SAD on Kaua’i

Brett and I tried to go for a walk on Tuesday, but it was raining and the wind was fierce enough that it snapped my umbrella so we gave up.

We’re going through yet another week of overcast, rainy, windy, cool weather here on the Garden Island. There have been some indications of spring lately, and the odd warm and sunny day, but mostly the gloomy weather continues. March roared in like a lion and pretty much left the same way, and I think there were only seven or eight days in the entire month when it didn’t rain. A couple of friends here also originally from Portland have said that at times it’s felt like we were there again and not on Kaua’i.

A typical March day this year.

Back when Brett and I were deciding where we wanted to retire, weather was the number one item on our list. After 22 years in Portland, we had grown more than a bit weary of the long gloomy winters (and falls and springs). We both loved Portland and our life there, but the weather kept us hibernating indoors almost all winter. I grew sluggish and always gained weight, and as the years went on felt more and more depressed through the long dreary winter season. Both Brett and I yearned for warm, sunny days year-round, and when we evaluated our choices Hawai’i came out on top.

For the most part Hawai’i has kept its promise, but these last few months have made us realize how much we have come to love and depend on the usual sunshine and warm temperatures. It’s been hard being stuck indoors more often than not, and having to forego planned outings because of the weather.

The less-than-good weather does have benefits at times though.

Many of you are probably thinking, “cry me a river, Laura.” No, it doesn’t snow here, or get below freezing, and we’re not bundled up in boots, gloves or coats, and we don’t have to heat the house. But weather and temperatures are all relative to location, and this has been the most depressing winter we’ve experienced since we arrived. I am feeling the beginning twinges of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) once again.

I keep reminding myself that rain is what keeps Kaua’i lush and green, and the farmers productive. The rain and cooler weather has meant that our lawn doesn’t need to be watered and our water bill has been less than usual. Same for our electric bills – the ceiling fans haven’t been running constantly. Maybe best of all (for me anyway), humidity levels have been low too.

Sunshine and blue skies will return, and all the gloom will be forgotten.

The sunshine will come back, the temperature will rise, and the humidity will return. In the meantime though I’m feeling a bit SAD.



8 thoughts on “SAD on Kaua’i

  1. I understand. There were times when we lived in California that I thought daily sunshine was boring. But about this time of year, I really long for the sun. So this week it’s been sunny off and on, but snowing and windy the rest of the time. I’m fairly accustomed to lake effect weather/clouds off the Great Lakes, but this year spring seems stalled somewhere far away. My poor daffodils started to come in and now they’re shivering the snow. 😦


    1. It took years before the dreary Portland winters bothered me, but eventually I was craving sunshine and warmth. I love the odd rainy day here, but this winter has been Portland-esque, as least when it’s come to seeing blue skies and the sun, and I found myself the other day feeling down like I used to back in Oregon.

      Coming here, the biggest shock was the humidity. I knew to expect some, but locals have said the past few years have been worse than it ever was in the past.


  2. Our problem is sometimes the opposite: we long for a few days of clouds and rain to break up the monotony of constant sunshine and cloudless skies. I know that sounds silly to you after your March, but it is true.Our typical rainy season has just ended. We had 3 days of showers since December. Now, we will be lucky to get wet again until the monsoon storms of July or August. That doesn’t bode well for forest fires up north.

    Even so, I am with you, Laura, I don’t handle extended periods of overcast well. After three days, I start to get antsy for sunshine. We love Portland, too, but I could never survive one of their winters.


    1. I remember winters in Tucson when I went to school there – unending sunshine. I don’t remember wishing for rain though (although I did love the monsoon season and the wild thunderstorms).

      Besides keeping everything green, the only other good thing about all the Portland rain was that it wasn’t humid – just wet. I think eventually though my Southern California roots started whispering to me that I’d be better off, and happier, with more sunshine in my life again.


    1. We woke up to beautiful bright blue skies this morning, but by 2:00 the clouds were back and the rain had started. I’m thinking all sorts of good thoughts for your friend. Tuesday looks like it will be OK for our ATV ride, but it will be muddy. Bring clothes you can afford to throw away when we’re done!


  3. I have seen this list – it’s great! One of my professors sent it to me. I’ve read four of them: Smilla’s Sense of Snow (still one of my favorite mysteries), Whale Rider (one of my favorite films now), The Snowman (very, very creepy mystery), and Atonement. The others would be a good reading list for while we’re traveling – hmmm.


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