The Blahs of February

By Maria Montalvo | Mar 04, 2011

“Beware the ides of March.” Clearly that soothsayer didn’t spend a February in Washington…

According to the National Weather Bureau, this month we will get a peek at the sun no more than five days.

More impactful, perhaps, is the fact that we will see those little drops and dashed lines, and even white flakes, coming out of absurdly cheerful cloud cartoons at least 19 days in February.

I know, I live in the Pacific Northwest. This is not breaking news.

My husband and I have lived in Edmonds for ten years now, and other than a few off months, I have been grateful not to scrape ice and snow off of my windshield and to avoid endless months of refrigerated air and the fog on my sunglasses from July humidity.

Whenever I am away on business, I hear the typical, “Oh, it must be hard to live in Seattle with all of that rain?” [Author’s Note: No matter where you live in western Washington, anyone from the east coast will only remember that you live in Seattle, not to mention that you surely own a kayak and that your house is small, made of wood, and floats.]


I can argue the facts with the best of them.

It rains more in New York City than it does in Seattle. 

There are more cloudy days in Milwaukee than in Seattle.

Even though we are practically at the same latitude as Bismark, North Dakota, our average temperature is definitely not 20 degrees in the winter nor do we get 50 inches of snow per year. 

And of course, there is the fact that we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We get the lush foliage and some of the largest ferns in the country. The rivers and streams and ocean and, of course, the Puget Sound, show us just how beautiful and powerful water can be, not to mention set off the amazing mountains and hillsides.

We usually get blissful summers with day after day at 74 degrees and sunny.

October is perhaps the most beautiful month of the year, still warm in the 60s but still clear and bright enough to miraculously reflect the nearly unbelievable range of fall colors.

And in Edmonds, well, it just gets better. Our beautiful views of the Olympics; the picture-postcard ferry landings and stony beaches; the almost comical number of parks throughout the City.

Even when it is snowing in Lynnwood, somehow we just get a sprinkle of flakes in the Bowl.

Our trails seem to be dog-walking-worthy within 4 hours of a heavy rain.

The colors of moss and lichen on the trees and stumps make me think we need 100 words for the color green, like the native Alaskans have for the word snow. [Author’s Note #2: Apparently, the concept that native Alaskans have 100 words for snow is an urban myth, and the actual number is 7, but it’s such a great analogy.]

In a nutshell, we have it good in Edmonds any time of year.

We have it so good, we sometimes create drama to give ourselves something to fight for.

But I hope, for the most part, we are grateful every day that we wake up in this beautiful town and most of us have or had a decent job to go to, a house to putter in, and a beautiful sky to hold our gaze when we daydream.

But did I mention the precipitation is falling today… again? Beware the Blahs of February.

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