Do NOT stay inside. Okay, I’m not suggesting that you stay outside exclusively but I’d highly recommend dawning your rain gear (if you have any) and at least walking up and down your street…maybe walk around the block if you are feeling adventurous. First off, it will make being back inside feel that much more special and will really make you appreciate having a warm roof over your head. Second, it will help dispel the myth(s) that seem to have arisen regarding Northern California’s winter storms. Third, you will see really cool stuff. The streets will be empty and you will get to see nature at work.

One of the most important things I learned from my father was to go hiking (or walking) in the rain. If you have good rain gear (rain pants and gloves are a must) and stay warm under that rain gear (not hard to do here in our area, even in the worst of storms) it is actually quite pleasant. It also helps you reset your freak-out system when it comes to natural catastrophes…like this current storm of the century. You remember that it’s just water and wind and that even if the power goes out you will not only survive but won’t even remember the inconvenience in a few days.

Personally, I’m waiting for it to lighten up a bit more and then I’m dawning my rain gear and heading out for a walk around downtown. I might just treat myself to a Thistle Meats sando, a bowl of tasty soup at Sugo Trattoria, and finish it off with a beer at Jamison’s Roaring Donkey. Seriously, nothing will make you feel better about the weather and about your ability to cope than to face bad weather head on.

Caveat: I wouldn’t suggest this for all locations with bad weather. If you live in North Dakota and they tell you stay indoors because the exposure could kill you, listen to them. They know about deadly weather. But here in California, not so much. We have no clue what deadly, or even harsh weather is even about.  There are very few conditions in our area that will put your life at risk when you head out your front door…so don’t be so scared.  Put on a rain coat and some boots and head outside for a few minutes. I’ll bet that even as little as five minutes standing on the curb in front of your house will give you a whole new perspective on weather, mother nature, and what you can and can’t handle when it comes to adversity.

(If you don’t have a good raincoat, pants, and hat, I’d highly recommend you get some.  And get good stuff.  If it’s cheap and weak it won’t protect you and nothing makes the rain worse than when you get wet and cold.  Personally, I’d suggest picking up some super cheap used military gear, like the kind you’ll find on Sportsman’s Guide’s website.  I bought a cool set of Swiss camo rain gear that is super tough and was only about $15.  I have used this gear way more than you might think…but then again, I’m not afraid to walk around in the rain.)

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