Left Coast / Right Coast: Summer and the other “seasons”

Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Scott Brown.
Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Scott Brown.

By Mike Gold, A retired entrepreneur living the dream in the Pacific Northwest.

Those of us who live here in the Pacific Northwest have been spoiled by our summer weather. All of you know that our summers are simply “perfect,” with moderate temperatures and low humidity. Other than the current “fire generated smog” which has hung around here, now for too many days, we have had a typical summer.

I’ve really enjoyed getting out on several local golf courses. One pint of water seems to be sufficient for at least nine holes.

Let me shift to South Florida – where we lived for six years. There, a typical summer day is 92 or 93 degrees along with over 90% humidity. One simply cannot stand being out in the sun after about 9 AM without bursting out in a bad case of the “sweats.

We had a group of folks who played tennis (outdoors – very few indoor courts there) on Saturday mornings at 7 AM. Fortunately, we had a water cooler (that worked) providing chilled water. I would routinely drink at least three quarts of water in our two-hour tennis session.

Most interestingly, none of that would get “expelled” from my body through the normal way. Instead, it came out as sweat. My tennis polo shirt would actually weigh over two pounds after tennis. That’s how much sweat would get expelled from my body into the shirt.

As to the rest of the U.S., we lived in the Northeast for a long time. There, summers are usually much “hotter” than here. Often we would get 90 degree days, although much lower humidity than Florida. There, from late April through mid-November, it was quite pleasant playing golf.

One phenomenon about South Florida in summer is that just about every afternoon, about 2 PM or so, we would get a downpour (often an inch of rain) in a short ten-minute period. Perhaps 30 minutes after the storm passed the streets would be perfectly dry again.

Yeah, we certainly know all about the rest of the year here in the Pacific Northwest, drizzle day after day. The only thing pleasant about it is it is rarely a heavy precipitation. I would mostly describe it as a “fog of rain or mist.” Almost no one around here uses an umbrella on a regular basis. In fact, one can easily play golf year round here. There are “winter rules” which really attempt to keep you from damaging the fairways or greens, and other than that the fact that your drives stop dead after hitting the ground (no roll after).

In the Northeast, we do have a bit milder winter on Cape Cod. (Due to the Gulf Stream not too far off shore – keeping the winter temperature mild enough to play golf.) Snow on the fairways there is rare. But they do have iridescent orange golf balls so you can play if there is an inch or so of snow on the ground.

But for those of you who have never been in New England during the “peak foliage season” from mid-October through early November, it is just brilliant and beautiful. We do have the Aspens here, which are a vibrant gold, but the iridescent reds, oranges and yellows in New England are simply unmatched.

The garden services there are usually busy raking up leaves during those two months. To do it yourself can be a major effort. Unlike here, with all the evergreens and fewer deciduous trees, we don’t seem to get “buried” by falling leaves unlike back east. There you also have to clean your gutters of leaves, which is also a fall tradition. We had a 40-foot extension ladder as our house had some very high gutters. Towards the end of living there, we hired a gardener service to do this.

Oh, one more advantage of our mild winters. We don’t use salt to keep snow-covered roads clear. That creates both an environmental problem as well as a car problem. In New England, cars would often rust out after only five years or so. Although more modern cars are better made to avoid this effect, you still see relatively newer cars with rust strips on the fenders and the rocker panels.

So enjoy our rust-free cars and walking in the rain “mist” for a good portion of the year.


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