I now live in a weather place. For 20 years, I lived in San Diego and, surprise, surprise, it’s a weather place, too. The weather is usually pretty subtle, but it’s definitely there. The coldest house I’ve ever lived in was 10 miles from the beach. When it gets down to 45 and there is no heat (normal for houses there) it’s COLD. That’s when I learned to wear long johns. Thank goodness I had a fireplace that offered, at least, an illusion of warmth. Space heaters are good in a closed space, but in an open, Spanish style, 1940s stucco house those heaters are not much good unless you sit on them.
Then I moved up to the mountains east of the city partly so I could have things like thunderstorms and freezing temps. I lived in a stone house that was originally built as a summer get-away cabin in the 1920s. I loved that house and the town and the landscape and it was hard to move away even though now I have all those things to the nth degree and I’m happy — and a house that is not as romantic and fairytale, but lot more comfortable. I lived there for eleven happy years. The people who brought my California mountain cabin last year are already selling it. They’re going to lose money on it. One thing about a place like that is you don’t buy it in the heat of passion because it’s not easy to live in a weather place in Southern California. The house had all it needed to be comfortable for a person with low standards of comfort but… As someone said when I first moved in, “Most people stay here two years.”
I guess that weather up there is depressing. It’s hard when your pipes freeze for the first time and you don’t know enough to be grateful that all the plumbing is outside and it’s not flooding your house.
The other day I was walking the dogs. It was a clear sunny cool afternoon, air scoured clean by strong gusts 20 maybe 30 mph, narrow little brooms of wind. One came pushing across the golf course (open field this time of year with all the greens covered). It was fun to watch. It was 20 feet wide. It started high, bent the tops of the cottonwood trees, slid down its private little wind hill, hit the ground, whisked all the leaves off the ground and into the tennis court fence. I turned away from it, finally. When it had nearly spent itself, we continued. A pickup pulled up beside us and the driver said, “You’re tough.”
It’s been cold here these last few nights; cold is single digits and double digits preceded by a “-“. Since I have to leave the back storm door open enough for the dogs to push open and go out, those temps mean the water in the hoses to my washer could freeze. It happened yesterday because I forgot how that can happen. Now all is good and the hoses are protected. One of my friends posted on Facebook that it’s getting to be time for wool socks and headbands. Well, I’ve been wearing wool socks for a month now. No, not the same pair. Good grief.
The thing about weather is that it’s interesting as long as it’s not deadly. Here’s a story of a time — a legendary moment — when the weather turned very ugly long before anyone knew that life on the plains was gong to prove too “depressing” for most people.