In my hometown of Seattle, there are two kinds of people.  Those who carry “bumbershoots”…

…and those who don’t.

I always regarded carriers as sissies, but before we left for Europe, my sister Constance talked me into buying an umbrella, and I’m glad she did.  We had one day to explore the city of Liege…

…and one day in Paris.

It rained both days.

What are you gonna do?  As the sign says, “You are here.”

You can’t make hay while the sun don’t shine, but there’s no better time to snap bumbershots.

We decided to just relax and enjoy it, from the bus stop in front of the Guillemins train station in Liege

…to the citadel park overlooking Liege.

By the end of the day, even with our umbrellas…

…we were so saturated that we had to find our way home by map wad.

In Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg is the go-to place for pond sailing.

Just as we got there, the last boat was hauled out of the water…

…and wheeled off into dry dock.

But it was still perfect weather for dads…

…ducks, and little children.

Not to mention friends…

..and lovers.

After all, this was Paris.

All words and images copyright Naomi Baltuck.

Click here for The Weekly Travel Theme: Relaxing.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated.


  1. I’ve never heard that word! I hate umbrellas. Living in the suburbs, in and out of a car most of the time, I rarely use one. When I’m in NYC or other cities, I try to carry one and hate doing so and invariably they break. Great photos!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I knew someone would understand about my reluctance to carry one. Isn’t Bumbershoot a great word? Every Labor Day we have a big festival in Seattle called Bumbershoot, which is appropriate, because it marks the beginning of fall, and the coming of our rainy season.

  2. When I lived on the west coast and in Hawaii I never used a bumbershoot becaus the rain was never that wet; in Hawaii a light rain is considered a blessing. Now in Tennessee I have a bumbershoot in the house and one in the car because a rainfall can be a real soaker. I’ve lost or broken several bunbershoots in the last five years I’ve been here.

    Thanks for your rainy article, I miss gentle west coast rain.

    1. Soft weather is what they call it in Ireland, and it is a perfect description. Can it really be five years, Mary? We still miss you! It is always good to hear from you.

  3. Luckily there are umbrellas, in fact… but in Europe it doesn’t rain forever… at least not where I live! Just think, we were in England last July… three weeks (up to the north of Scotland) and it only rained one (1) day… incredible, hey, I’m talking about the UK! Kisses 😀 claudine

    1. I remember going to England quite a few years ago and bringing back the cutest little brellies for my kids. There is a very nice selection over there. English weather isn’t all that different from Seattle’s—green and often wet–but I think it gets colder there in the winter.

  4. I’m planning on a move to the northwest in the spring of next year. I will definitely be in the wimpy bumbershot category. I get sneezy. 😉

    Your pics are lovely.

    1. Welcome to the Northwest! I’ve been to all fifty states, and knew that of all places I had been, I wanted to come back here to live. I came as soon as I finished college. Where are you coming from, and what brings you here?

  5. That’s the spirit Naomi – appreciate the rain and the different perspectives it brings rather than grumble and hope for it to stop. And Paris under an umbrella is especially romantic.

    1. Ho there, Roy! Thanks for the visit, and for adding a wonderful perspective to the conversation. In Seattle, if you waited for the rain to stop, you wouldn’t go out of the house from October to March or April. And something there is about an umbrella!

  6. Dear Naomi,

    Nice post! I was mid sentence, writing to you, when your note arrived this morning. I’m so glad you are home, safe, with your sweet man who loves you. I love you.


    1. Dear Con,
      So good to hear from you. I had a wonderful trip, and am glad to know that you got to rent bikes and are tooling around France on two wheels. Say hi to Bart for me.

    1. Right! Between, on top of, all over, down under, but really, what the heck, we aren’t sugar cubes and we didn’t melt when we got wet!
      Thanks for stopping by, Jo.

  7. Terrific idea for a post, Naomi, especially when coupled with your whimsical photos. It’s a vexing question, isn’t it – to carry, or not to carry! The worst thing about them is that they disappear – they’re worse than pens that way! When I lived in Sri Lanka I bought two terrific umbrellas for the house – one for each door, for when one arrived in the middle of a downpour. It was a terrific idea, and worked a treat for the first few months, until one disappeared, then the other … But bumbershoot? I’m off to study where this extraordinary word comes from. 🙂

    1. I love your idea. “They disappear like pens.” Makes me smile, because it’s so true! I will confess to having a closet full, left over from visitors who leave them when I have parties, and no idea who left them. Which is ironic, because I don’t carry them. And I still had to buy one because I needed a compact lightweight one for travel.
      Thanks so much for the visit, Meredith. I hope this finds you well.

  8. Rain creates such lovely, Impressionistic photos! I started to duck in out of a rain shower in Hawaii, and was gently reprimanded for trying to miss out on a rare experience . . . and he was right, I enjoyed Hawaiian rain very much!
    Let’s go singing and dancing in the rain 😉

  9. I have been thinking of you as storm after storm comes ashore where you are. Take care I know you are used to rain but enough is enough.

    1. Dear Eunice,
      That is so sweet of you! I’ve been in Europe for the last couple of weeks, and missed the worst of it, but my husband says he’s had to batten down the hatches. He is a soccer referee and booked lots of games over the weekend so he wouldn’t miss me too much, and he got very wet and cold with all the stormy weather! Hope you are staying high and dry, and warm, too, with fall weather closing in.

      1. Glad you were off having fun! Glad hubby weathered the storm we are enjoying just another stretch of glorious weather warm 70’s and 80’s and beautiful sunshine and the colors here are AMAZING

    1. Thank you, Scilla. I was so impressed with all the flowers still in full bloom over there. We still have lots of flowers in Seattle, but this time of year too much rain tends to dissolve flowers and make raspberries grow moldy on the vine if not picked immediately. I’m always a little reluctant to let go, but it might be time to bring out the harvest colors.

    1. Thanks, Alison. I figured some folks would think of it as a typo, but the light would go on when it fell into context. I really enjoyed checking out your link–lots of fun photos!

  10. Sweetest post ever! I hate umbrellas…but confess to being a carrier when necessary. (for example….On Saturday….umbrella over dogs during heavy rains….because they “needed” to go outside!)

    Love, Love, Love these shots, Naomi! psb

    1. Thank you, Paula! In Seattle we mostly get soft weather, and spitting rain. I’m sure you get heavy rains, and then there is no dancing between the raindrops. I’d be a carrier too!
      Thanks so much for the sweet visit, and lovely comment.

  11. Great post, Naomi. I especially like the photos of the friends and lovers. Some things should never be stopped because of rain, especially good conversations and kissing. 🙂

  12. Lovely adventure in the rain. It’s often too windy for an umbrella here, but it was nice to see that you found so many.

  13. I have never heard that name before. Here in the UK I carry an umbrella rain or shine. Sadly, shades of Mary Poppins – mostly the wind will turn it upside down.

  14. Umbrellas are for sissies – inconvenient to carry, blow inside out and poke passers by. Beautiful to look at though but “I love the rain – it washes memories off the sidewalk of life.” (Woody Allen) Love your images too

    1. Dear Nia,
      I’m not afraid to go out in the rain, but sometimes it is nice to be cozy and warm inside, looking out at the raindrops on the windowpanes. So good to hear from you. Thanks so much for the visit.

    1. I had hoped to be able to photograph children playing with them in the fountain, but it was also very interesting to see what happens to them when they are pulled out for bad weather.

  15. I hate carrying umbrellas. It’s just one more thing to deal with. I wear a raincoat with a hood, and I’m good to go. However, if I lived in an area where it rained more than 50% of the time, I might reconsider. I’d at least keep one in the car. 😉

    1. That is exactly how I feel and how I deal with it. Mostly we get spitting rain, and I just pull up my hood and go for it, but sometimes there is a downpour, and in that case, there are a couple of umbrellas tucked into the back of the car for weenies or emergencies (like bringing a precious art project from school doors to the parking lot.)

      1. Not so useful on this side of the pond, but I’m gradually getting over it. It’s always good to go and good to come home. Thanks for the visit!

  16. Reminds me of England. I’ve a stand by the front door stuffed full of umbrellas, so I don’t get sick of using the same one all the time. My favourite is a huge yellow and white striped golfing umbrella, which my dog uses, too. She just trots along under it, right next to me. All the other dog walkers, with their dripping wet pooches, laugh and say, “Look at your dry dog!”

    Love your photos.

  17. I used to like umbrellas in Europe. It was nice not to get too wet, especially if I had books under my arm. But unfortunately, in Jerusalem… though some do use them, you can get a sudden wind that will turn the umbrella inside out. That’s a very aggravating experience, and so I don’t use them much. Thanks for the nice pictures.

    1. My new umbrella is somehow vented to keep the rain out, but to let the wind get through and keep the umbrella from turning inside out. I like staying dry, but there is also something very fun–just fun–about twirling an umbrella over your shoulder.
      Thanks so much for your visit, Shimon. I love to hear form you.

    1. Hi Sylvia,
      Thanks so much. It was easy to get those shots, because they were everywhere. I’d love to see the photo of you both in Central Park–maybe for one of these upcoming photo challenges you can sneak it in?

  18. Lovely! I’ve always been a “wear something with a hood” type, but now I feel inspired to bring out an old umbrella.

  19. I like Laura’s ironic comment:
    “Umbrellas are for sissies – inconvenient to carry, blow inside out and poke passers by. Beautiful to look at though but “I love the rain – it washes memories off the sidewalk of life.” (Woody Allen)”

  20. Pittsburgh’s Gene Kelly would like your wonderful photo essay, Naomi.
    We need your husband’s support afar dismal game one tonight.

  21. And after all it WAS Paris. How fun . . . rainy or no, huh? And your bumbershot reminds of an aritists palette.

    Lovely! … and thanks so much for the work you loaded into Bardo. Hooray! I sense you’ve been busy. Are you birthing a new book?

    Long distance hugs! 🙂

    1. HI Jamie,
      It has been pretty busy around here, with little time in between travels to catch up with blogging or writing. This is a busy month for storytelling too, and a couple weeks of out of town visitors, but on November 1st it will calm down considerably.
      I love that expression–birthing a book. Right now all I have to show for it is labor pains, but am, well, pushing on.
      Jamie, your poetry has been exquisite. I just press the ‘like’ button because that’s usually all there is to do, but I have been so moved by it. Have you thought of submitting it as a volume of collected works?
      Warm hugs to you too!

      1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Naomi. I don’t think I can do the marketing things this would require … the being on the road, the public readings and presentations. What I plan to attempt is putting them up in Kindle on Amazon (assuming I can master the skills) as a gift to the so many kind people who have asked. 🙂

        P.S.: I keep chuckling at “bumbershots” … I don’t think I’ve heard that since I was a kid. Makes me smile.

      2. Dear Jamie,
        This sounds wonderful. I know what they say about marketing, and all that, but I do think that your work would stand on its own, without the big road trips and readings, etc. You do such a great job managing Into the Bardo, and The Poet BY Day. Now they have blog tours, and I bet it wouldn’t be much more difficult than that. You have many devoted followers who would love to celebrate you and your work. Sign me up as a blog host for your release party!

  22. Umbrellas help save the day and all the possible fun activities or errands we would otherwise miss if we don’t have one. An exciting trip indeed, rain or shine. Have a great day.

  23. The photos tell their story but the person behind the lens, you! chose awesome places, people and sights to really tell the story! You are very good, even if they are bumbershots!!

    1. I think that’s what happened this week. I had storyteller friends visiting from Australia and New Zealand. I NEVER carry an umbrella in Seattle, but rain was predicted and because I didn’t want my guests to get wet, I brought one just in case they might need one. Of course, because I brought the umbrella, it didn’t rain.
      Thanks for the visit. I always love to hear from you.

  24. Bumbershoots – love it! I’m definitely in the category of carrier here in Vancouver, Seattle’s wet Canadian sister…and as your wonderful photos show, they can definitely bring people together! 😉


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