Friday, October 04, 2002

Update: California Burning

The fire is out, for those of you who have been following the Uvas Canyon blaze that has recently made breathing such an adventure in my neighborhood. While it was burning, I would go outside, inhale the fragrance of burning leaves, and think instinctively, "Oh, it's fall!" Which it is, technically, but in California, that evocative fragrance doesn’t mean kids raking leaves onto a small bonfire. It means firefighters battling vast blazes.

Even here, though, there is a tiny hint of color in some of the maples. The days are getting shorter, and the harvest moon was beautiful to see. We’ve ordered a cord of wood to get us through the winter; the wood stove is our primary source of heat, since the house is heated by overpriced electricity. Through the winter, we can expect plenty of rain, daytime temperatures in the sixties, and nights down in the high forties. The Bay Area really does have a heavenly climate, though down in the valley the summers are too hot for my taste.

This perfection does breed a certain attitude in the natives, though. I carpool to work most days with a guy named Ed, who doesn’t believe in the charms of a more extreme climate. As he once said, “I won’t go anywhere that there’s weather.”

I confess, I too have an attitude. I keep catching myself thinking: How can there be Christmas out here? There isn't any snow.

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