If you make the same assumptions about Seattle that I do, you'll be pretty surprised to find out what has caused the celebration. Rain.
It seems Seattle has endured its longest dry spell in 50+ years this summer - 48 days without rain. They call it a drought. Where I come from, we call it summer. Or fall. Or sometimes spring. But where I come from there are 300 days of sunshine a year. Seattle boasts 71 sunny days annually.
So, you can imagine the panic of Seattle's folks over 7 weeks of unrelenting sunshine. The petunias are drying up, the fish are gasping for a refresh, the birkenstocks are getting dusty.
I am laughing this morning over the warnings about slippery roadways -you know, roads we always have in Texas when it rains...the ones suddenly coated with a nasty mix of water and the oil a rare rainfall will summon to the roads' surfaces. Apparently Seattle's roads stay generally clean and oil free.
Unless it doesn't rain for 48 days.
And so I am reminded this morning that it's all about perspective. Where we live, what we read, who we hang out with, what we believe...it all shapes our versions of normal, our lists of wishes, our hopes for the future, and our warnings from the weatherman.
I have not been without an annual income once my entire adult life. I have never had to choose between having electricity or seeing a doctor. I have not lost a child to disease, fire, or war. I have not been in a courtroom or a jail cell or even a hospital. You might say - especially if you have experienced one of these things - that I have lived in a bubble of protection from the struggles of everyday people. And I would say that too.
So I often wonder if I am feeling the right feelings or championing the best causes or casting the most profound vote when I am called upon to do such things. What do I know about what people need? Beyond that, I wonder, what do most of the people running for public office know? After all, a man or woman working two jobs to put groceries in the pantry for a hungry family does not have time, opportunity, or financial resources to seek "decision maker" standing in this world of ours.
I believe, then, the best I can to is care enough to listen. And I look for people on ballots who I believe also care enough to listen - not to the playmakers and spinners and pundits - but to the people. The real people. The ones who experience rain and drought and sunshine and slippery roads inside their own bubbles of sometimes very harsh reality.
We are looking at two men to lead our nation until 2016.
Who is listening?
Is anyone laughing?