Mike is back from DC, his coat stashed in the back of the storage closet, his jeans on a shelf, his shoes tucked away, his long sleeve shirts hanging where they won’t be disturbed until another chilly trip beckons.

“How was it?” I ask.

“Cold,” he says. “Freaking cold, rainy, and miserable. Did we really live there for ten years?”

“Yep.”

“I don’t miss it. I never want to go back.”

“True dat.”

He called me the first day he was there, saying “It’s so flat and so big, just goes on and on and on. I’d forgotten.”

And we both know DC is nothing compared to a big city like Chicago or New York. DC is actually a lovely city, the mall is beautiful, and the lack of skyscrapers is refreshing. But the metro area is gigantic when compared to this island we live on. I wonder how many Oahus could fit inside the Beltway?

Last night, I was startled out of a dream in which a giant wave was coming toward the house, and then I realized it was raining. Not just a little tap-tap-tap, but a downpour in which I could hear water rushing down the sides of the house, splattering the soggy ground. I worried about the creek behind us, then figured it hadn’t been raining long enough to fill a 12 foot deep trench. There’ll be many more nights like this, and days too, when the water pours as if it won’t ever stop and the news bleats flash flood warnings on a regular basis (turn around, don’t drown the voice from the National Weather Service says as it reminds you not to cross any body of water in which you cannot see the bottom).

Winter has arrived. Time for high surf, short days, lots of rain, and whales.