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Paul Turner: Newbies were never promised clear skies

Smoke hangs in the air as a commercial vehicle heads east along 37th Avenue at Glenrose Road on Monday in Spokane. As smoky conditions have persisted this week, the Spokane Symphony has opted to move its Soiree on the Edge concert on Wednesday from Arbor Crest Winery to the Fox theater downtown. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Smoke hangs in the air as a commercial vehicle heads east along 37th Avenue at Glenrose Road on Monday in Spokane. As smoky conditions have persisted this week, the Spokane Symphony has opted to move its Soiree on the Edge concert on Wednesday from Arbor Crest Winery to the Fox theater downtown. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Face it.

The Northwest didn’t give you any money-back guarantees before you moved here.

You can go back and check the paperwork. I think you will find there were no promises about the weather. The words “unlimited visibility” did not appear on anything you signed.

Maybe you had a vision of this part of the country being perpetually cool and crisp, with blue skies that stretched as far you could see. You know, fresh, clean and invigorating.

But now you say you want a refund? You’re asking “Who can I sue?”

I can almost hear the Spokane natives chuckling.

You see, Spokane is like life. You have to take the bad with the good.

So let’s say you don’t dig temperatures in the vicinity of 100 degrees. Or perhaps you would prefer that the air you are attempting to breathe not resemble lentil soup.

Buck up, pal. August won’t last forever.

So OK, you’re saying you were sold a bill of goods about the Northwest? You say movies, TV shows and tourism promotions made life here seem like a beautiful-outdoors beer commercial?

Even word of mouth betrayed you?

Well, there are a couple of things you need to remember.

First, much of the Northwest’s national image is based on perceptions of the west side of Washington. Perry Como never sang “The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Spokane.”

(Though perhaps he should have, because we normally have many more days with little or no overcast than Seattle.)

As you ought to know by now, this Northwest image reflects just a part of our region. In fact, there are two very different East/West Washington realities when it comes to weather, politics and other themes.

We have a decent chance of a white Christmas. They decide who our senators will be.

Those who did their research before moving to the Spokane area knew all this.

But if our recent challenging temperatures and extra-chunky air came as a rude awakening, you know what the natives say. Just wait. Things will change.

Or dive into a lake. Sometimes things around here look better under water.

Today’s shared walls story

Donna Walden lives in a condo complex that used to be apartments.

“We can always hear the man above us walking around, etc., but the folks on both sides are pretty quiet.”

One night she heard noises from above that concerned her.

“I almost called an ambulance for him. It sounded like he walked a few steps and fell down. This kept repeating many many times.”

She decided to call this neighbor living one floor above before doing anything else. It turned out he was engaged in interactive computer bowling using a game console. He had no idea they could hear him.

Step, step, step … release … STRIKE.

“We still hear him walking around but no more falling noises.”

Farm livin’, that’s the life for me

Monday morning, an email arrived from a friend who farms south of Spokane.

We are almost the same exact age. I need to return his ukulele.

After sharing some personal stuff, he asked me a question.

“Would you be interested in spending part of a day on a combine?”

I said yes, of course. But a few issues came to mind immediately.

What would I wear?

Is the experience apt to turn me into a rural voter?

Do modern combines have AC?

Might there be a second career in this?

Do I have the right kind of hat?

Stay tuned.

Just wondering

Have you or anyone you know ever been cited by the police for driving with a dog in the back of a pickup, riding a bike on a sidewalk in downtown Spokane or using studded tires out of season?

Just wondering 2

For those who suffer from asthma, ranking “good” or “bad” cities isn’t always a simple matter. The things that trigger symptoms for one person might not be the same things that bring on wheezing and shortness of breath for another.

But poor air quality brought on by fires is pretty much a standard part of summer in Spokane. So I have to ask. All things considered, how would you rate Spokane as a place to live for those with asthma?

Just wondering 3

Do you consider Idaho to be part of the Northwest or does your definition restrict it to Washington and Oregon?


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