I Miss My Sweaters.

I’m from Portland, Oregon. Portland has seasons. Four of them. If you haven’t experienced a full year in Portland, here’s what it basically looks like:

Portland Spring: You want it to be warm enough to start wearing sundresses and shorts, but you’re fooling yourself and you’ll freeze. You’ll try anyway. And this is why Portlanders are pros at layering. ($5 says you have an extra jacket in your car.) Consists of mild (coolish) temperatures (50-68), mostly cloudy, quite a bit of rain.

Portland Summer: There are a few freak days that will hit the 90’s, maybe even cross inot the triple digits, but generally it’s not hot enough to set up the Slip ‘N Slide without being chilly. Live in denial and do it anyway. Consists of mild (warmer) temperatures (60-85), partly cloudy, occasional rain. 

Portland Fall: Cozy perfection. The summer warmth will hang out for a little bit and then the unpredictable rain turns into consistent and predictable rain. Occasional sunny days are gorgeous, but I’ve spent my fair share of trips to the pumpkin patch slogging into a field of mud to find a pumpkin. Consists of mild (cooler) temperatures (55-80), partly cloudy, more rain.

Portland Winter:Every year the meteorologists predict Snowmageddon and spend days talking about the 3-inch layer of ice that’s coming to shut the city down. Never happens. Except for last year when we got snowed/iced in at my aunt’s house because we didn’t believe the meteorologists. Consists of colder (but still generally mild) temperatures (35-55), mostly cloudy, frequent rain. 


Since my recent relocation to Sunny San Diego (full official title), I can say, without a doubt, that there is basically one season here. 

Sunny San Diego Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter: Oh look, it’s sunny. Temp will probably be between 68 and 80. I could probably wear shorts. I should probably take my sunglasses. It’s possible that I’ll want a jacket when the sun starts to go down. And repeat. (I’m not super sure how there’s a job market for meteorologists here.)

At the risk of over generalizing, I will clarify that the humidity level varies occasionally and temps have reached a high of 98 and it rained three times since I’ve been here. People freaked out. I can also say that I’m acclimatizing, and I need a jacket if the high is going to be 70 or below. I’m so disappointed in myself.

All of this weather talk leads me to explain that my little world is off its axis. It’s a week to Thanksgiving and I still have a box of sweaters under my bed that hasn’t been touched since Moving Day. I should be deep into sweater territory by now. Sometimes I drink iced coffee. I should be well out of iced coffee country by now. I still wear sunglasses and I’m developing a slight tan. I should have locked my sunnies in my car’s glovebox and lost all signs that I venture outdoors a month and a half ago! 


Everything feels a little out of whack. I miss my Portland. I miss my people. I miss my sweaters. Our holiday plans look different than ever before. I got way too excited about buying a vacuum. How on earth am I getting tan?? I’m telling you, this new reality is bizarre. And sometimes Adulting is So. Freaking. Hard. 

So to my Portland Friends: Find a great coffee shop and enjoy watching the rain for me. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to Endless Summer.

On the bright (literally, the sun is bright) side of Summer in Fall, a walk on the beach in SoCal is very different than a walk on the beach in Oregon in November.

Now accepting visitors. 


P.S. Being married rocks and I would move (almost) anywhere with Husband. Fingers crossed the next move is back to Portland!




2 thoughts on “I Miss My Sweaters.

  1. Lorrie Leno

    Carolyn, you crack me up. I can relate to everything you wrote. I grew up in the midwest where the four seasons were even more pronounced. In September you start back to school. In October you pull out the stadium blanket and go to the high school football game. You rake leaves in the fall. You shovel snow in the winter. The weather is not schizophrenic and it does not flip flop back and forth like it does in Portland some days. In the morning, wear your boots. At 2 pm we’re back to sandals and then at 4:45 we’re back to boots. Crazy making.

    One of the things I noticed about Portlandiers (I thought I made up that word but spellcheck is not correcting me) and Vancouverites is that they will drive 72 miles per hour when the rain is going sideways. A truck goes by and you could waterski on the wake it dumps all over your little car! A few gallons of water on the road is not going to slow anyone down. But…..when one snowflake drifts down from the sky….the entire city comes to a screeching halt! School is cancelled. People have no idea how they will be able to get to work.

    In contrast, CA drivers seem to think you’ve got a steering wheel, four tires and a horn and all of them are necessary to drive. I bet I’ve used my horn 4 times in the past 25 years. Not in CA!! When somebody puts on a turn signal in Portland, I politely slow down and wave them into my lane. It’s the Christian thing to do. :). If somebody is riding my butt on the freeway, I ease on over to the side to let them by. I think “you must be way more important than the rest of us and I sure don’t want to slow you down so you can get to your big emergency.”

    In CA, my turn signal is perceived by the drivers next to me as, I don’t know–a threat, a challenge?? They look at me like “I dare you to try to get into my lane. I OWN this road, lady. You come over when I say you come over and that’s never.”

    So anyway…..I sense that you are missing your family and friends and everything that is familiar here. Your writing will give you a creative outlet and someday you’ll probably wish you could have some of this time back. I will be praying that you both stay healthy, that you find a job you enjoy and that you make your way back to the Pacific Northwest eventually. While you’re at it, you might as well bring that husband of yours with you. Don’t you think?

    Also–Greg and I had a double date with your parents last weekend. They are pretty fun. We are all true empty nesters which means we can do whatever we want. I love it! 🙂



  2. Travis

    Alexa and I can definitely relate to missing the rain, being here in Boise. A handful of people tried to convince us when we moved here that we would love all the sun and not miss the rain. Oh, how Alexa and I shared a laugh together. People in Boise talk of taking days off in the summer, because it’s so nice. Alexa and I talk of taking days off in the winter the few times it pours.


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