It’s cold here, on the Lower West Coast of Canada. I am wearing pants, socks, a short-sleeved shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, and luckily I found my old, faithful maternity hoody in the trunk of the car because I was fahhhhhreeeeezing at the park this morning. This morning, July 22, one month since the first day of summer.
I’m just getting it out of the way. The complaining. First, we vent.
It’s been pissing rain for months. The last sunny day anyone in Metro Vancouver remembers was during the 2010 Olympics. It’s cold. The sun comes out for ten minutes and we take our sweaters off and bare our white shoulders and then the wind blows giant, black clouds across the sky and our shoulders get all goose-pimply and then it starts to rain. Again. I’m not talking “aha, liquid sunshine,” people. I’m not talking “a little summer rain.” I am talking about torrential, fucking, November Rain, in which it is hard to hold a candle and I should not be making this joke in JULY because it is my NOVEMBER joke and now what am I going to say in November?
What? Just don’t make the November Rain joke? Are you kidding? UNPOSSIBLE.
We — I? — try to be reasonable about weather on the West Coast. We know it is a nice place, with mountains and ocean and coffee and creative people and lots of great sushi. We pay through the goddamn nose to live here, we must think it’s worthwhile. We endure the darkness of fall and winter because we know that our spring comes first, that when our daffodils are blooming there is a good chance that the rest of Canada is still under ice. We have it good here. Park season is long, here.
And so, I have been biting my tongue — and my fingers — and not complaining. Much. Trying to keep positive, even with day after day of cool temperatures and variable cloud cover and “OH GOD that raincloud is coming STRAIGHT FOR US.” I mean it’s not a funnel cloud. Let’s have some perspective.
Six Reasons Our Crap Summer is Awesome
1. The beaches are empty.
The beach I go to is always pretty empty but last week, on a cloudy, almost-rainy day, it was just us and the Canada Geese. That means I can see my small children chasing geese down the empty beach and not hear them, which, let’s be frank, is sometimes the best way to enjoy small children.
2. You can layer up, but you can’t layer down.
People! In the rest of North America, people are sweating and heatstroking and it is serious. Heat is fucking serious. Moderate to sort-of-chilly weather is not serious. It inconveniences me in the sense that I have to go into my box of Fall clothing and find a sweater. No Emergency Room visit necessary.
3. Popsicles don’t go bad and kids don’t care if their faces freeze off while they eat them.
4. Sunscreen is expensive!
I haven’t had to buy nearly as much of it this year, which means I can afford — yes, you guessed it — more gin! *
* and also, cooler weather means I can drink more red wine. Not that I stop drinking red wine in the summer, but it is more a fall and winter drink for me.
5. I can enjoy my flannel sheets ALL YEAR ROUND!
6. There’s always tomorrow.*
I heard a guy on the radio yesterday, a weather psychologist or something, who said you can improve peoples’ moods just by saying, “I hear the sun might come out tomorrow.” Just hearing him say that made me happier. It was amazing. Because it might.**
* Or September, whichever comes first. September will be our great reward, mark my words.
** right now, for example, the sun is out. I might even get to take off my long-sleeved layer before bed.