Weather watching

Remember the two old farts (played by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall) in the film Second Hand Lions? On hot summer evenings they sat on the porch with a pitcher of lemonade, guns at the ready, looking for anyone (salesman) who might be foolhardy enough to drive up the long dirt track to their house.

Allen and I are a bit like them — except we sit at a table with mugs of cocoa gazing out at the weather. There’s a lot to watch here. It rains for a bit. Then it stops raining — and we look for it to start again. Sometimes the rain changes over to snow — and we watch for it to change back to rain — and vice versa. Sometimes we wake up to snow and wonder how long it will last. Then it stops snowing and the sun comes out and we watch snow melt. We’re always on the lookout for breaks in the weather to take walks or restock supplies. (The main issue here is the wind, which never seems to let up, and which can make an otherwise mild and gentle rain really annoying to walk in.) But we enjoy watching weather just for the sake of it. The best thing is when a sudden gap in the clouds in the distance throws down a small shaft of sunlight to illuminate the water surface. We’re always on the lookout for those.

I’m trying to get Alene to slow down to my pace. During the week, of course, she has to go to work — and contend with a bus commute to downtown and a rather busy workplace. So on the weekends, I wish she wouldn’t always have plans. I would like to have more of her attention. Although she cannot see through my eyes and hear through my ears, she can sense my environment in more subtle ways — but when there’s too much going on around her, it’s hard for her to tune into me.

Yesterday in Seattle was very hot with bright sunshine. Alene was well-stocked for food, drinks etc., so I suggested she just stay home all day with her window blinds closed. She agreed — but warned me she would have to go out Sunday (today). And she woke up this morning to bright sunshine and immediately felt tired at the thought of going out. But clouds quickly moved in and she cheered a bit. Then the local radar showed showers moving in. And I challenged her to reassess her plans for the day. She has provisions for today and tomorrow and could just as easily do her errands after work tomorrow — when it’s supposed to be a bit cooler. Meanwhile, she can have another quiet day alone with me.

She made coffee and we’ve been enjoying watching the sky over Seattle. There were ripples in the underside of the cloud layer — not full-blown mammatus — but enough to suggest some atmospheric business. That’s gone now, but the thick cloud layer has turned Puget Sound a comforting shade of slate gray — and the water surface is smooth and calm.

Hopefully it will be overcast all day — and Alene will be content to huddle in her apartment, making believe she’s really with me enjoying winter near Cape Horn.

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