by Margie Senechal
August is here and it's hot. Too hot for this pluviophile. 103 yesterday, 106 today. I melt in the sun, not the rain.
But, this type of weather reminds me of my grandmother. She was a complicated woman--and that's a nice way of saying it. She was no-nonsense and didn't mind telling you if she thought you weren't dressed right or if maybe, you shouldn't have the last cookie.
I grew up next door to my grandparents. When I say next door, I mean within a 100 feet or so. There were some good things about this. I'm sure if I thought real hard I could come up with them.
Here's one. They had a place on the Lewis River in North Clark County. It was a big lot they shared with a few other couples. It had one of those swing gates and a gravel driveway that led to a big house that had a huge kitchen and great room. I always thought it was like a hunting cabin even though my grandfather was a fisherman, not a hunter.
Whenever it got hot--which back in the 70's, was when it got to be over 90--Grandma would say, "Let's go out to the Place." We'd load up, taking sandwich supplies, our worst tennis shoes, and thread-bare towels. It was probably about a twenty-five minute drive through rural Clark County--past Lewisville Park and onto a cooler sanctuary.
When we pulled up in front of the gate, anticipation jumped in our chests as we knew refreshing water was right around the bend. As soon as the car came to a stop, we begged to get to the water. But, Mom always made us help her schlep the food up like fifty stairs to the great room.
The water was shallow--about knee high or so at the deepest areas--as it was during the year when the snows had long since melted off of Mt. St. Helens and the rain hadn't fallen for a month or so. We wore our shoes in the water because of sharp or moss-covered slippery rocks and the pincher water bugs. There were tiny fish we thought about catching to take home and kill in fish bowls. Once my cousin caught a salamander in the rocks that shed it's tail before we even got on the road.
The property was sold by the Place owners sometime in the late seventies, I believe before the eruption--because I don't remember going to check it out post eruption. And my youngest sister has no memories of the Place. Poor Wendy. Because for my other sister, Debbie, these are some of our favorite "hot" memories.
For those wondering what a Pluviophile is, take a look. Yeah, I'm ready for it. I am a true Pacific North Westerner--I need rain. It's where I find my happy place.
Lastly, Happy Late Birthday, Liz! I'm sorry I forgot to send a message yesterday. Seriously, it's too hot to think around here.
Happy Thursday to the rest of you!