It seems a bit strange to be using my winter wonderland icon for this, but it is
Los Angeles has had temperatures in the mid-seventies the past few days. I had to contemplate turning on my air conditioner in the heat of the afternoon on Saturday, because the apartment has no insulation and the walls and roof collect the heat and radiate it straight into my apartment. I don't have sunshades any more thanks to the last big windstorm (gusts up to 70mph in the canyons tend to do that, either because you take them down yourself or the wind does it for you).
25 years ago, I was a young child in the worst blizzard Indiana had seen in decades
. I remember making tunnels in the drifts in my parents' side yard, and going for walks with Dad... I was nearly as tall as he was, since I could walk across the top of the drifts after one sunshiny day had left a crust of ice on them. I remember giggling and giggling and giggling that I was as tall as Daddy... and coming in for hot chocolate... and helping Mom and Dad hang blankets over the windows to help keep out the cold... and letting Mom comb out my hair after a shower, sitting in front of the woodstove with my warm fuzzy pajamas and slippers on. We kept a pan of water on top of the woodstove in the wintertime to combat the lack of humidity in the house. The electricity kept going out. Some of those memories might be the winter after '78, or the year after that, but they're all kind of blended together in my mind, and '77-'78 was the winter we got the most snow.
I guess that year must have been formative for me, because on some level, that's what I expect winter to mean. Crisis management and weather that is actually bad enough to alter humans' routine behavior...
Today, I could see snow on the top of Mount Baldy above and east of here, and if I really wanted to, I could drive up there from here and it'd only take a few hours. But it doesn't really feel like winter to me here unless it's actually raining in Los Angeles.
One of my favorite courtyards on the campus where I work has citrus trees which smell absolutely wonderful right now. I think some of them are blossoming, and the others have fruit. I now park so I can walk through that courtyard on my way to and from my office each day.
Another section of campus has purple and white magnolias blossoming.
I think I'm going to go for a walk in Descanso Gardens this weekend... because it's supposed to be sunny and warm and clear and wonderful, and because most of my non-Southern-California friends consider a January heat wave to mean temperatures above freezing in the daytime, and above zero Fahrenheit at night.
Happy January, everyone... wherever you are.