Right on schedule, our winter rain arrived.

It’s chilly and damp and dark and the clouds and fog are like a blanket that inverts the usual function – pull it up around your shoulders as your body heat is sucked away from you.

But by god it beats the snows of my childhood.

For a couple days before the wet arrived, Seattle had a fall that smelled like California and looked like Indiana, though. It was damn pretty.

Continuing my execrable habit of multi-subject posts, I should note that I’m nearly done with Mark Twain’s first book (I think – gonna have to dig up a comprehensive biblio and annotations one of these maundering days), Roughing It, which covers his early years in the rough-and-tumble world of Virginia City, Nevada during the Civil War.

There was a war on, but for “Virginia”, it was the height of boom times, and Twain recounts stories – such as freely-given stock in token of oh, simple affection or as a marker of regard and social utility – that echo loudly in the dot-com vet’s ears. The whole sequence of chapters reflecting on his experience of a boom town whose inflationary economics far outstripped that seen here a few years ago is recommended reading, and having come across it just as the wave of release-based local adulation crests about the shoulders of Jonathan Raban for Waxwings was something I chucklingly savored.

Another local author, David Guterson, who wrote Snow Falling on Cedars back in the day and then later East of the Mountains (which I prefer – it casts the Dry Side as the Peloponnese in a sort of pocket Odyssey that captures something of the beauty and solitude of my father’s birthgrounds) also has a new book out. It’s called Our Lady of the Mountains and concerns, if I have it right, a miraculous apparition of the Virgin, again on the Wet Side but this time Out There.

Sounds like a fine topic: what on Earth did you think Bigfoot was, anyway? Chopped liver?

It is dinnertime. Exeunt.