They’d been talking about the coming storms for days. Everyone knew, a small one due one night and then a really big one hitting all weekend long. The supermarket was crowded with people stocking up. A neighbor quickly cleaned out his gutters. And with the first storm came traffic accidents and closed highways. Really, just like the rest of the country. But this is Southern California and the precipitation was not snow but rain. Much needed in a state experiencing an unusually long-running drought.
Before we all had a chance for dancing in the streets, however, the experts warned that no matter how much rain falls in the next few days, it will still not be enough to end the draught. Farmers in the Central Valley will still leave some fields unplanted ̶ “higher food prices!” your brain telegraphs. Ditto for vineyards ̶ “oh no, not Buck-Forty-Nine Chuck!” (Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw wine, formerly referred to as “Two Buck Chuck” and elsewhere as “Three Buck Chuck” is now during the Never-Ending Great Recession our house wine.)
Another neighbor just finished having a whole new roof installed and very nicely did not act smug when I asked for the roofer’s name. We’d known our roof needed work but we’d put it off ̶ “hey, it never rains here.”
I’ve tried to be discreet this winter about the gorgeous 80-degree sunny weather we’ve experienced while the rest of the country had hideous polar vortex repercussions. The New Yorker daughter has sent snow pictures taken from her apartment window and even a video of the flakes gently falling. “But it’s beautiful,” I’d reply when she’d tell of the unrelenting wind and cold. The Los Angeles daughter, in New York for business, also sent a picture of a snowy street accompanied by a rude comment. “Still beautiful, though,” I said.
Ed does not share my nostalgia for snow. The best part of the house sale back east, he says, was seeing the snow shovel walk out the door.
“Do you miss snow?” a longtime California resident asked me. “I do,” I told him. As long as you can remain inside, get someone to plow the driveway for you and not have to chip away at an ice-encrusted car, it’s really quite lovely to be snowed in. It’s a good time to tackle projects you’ve been avoiding like emptying out a cabinet and cleaning its contents. No snow days is probably why our cabinets here are filled with dusty objects. We’ll see whether a rainy weekend helps.