Just in case there is anyone out there in the whole wide wet world who has not yet heard that Southern California is having a winter rain storm, I thought I'd let you all know that it has been raining here. It was raining when I drove to work this morning and there were accidents on the freeway because, frankly, Southern Californians don't know how to drive in the rain. When I left to run an errand this afternoon (read: go to the dentist), the water was pouring down, overflowing the eaves on the sides of the house and spewing into some large flower pots on my porch. The gutters had turned into rushing streams. You see, in Southern California it doesn't pay for the cities to build large drainage systems because rain happens so seldom (not like Portland where I grew up and it rains ALOT and the drains are designed to handle the amount of rain) so when it does rain, the system gets overloaded, but it's cheaper in the long run to repair any rain damage than to build larger, better drainage systems.
And it's cold. In the 40s and 50s cold. Our blueberry ranch friends registered 31F just before dawn yesterday morning! We are all whining and shivering and wearing heavy jackets, hats and mittens. And everyone who lives in 'a more northern climate' is making fun of us. I've heard there is snow in Washington and Oregon, and I've seen -20F listed as a temperature somewhere in Canada (you know who you are!), so why are we saying it's so cold? We're just not used to these temperatures. Our houses aren't insulated so well and neither are our bodies; most of us just wear shirt sleeves or light jackets all winter.
Thinking about relative temperatures reminded me of a story The Professor's mother told me. She moved with her husband and two sons (one of them being The Professor) from Central Iowa to Los Angeles in 1948. She had never lived anywhere except Iowa and Chicago and was used to those cold midwest winters. I think she quickly acclimated to the Southern California Mediterranean climate and never regretted the move west. She had a dear friend who lived in Chicago and the two of them wrote to each other every week. One year in the winter their letters crossed in the mail. Marian's letter stated, "The weather has been unseasonably warm this week. The temperature has gotten up to 50F!" My mother in law's letter waved to Marian's in the mailbags in Omaha. MIL's letter said, "The weather has been so cold this week! The temperature dropped to 50F!"
I baked Christmas sugar cookies yesterday which was quite nice as the oven heat warmed up the kitchen. This evening, Kiti made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies while I frosted my cookies. MMmmm--yummy and toasty warm again. I see why people cook soups, breads, casseroles in the winter--it keeps both the house and the body warm. Even a Southern California house where wimpy, warm weather loving people live.