Yesterday, I bought two plastic Adirondack chairs from McClendon Hardware for a total of $33.47. It was a slammin’ deal. The chairs are now in my front yard, where, sitting in them last night, I watched the Cavaliers-Celtics game on my laptop until about seven.
It feels like midsummer in Seattle right now, and that’s pretty great. 2018 has been rough for me, for a broad diversity of crappy reasons. The sunny weather has helped me level out. Bad shit keeps happening, but at least I’ve been able to go to the park or take a nice walk.
But, of course, it’s not midsummer. It’s the middle of May. The weather should not be so pleasant. We are supposed to be in the northwest’s schizoid season, with low 40s mornings followed by windstorms, sun showers, and low 60s afternoons. There have been a few days like that this month, but not as many as there should have been.
Still, this isn’t totally nuts for mid to late May, and Juneuary is still on the way. But this year has already been disturbing. The Times, on April 24:
Temperatures at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday surpassed the day’s highest temperature on record shortly after 2 p.m., clocking 77 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle. The metro area set the previous record of 76 degrees in 1977.
“We did break the record here at Sea-Tac,” which is where forecasters gauge conditions for Seattle, meteorologist Johnny Burg said around 2:30 p.m. “There could be another record tomorrow, too.”
We’ve seen a lot of stories like that recently. Every other month, maybe. Every January or February, the New York Times publishes a story announcing that the previous year was either the hottest or second-hottest on record. Climate change is in full effect.
I’m lucky to own my home. It’s a blessing and a privilege in any case; owning property anywhere is. Owning a home here, in Seattle, is cosmic good luck. Real estate prices are hallucinatory.
Worse, in twenty to thirty years, Northwest will be the only part of the western United States (if not the world) where there’s a consistent water supply and arable land. Climate refugees might move here by the millions, and make the current boom look like the good old days. But I can rest easy. I’ll be able to stick around, and live in a comfortable home, with a fixed monthly rate.
When some small tragedy brings me down, I just need to remember my good fortune, and go sit in my lovely front yard in the sunshine. Now I have a chair made out of a petroleum product to sit in. It will be a good vantage point to sip a cool drink, and watch the caravans of sunburned Arizonans fight for a place to live, on another too-warm May day.
Also published on Medium.