I've said it before, I'll say again: I love the rain. Nonetheless, a few tips for survival and enjoyment come in handy. Whether it's your first or your tenth Northwest winter, it takes some adjustment when October brings the season's first rains and colder temperatures. Here are 6 tips to make the rain and winter easier — even downright enjoyable.
Accept it. To deal with anything, you first must accept it. On average, the Eugene area gets 50 inches of rainfall per year. That's over 4 feet. Odds are, it's beating on your window or your hair right now. "Rain, rain, go away," makes about as much sense here as "sun, sun, go away" would in Phoenix or Los Angeles. Deal with it. Accept the rain.
Hole up and snuggle up. Whether you have work or school or just plain ol' errands, sooner or later you have to leave the house. You can minimize that as much as possible though. If summer means getting out and about as much as possible, the winter rainy season can just as easily mean holing up and hibernating. Enjoy your home cave. Crank up music or movies. Bust out thick sweaters and thicker blankets. Curl up with kids or your sweetie or your pets; read, craft, brew, whatever — enjoy the time, the pleasures and the relaxation of being indoors.
Get out and reach out. That said, sometimes you need to get out for fun, not just because you'll get fired or fail class or run out of toilet paper. Call a friend or relative, and make time to get out. Take in a concert or play or art gallery or something. Go out for a bite or a cuppa or a pint. Head to the coast and see what real storminess looks like (or head to the Cascades for some snow and some real cold). Alternatively, crank up the phone, email, or even some letters and care packages. Talk with people who matter to you. Winter time is holiday time too, after all; it's a great time to catch up with those you love.
Drink up and eat up. For us, winter is all about dark beverages: coffee, stout (or, get two in one in the case of Oakshire's Overcast Espresso Stout), hot cocoa, hot tea. Bake bread. Cook like crazy; crank up the oven and roast and bake and braise to your heart's (and belly's) content. Feast. If you gain a pound or two, feck it. Consider it your "winter coat."
Work up a sweat. Some exercise helps too. Whether it's yoga or a day at the slopes, get moving. Work up a sweat. You can even do as more and more folk in Eugene are doing: combine exercise with to-ing and fro-ing by taking up winter cycling.
If all that fails?
Move away. Fair enough to you, too. If I lived in, say, Nebraska or Minnesota, I'd be deep in research mode, trying my damnedest to move before I froze to death. The Northwest isn't for everyone. If the Northwet's rainy winter isn't for you, luckily it's a big world out there with a place that will suit you better.
Personally, I love the winter, look forward to its coming, and try my best to get the most out of it. Do you like the rain? Hate it? How do you survive and thrive in Eugene's winter?