I’m sitting here in my cozy, secure (I hope) little house as it rains and gales outside. The weather, pretty much, doesn’t bother me . . . unless I need to go outside. I love the rain, snow, sleet, I even . . . well, kinda . . . enjoyed an ice storm once in St. Louis. Other than wind and fog, and searing heat, I’m fairly at ease with most weather phenomenon.
Rain I love, Snow I love . . . no, wait. Let me be specific: WEST coast snow I love. It’s wet and malleable and seldom too cold. In that same stint in the mid-West mentioned above, I experienced winter that was a totally different animal than what we have here. Below zero (zero, not freezing) for weeks. Snow so dry that you couldn’t make snow balls or snowmen. And if you stepped on that snow it was ice and stuck on your walkway until the spring thaw. You couldn’t shovel the snow off your sidewalks; you had to sweep it off. That puts winter in a whole different category than what we experience in California!
Wind is just irritating. Especially if it goes on for hours, or even days. This winter we are experiencing more wind that I can recall in my 40+ years in this area. But here, at least we don’t have the dirt. Growing up in the desert, especially right after WWII when the all-American canal was being built and thousands of acres of valley floor was being cleared and leveled, the least little breeze would kick up a sand storm that would blot out the sun and sneak into your house (as well as mouth and eyes and nose) no matter how well you sealed up all the cracks and seams. My dad liked to remark that that in the desert the only time real estate moved was when the wind blew.
Then there’s fog. IF, a really BIG IF, I don’t have to go out in it, it can make me feel cozy, like I’m inside a comforter . . . . for a while. But if it starts to hang around all day or more, then I’m ready to have done with it. I especially dislike having to drive in fog . . . for obvious reasons. I remember the first year I was married. We lived in Paradise. We had spent the holidays in L.A. and were driving home. We dropped down the Grapevine into an ocean of fog as far as one could see. We drove in the fog all day as we made our way up Highway 99 (before I-5 was done) I kept saying, “If it’s this foggy al the way from Bakersfield, it’s got to be foggy in Paradise, too.” That evening, as we drove up Neal Road, it was like driving into Shangri-la. The tendrils of fog whisping in among the trees, then breaking out into a moon-lit landscape. Ah, what beauty!
And now let’s talk summer, with its heat and cloudless skies . . . and fires. The heat I can stand (barely, and less and less as I get older) if there is a lake nearby I can jump into or if the air conditioning is efficient. But the cloudless skies week in and week out? Now that’s just boring!! Then there are the fires. I KNOW they are a natural phenomena, and it’s the way Mother Natures cleans house, but I don’t have to like it. Especially when they are near enough to foul our air.
When we get to August and September, I feel like all of nature is simply holding its breath until the first raindrops break the thrall.
I must admit, I waaaay prefer the cold to the heat. After all, when it’s cold, you can always put on more clothes, but when you’re hot, there’s only so much you could (or should) take off.
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.