Naturally, the weather is the most glaring for this particular switch of home base. Moving from "The Best Climate on Earth" to the rainy northwest, particularly in November was a kind of jarring change. The shorts and flip flops will be as rare as pants and jackets were in San Diego. I also managed to lose my sunglasses the day before I left, and sad to say I haven't needed them much.
I can remember flying back one summer and noticing how gray everything seemed. The colors just seemed a little washed out after spending a year in the sunshine. Since I drove up this time, the transition was a little more gradual, and now it is just part of the landscape. I don't feel the need for one of those Seasonal Affective Disorder lamps, so it seems that the rain never left my bloodstream
One thing that is pretty much the same about December in San Diego and Seattle - there isn't much need to check the weather forecast. You already know what is coming. It does make you appreciate when the clouds finally part, though, and the hillsides are lit up in brilliant fall colors.
Sierra still gets me up at the same time each day, though it is now by my alarm clock instead of her happy panting or clicking nails. My room is on the second floor, and the only way she would make it up the two flights of stairs is if I carried her. For the first five years I had her, she slept out in the living room rather than in the bedroom. She would hop up on the couch as soon as I left the room (we both pretended not to notice). In the mornings, she would generally wait quietly at the bedroom door, emitting the occasional heavy sigh if I slept in a bit. Once she heard the alarm clock though, all bets were off.
When we were down in San Diego, she slept in my bedroom instead. With no door between us, she was less patient when it came to breakfast time. She would wake me bright and early whether it was a weekend or not, and more than any job, this was what finally had me getting to bed at a decent hour. Back in Washington again, she is back to sleeping in the living room, though she is long past being able to hop on the couch.
I was a little worried how this would work out. With the health issues and declining eyesight, she has been known to panic when she feels lost or out of sorts. I imagined cries or yelps for the first few evenings, but she did pretty well from the start. She has had to learn a new house layout, but she seemed to figure that out in a day or two. I set an alarm every morning so her meal of diabetic dog food hits her system on schedule, but she has still had a number of hypoglycemic crashes. I guess she hasn't adjusted entirely.
When I moved down to San Diego after a lifetime in Seattle, I was surprised how easy the transition was. It helped to have great friends there waiting for me, but there was still a whole new city to map out. Coming back home, my own layout is much more familiar, and I haven't had to feel my way around as much. We're both transitioning pretty well, though now and again we both bounce off a wall that wasn't there before.