Chilly days won’t dampen my summer mindset | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | May 19, 2016

It’s past the middle of May. We’ve had our little heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, and now Edmonds days are chilly and damp.

Sometimes it begins to rain while I am wearing sandals, but I’ve decided it’s summer. Last week we had weather over 80 degrees, so it doesn’t matter that it’s currently raining. Right now I’m wearing sandals I wore in April in Palm Desert, where it was 95 degrees and sunny. I have a summer mindset.

Sunday, wearing a T-shirt, light jacket and jeans, I took my summer mindset to West Seattle for the 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. soccer games of my two young grandchildren. I’m not writing details about that soccer day; perhaps I’ll explain later. Or not. For now, more about the weather.

As I drove through Mariners pre-game traffic toward the West Seattle Bridge, the sky darkened. I hoped the clouds would dissipate and the sun would shine. That didn’t happen, and I nearly froze at those soccer games. Hands. Feet. Nose. All cold.

My daughter, in fleece hat and down jacket, admonished me for not wearing something to keep my head warm and dry. In mid-May at a soccer game? Really?

I stood shivering in the mist as I cheered for everybody’s kids – kids in lightweight soccer uniforms, kids oblivious to cold. I fought the feeling that it might be October, showing up five months early. So much for my summer mindset.

After a day of noisy activity, it felt good to drive home alone in light traffic, enjoying the dry warmth of my car, thoughts of the soccer games I’d watched and plans for the week ahead. I briefly considered my Beacon column – and then gave my attention to The Irish Tenors the rest of the way home.

I have high regard for The Beacon and enjoy my association with it. I use the word “privilege” a lot. It’s a grand word, prompting me to notice how fortunate I am. It’s a privilege to write a newspaper column for my hometown paper.

At their best, columnists write with intelligence, imagination and passion, demonstrate an ease with the language, address relevant topics and develop loyal followings – Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times comes to mind. Writing for my community newspaper, I’d like those attributes, too.

I am realizing that writing “Home Again” only every other week helps me direct more of my writing energy to projects I’ve neglected, while Beacon readers have the opportunity to hear from another columnist, another voice.

Perhaps in two weeks I’ll write about my destructive squirrel. Anticipating my homecoming from California, he neatly severed each of my five strings of white deck lights into two shorter lengths – permanent lights out. There’s more to that story.

Or maybe I’ll write about the significance of music education in public schools or the far-reaching effects of the recent Postal Service food drive. Perhaps I’ll write about my granddaughter Annika’s adventures with her wild-eyed 4-H steer, Andy. Or maybe not. I have a long time to decide.


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