Redding is juuust right.
That may be so, but I’m supposing I ought to define “just right” – for what.
In my not-so-humble opinion (the one that, along with two or three bucks, will buy you a cup of coffee) Redding is just right for a lot of things.
Surely, you must think, she doesn’t mean the weather. Well, yes I do. The weather, among several other things.
What about the cold and rain in the winter, you ask. OK, what about it? Have you ever spent a winter in Chicago? Or any place in the upper mid-West, for that matter? I have. Having been born and raised in California, my family and I went to live in central Illinois to finish up my husband’s and my college. That winter it dropped to below zero – zero, folks, not freezing. It was the week before Christmas and it never got above zero for three weeks. Now, that’s just a cruel joke to play on someone from California. No, wait, that’s a cruel joke to play on anyone.
Then how about our infamous summer heat? Oh, I know it gets up in the triple digits, but at least you can breathe. Have you ever experienced 85 degrees at 98 percent humidity? You need a snorkel to breathe. Honest. You can’t dry off when you get out of the shower because by the time you dry your feet, your head is wet again. And any clothes you put on become a plaster layer on your body.
Nope, I give you Redding’s weather as just right.
Well, then, you ask; you can’t mean the size. I mean, Redding is just a small hick town with traffic problems. Nope, I mean Redding is just the right size. It’s big enough that everybody and their brother isn’t gossiping about you. OK, a couple of the sisters may gossip, but there’s not the whole-town gossip hot line as there might be in a town smaller than Redding.
But it is small enough that the folks at the bank where I’ve traded for the last 30 years know me by name. After all, I’ve had some of their kids in school. And it’s small enough that from time to time the people at any given checkout counter will know me. Sometimes I worry that if it is someone I flunked in school they might add five bucks to the bill. And most any store I go into I’ll probably run into one or two folks who I know; or who know me.
See, I still believe that Redding is juuust right.
Well, then let’s talk about our geography. Sure, it sits at the north end of the Central Valley, which turns us into a heat pump in the summer. But you can always find a lake or a river in which to cool off. And we’re only four hours from Reno or the Bay Area if you crave something more glittering. And we’re right on I-5 so we’re equidistant from say, L.A. or Seattle, or Sacramento and Medford, and it’s easy driving.
See, again, juuust right.
Then there are the seasons. You hear people who have come to California lament not living where they can enjoy the seasons. Obviously, those folks are talking about the southern half of the state. Here we have just the right amount of seasons. We have color in the fall; even more so if you want to drive a half hour up into the hills, but plenty just around town. And if it’s blossoms you crave in the spring, just take a drive to Chico, which will take you through the almond orchards, if you don’t suffer with hay fever. And we may even get a dusting of snow from time to time, but it never lasts long enough to get irritating.
The only caveat I can offer is that I don’t want this piece to get out in the mainstream media because other folks just might find out about this place that is juuust right.
And then we wouldn’t be juuust right any more.
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.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Chamberlain, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.