I live in an area that rarely sees the sun. In fact, if you look it up on Wikipedia, you’ll see that over 150 days each year is dedicated to ‘liquid sunshine’. I would add another 100 days of cloudy skies to that number which only leaves us a bit over three months of sun. If you were to visit my neck of the woods, you would see plenty of white skin and a bustling tanning salon business. (Not to mention the occasional sparkling vampire or Grimm creature) So what is a Portlander to do with only a small amount of blue?
Well most us living in Portland get a bit batty due to the lack of vitamin D. We wash our cars in the rain and don shorts and Birkenstocks when it is 60F. Most of us drink lots of beer and coffee to help us endure the constant gray and have pedicures to disguise our webbed feet. But there comes a time for drastic measures (usually around March) when we need to get the heck out!
So, every other year (when we’ve earned enough miles on our card), my family and I like to hop a plane with other pale Portlanders and fly to that tropical miracle known as Hawaii.
We even bring the kiddos with us.
Yes, we are THOSE people.
And once we land, we spend the first day of vacation passed out on the sand as the hot rays from the sun smack our skin before injecting us with that happy vitamin D drug. Our cheeks grow a rosy bloom (all four cheeks), and our moods swing up above those daily Hawaiian rainbows.
But of course we become greedy, addicted, and foolish with the glowing wonder drug and soon we find ourselves skipping the nice golden tan and heading straight to chili pepper red. So much so, we find ourselves spending the rest of our vacation covered in a shiny layer of aloe and peeling skin off our bodies on the flight home. But that one day: That blessed day when those beams of light fill our bodies with sweet, sweet joy. Yes, that one day is worth the scowl from our dermatologists.
The only problem with these sunny trips is coming home. Our bodies joyfully become accustomed to the sunshine and warm air. But arriving back to wind and hail quickly throws our sun-soaked bodies into Post Nirvana Traumatic Syndrome. The symptoms include an immediate feeling of depression followed by hours spent looking at job opportunities and houses in Hawaii. Once we realize jobs in Hawaii are scarce and houses are expensive, we find ourselves curled up in our beds with the covers over our heads and slathering ourselves in mango-scented body lotion. PNTS is no laughing matter and it can last for up to a month. However, Hawaii eventually becomes a distant dream and our sun-deprived bodies give up the battle while hoping for a long, hot, sunny summer that will last through all of July and half of August. (Crosses pale fingers.)
Jennifer Caddell is often found in her office conjuring up science fiction stories, writing poetry or hiding in a corner while her children are looking for her. She blogs about food, crafts, and writing at her new site http://colanderhat.wordpress.com