means peaceful.  In English it is very common to refer to the “irenic sea” when the waters were calm.  I guess the people who named it either didn’t know that or, are highly ironic.

I am certain that to the people who live in these zones it was all very frightening and troubling.  However, things must be put into proportion and the overreaction of the media to things that happen all the time is very troubling.  The 24/7 news cycle is ruining our ability as a society to be anything.