EDITOR'S COLUMN: You don't need sun to have fun

Reality has struck, which is particularly hard on those people who have moved to Whidbey Island over the past few months. They thought the skies would always be blue, the sun would always shine and the temperature would always be in the 70s.

That all ended early Sunday morning when clouds rolled in from the Pacific, the first of an endless stream that could last for months. Sure, there may be a few days of summer left, but what you see this week — clouds and rain — is what you’ll get until next summer.

Reality doesn’t mean you have to halt all outdoor activities, however. If you let clouds and rain stop you, you will be indoors for the next nine months and will likely come down with a bad case of cabin fever along about February, the major symptom of which is a sudden interest in the presidential primaries. So save your sanity by getting outside to enjoy your traditional outdoors activities, while making certain necessary adjustments for the weather.

Go to the beach: Long-time Washingtonians go to the beach rain or shine, as long as it’s hot outside — hot being defined as anything above 60 degrees. Soak up some warm rain while wearing your cool shades to keep the drizzle out of your eyes. Wear as little as possible, as skin is the ultimate wet-weather wear. When it’s picnic time, leave the bread and salad home — they don’t last long in the rain. Bunless pre-cooked hotdogs and grapes and are perfect rainy picnic fare.

Play tennis: Tennis in the rain is fun, but don’t use fuzzy new balls. They become water-logged immediately, and suddenly the balls are rolling under the net. Instead, use the old, smooth balls you were going to throw away. They sail through the rain like rockets.

Play golf: The big adjustment is mental, as the ball stops where it plops. No more 300 yard drives, 200 or which are roll on rock-hard fairways. Standing water makes the game much more challenging, and putts kick up cute little rooster tails as the ball literally sinks into the hole. Dress lightly and get soaked fast, then it won’t get any worse.

Go camping: Campsites are plentiful when it’s raining and the noisy crowd with its portable TVs, boom boxes and generators stays home. There’s nothing more peaceful than the sound of raindrops on the tent, and nothing more memorable than everyone waking up at 3 a.m. soaked to the bone due to the leaky tent.

In short, anything you can do in the sunshine you can do in the rain, as long as you have the right attitude. By next June, you’ll have the cloudy disposition, moist skin and webbed toes that prove you’re a true Washingtonian.

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