Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Tut, tut! Looks Like Rain!

I love the rain. I don’t know how one can be from the Pacific Northwest and not appreciate the rain. Move to California I guess. I’ve always found the sound of rainfall comforting – chalk it up to countless childhood nights falling asleep to it. I also love the smell of rain, when you can take a deep breath and just smell the impending storm. And the smell afterward when everything seems clean and fresh. I love the spring showers and the summer downpours. I even like the fall storms when the wind is blowing, the leaves are falling and it’s cold and dreary. I love snuggling under a blanket and reading a good book or watching a favorite movie. There is one thing I don’t love about the rain though, and that is umbrellas.

To be accurate, I feel no malice toward umbrellas themselves. In the right hands, they’re perfectly innocent tools to keep off the rain. In the wrong hands, they’re evil weapons of DOOM. Perhaps I’m slightly overly dramatic, but I cannot count how many times I’ve been nearly poked in the eye or been hit in the head by a careless umbrella bearer. I used to not carry an umbrella. I found them to be more cumbersome than they were worth. My rain jacket and hood kept me just as dry as an umbrella. I started using an umbrella not to keep myself dry, but to ward off all the other umbrellas. After one too many near run-ins with the pointy end of an umbrella, I decided it was time to start protecting myself. At least by carrying an umbrella I could put some more distance between myself and the other umbrellas.

I have enough problems with the standard size umbrella; don’t even get me started on the beach umbrellas some people feel it’s appropriate to walk down a crowded city street with. Of course, these are the people that seem most oblivious to where their umbrellas are in relation to their bodies and any body else. Really though, walking down a sidewalk on a rainy day shouldn’t be too difficult. Let me explain. When two people carrying umbrellas are approaching one another, one can raise their umbrella while the other person slightly lowers their umbrella, allowing the two people to pass by without jostling one another. Simple, yet it seems to escape the majority of the population. So, world, consider this your lesson on proper umbrella etiquette. I expect to see a noticeable improvement for the next rain storm. Thank you.

Now that we have those sundries taken care of, I’ve decided to include two of my favorite clips about rain. First, is Mr. Gene Kelley in Singing in the Rain:

I love the part where he just lets loose and starts jumping in the puddles. How much fun is that?!

And the second clip is Winnie the Pooh, being the cutest rain cloud you ever saw. Tut tut, looks like rain!

Perhaps the next time you’re caught in the rain, you can think back to these clips, and maybe it won’t seem so dreary.  And watch out for umbrellas.

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“The How of Pooh?”

Many of my close friends know I love Winnie the Pooh. It was my nickname in college and I had tons of Pooh themed paraphernalia. There were so many Pooh bears in my room in college someone who didn’t know any better would think it was occupied by a small child not a young adult. What most of my friends don’t know is that my adoration of the character didn’t come from the beloved child stories by A.A. Milne but from a book my sister recommended to me: “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff.

To quote the introduction: The Tao of Pooh is “a book that explained the principles of Taoism through Winnie-the-Pooh , and explained Winnie-the-Pooh through the principles of Taoism.” I am not a Taoist by any means but there are principles pointed out in the book that are helpful in everyday life. There is a mix of classic tales from the Taoist philosophy and excerpts from A.A. Milne’s stories. Hoff shows how the stories tell us things like why we should except who we are and that some things really are out of our control and not to let those things get to you. that explanation doesn’t do the book justice, it just scratches the surface really. I always feel a special level of relaxation after I finish this book like I’ve just been to a spa or something.

Whenever I fly, which is rare. I read this book immediately after getting to the airport. It isn’t long, only 158 pages, and I’ve read it so much I usually finish it shortly after take off. After going through the stress of check in and the security line, I’ll find my gate, take a seat, listen to relaxing music on my iPod, and crack open this book. I don’t have a fear of flying exactly. It’s more like a really high anxiety about it. I’m used to driving myself everywhere so it’s a little stressful to put my life in a stranger’s hands at 30,000  feet. My little paperback spa treatment puts me at ease and reminds me “things are as they are” and I just roll with the trip until we land and things are once again back in my control.

In writing this post, I realize I need to crack open my favorite relaxation device again. In the past couple weeks I’ve raced to Connecticut to interview before a blizzard hit and got snowed in while I pondered my future. The good news is I got a job offer I accepted at the end of the week before I even made it home (More on that next week). Now I’m immersed in the stress of going through my belongings, packing, finding an apartment, and all the other stress of relocating. The weather is not helping. Winter storms just keep rolling through making apartment visits virtually impossible. My book will be relocated to my bedside table so I can keep my stress level at a minimum through everything.

If you are finding yourself stressed out from the day to day or are in a situation, like me, where everyday now brings some new headache for you to deal with, I highly recommend trying this book. It’s an easy read that has a great mix of humor and perspective on life, overall a good way to spend an evening. If you really like it there’s a follow up book “The Te of Piglet.” It’s a really good book too but, like many sequels, doesn’t quite have the same essence as the first one.

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