Dear Crabby: Two weeks ago I sold my house, packed up all my worldly possessions into three “pods” and a homemade trailer and relocated from New Hampshire to Yakima. For the past 15 years, a close friend of mine who lives here has been harassing me with messages and photos about “300 days of sunshine.”
Three thousand miles across flyover country to get here — 14 states in four days with a trailer that only Jed Clampett could love rolling along behind. (It would have been 15 states, but we couldn’t bear getting off the Indiana Toll Road and turning right for two miles to visit Michigan. Who could live in a place where the highest point is the top of the Bob’s Big Boy statue?)
It has rained on something like seven of the 14 days I have been here. Last night, the sky made it look like the end of the world was coming. What the heck? (OK, so I was actually wanting to use stronger language, but I hear the YH-R is a family paper.)
I understand you are a transplant just like me. Since you’ve been here a while, let me ask you — were they lying about the great climate and easygoing lifestyle? Should I bail out now? Or should I stay, tough it out and risk regretting it for the rest of my natural life? I’ll be guided by your response, since clearly I cannot trust my friend any longer.
Dear Whatever, Welcome to Yakima, my good man. And thanks for that unnecessary shot at Michigan, my home state. Because why mention Motown Records, the Great Lakes or the fact that Detroit essentially built this county in the first half of the 20th century when you can focus on the Big Boy restaurants?
Incidentally, you really missed out by skipping those restaurants. I would fight an innocent man for a Slim Jim and a Brawny Lad right now. That is some serious comfort food. In fact, that stuff is what comfort food eats for comfort food.
But, getting to your question: Rest assured, coming to Yakima from New Hampshire for more sunny days was no miscalculation. I cannot say for certain that we get 300 sunny days a year. That’s a figure cited by plenty of unofficial sources and a few official ones (including the Yakima County website). But other sources put the number closer to 200. I suppose “sunny day” is an ambiguous enough term that both could be correct. What I can say for certain is that in New Hampshire you can “live free or die” all you want, but you better bring an umbrella. Your home state averages 40 inches of precipitation a year, roughly five times as much as Yakima. It might as well be called New Damp-shire. (Apologies for that joke.)
All of that is to say you should give your friend more credit. He’s right about the sunshine. Plus there are dozens of wineries, countless outdoor recreation opportunities, and inexpensive and delicious pork tacos on virtually every corner. Also, not for nothing, if you moved across the country without actually checking on his claims, it’s kind of your own fault. It’s not hard to Google “Yakima climate” BEFORE selling your house.
But, you know, whatever.