Frozen Moss and Other New Experiences

I recently spent a silly amount of time walking around on the frozen moss in my front yard. It makes the kind of satisfying crunch sound that you usually only get from really high-end granola. You can feel it radiating up through the soles of your shoes. And the light sparkles off it like diamonds. These are experiences I missed out on in Florida. (Even if we had had moss there, it would rarely have frozen.)

That got me thinking about other experiences I’m having for the first time in my 50’s that most residents of the Pacific Northwest, at least here in Seattle, probably take for granted. For example:

  • It feels funny to go to the beach and walk on rocks instead of sand. It feels even funnier to know that the water will most likely be way too cold to swim in, even in the height of summer.
  • Speaking of rocks, there are large ones. Everywhere.
  • And people protest here. A lot. Most people in Florida can’t be bothered. It’s too freakin’ hot, and they’re too freakin’ old.
  • Now that I’m familiar with the mountain ranges, I can use them to orient myself. I have a constant sense of which direction on the compass I’m facing at any given time, even at high noon.
  • For the first time in my life I can state my liberal views and feel fairly certain I’m in the majority, rather than anticipate being looked upon in horror or disdain. I do not miss being the only liberal turd in a conservative punch bowl.
  • I’ve been here over two years now, and I’ve never seen a single person, not one, doing the car boogie. I do it all the time. Here, I get funny looks. What’s wrong with you people?
  • Here you can approach the edge of a lake without worrying about being attacked by an alligator. What a concept.
  • I had no idea how wonderfully caramel and salt go together until I got here.
  • I had never shopped at a Trader Joe’s until I got here. Now I’m addicted.
  • I had never driven in snow. I didn’t even know that de-icer existed.
  • I thought I knew what cherries were supposed to taste like. What a poor, deprived fool I was!
  • I’m seeing birds I’d never seen before.
  • People not only turn on their car’s lights when they’re in a funeral procession, they also flash their hazard lights. Because EVERYBODY here drives with their car lights on. Always.
  • Here, salmon is relatively affordable. I could count the number of times I’d eaten it on one hand prior to coming to Seattle.
  • There are prejudices against groups I didn’t even know existed. That’s a strange concept. It makes you realize how ridiculous prejudice is.
  • Almost everyone I meet here actually reads books. I thought I was the only one who did that.

You just have no idea how insular your life is until you experience the otherness of someplace else. I sometimes feel like a foreigner in my own country. It’s very exciting. I highly recommend it.


There’s so much to be grateful for in this world! Read my book on that very subject. You’ll be glad you did.


9 thoughts on “Frozen Moss and Other New Experiences

  1. Seattle Park Lover

    Apparently we’ve never been next to each other at a stoplight or you’d have seen a Seattleite in the throes of a good car boogie. I even make mix CDs specifically for rockin’ out in the car. (And I’m in my 50s too.)

  2. Angiportus

    Which “groups you never knew existed” are you referring to? I have had certain relatives get on my case for being an introvert with unusual interests. I told them in no uncertain terms to knock that crap off and they made like armadillos. I agree that prejudice is stupid.
    After many years of youthful exile in Alaska, I returned here and was most surprised by how spring was well underway by March. There were waterlilies and bamboo and trees that got flowers before they got leaves. Getting sunburned and stepping on a slug were other rediscoveries. But the strangest novelty was how everything shut down when it snowed.

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