Friday, February 12, 2010

Back in the PNW

I'm back in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) for my grandmother's funeral this weekend. I'd have much preferred being back in the PNW on a happier occasion, but since I'm here, I'm trying to make the best of it.

The air here is different, did you know that? Clear and clean; tinged with evergreen. I love it. I miss it. I miss the big trees and the water and the 40-50 degree "winter" weather. I miss eating fresh fish.

I do not, however, miss the cost of living.  I stood in the grocery store this afternoon suffering from quite literal sticker shock. Stuff here was often $1-2 more than I would have paid back in OH. Gas was 30 cents a gallon more expensive. But you know what? Folks are a lot more friendly. And they know how to drive as if there may actually be other human beings in those big hucks of metal they share the road with.

I'm sitting in bed now with the window open, listening to the frogs in my parents' pond out back gettin' on their early-spring song in the otherwise silent night, and man... I do love the PNW.

But who can afford to live here?

In any case, here's a picture of my niece, Kaylee, who is training to be a carpenter or perhaps an engineer, as you can see from how skillfully she removed this slat from one of the kitchen chairs. I anticipate getting her some overalls with a teddy bear patch at some point.

With a career like that in her future, she will have no trouble getting along in the PNW!

2 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

elizaw said...

I grew up in Seattle; now I'm in Idaho, a good six hour drive away. I completely agree with the weather over there, though everything tends to drip and the winter sky is always gray.

But as for the traffic... They're not Californians, sure, but they can pack those streets and freeways so full it can take half an hour to get anywhere, even a few miles. It was bad when I left, and every time I visit family there my eyes go wide. Are the center states that bad in comparison?

Kameron Hurley said...

In my experience, midwest drivers are really, really bad. There might be bad traffic and an inability to merge in the PNW, but in the midwest it's downright dangerous. A lot of reckless, ignorant driving. Changing lines without signals, turning without signaling, stopping in the middle of the road, driving in snow like it's 80 degrees and sunny, cutting people off, etc. etc. I'd be interested to see traffic accident stats by state.