Knock on gingerbread, but I feel like I've got the Christmas scene pretty well in hand this year. Tree's up. We've made cookies. My husband brought home a mistletoe clump the size of a tumbleweed. I've got a few minor shopping things to do, but mostly it's all wrapped up and in the bag, so to speak. Aside from rooting around in the back of my closet for something passable to wear to the company Christmas party, I'm set. Often I'm starting to feel a little harried at this stage in December. I don't know exactly how it happened, but this mellow season of waiting has been quite pleasant.
So it's Christmas time again. We've been decking some halls and checking lists twice and whatnot. And, man, is it ever sweater weather. Here in the middle of California we're having what I would have determined a cold snap, had it merely just snapped the once and got on with it. After two weeks of freezing temperatures its just simply cold now.
I love this time of year. Here on my scrap of the west coast, it turned into fall exactly 24 hours early. (Which gave Dad and I a two-hour rain delay at the Oakland Colosseum last Saturday waiting for the ball game to start, but that's neither here nor there.)
It's cold here. I'd say "unseasonably cold" but 'tis the season after all, so I guess that just makes it plain old cold. Early in the morning when I'm scraping ice off my car window I have more colorful adjectives for it.
A lot of blue skies around here. Bluer than they ought to be.
Not all my readers are from California so let me explain. It doesn't rain here in the summer. Really. You know those picture books we all had when we were kids? Wind-blown leaves for fall, snow for winter, rain for spring, and sun for summer? Those are about California. I was nearly grown when I found out there is actually a thing called a summer rain storm in other places. With thunder even. Weird.
It’s high August. Full moon over the corn fields. Tomato trucks bouncing down the highway on my left and right, on my way home from ballet class. It’s twilight at 8 p.m. and 85º. Pulling on to my little circle of a street, everybody’s outside. Folks are watering the plants out front and kids are zooming around on their bikes. Down the way, there’s music pouring out of a parked car and neatly paired up teens are practicing a dance in the street for what can only be a quinceañera.
Something very odd happened to me today. I was hot. I know, how bizarre, huh? I was sitting outside on my lunch break in the sunshine listening to an audio recording of Dune on my iPod (probably not helping) and I realized I was legitimately too warm. This rarely happens to me. Welcome May.
Alright, I know this isn’t going to last. This sunshine thing streaming in the window? Not for us. Not yet. We don’t get to keep it. I know that. You know that. You’d think the birds and the trees would know it too. We go through this every year at this time. False spring. In essence, California is faking it.
Really, I’m not even ready for it. I’ve got a porpoise wrap blocking (yes! blocking! done!) in the back room, for crying out loud, and the weather better at least let me wear it once before it goes all springy and optimistic on me.
It feels like fall today. The heat wave broke and lying underneath it in wait was autumn. Now I’m blinking and looking around town wondering how I overlooked it this long. Tomato trucks are bouncing along the highway; the whole town smells like ketchup. The kids are back in school, and back in the Starbucks down the road at 3 p.m. everyday in a big pack. You can smell it in the morning, that crisp edge of change.