There’s only 2 seasons in Southern California

Ah. That annual hint of summer has crept out and smacked us on the nose. It’s really true, isn’t it? There are only two seasons in Southern California – summer and preparing for summer.
Springtime has briefly tantalized us with blue skies over sunny beaches, only to yank back into a shroud of cold fog and the odd drizzly day. But we saw it. It may not resurface until mid-July, but we remember now that it is there and the siren song begins.
At least once, the kids will insist on being taken to the beach, where you sit and shiver as they gamely try to go in the water. Before long, they take pity on your blue lips or maybe admit the water is like ice, and you head home with the season’s first official carload of sand.
Your husband is determined to barbecue. He’s willing to flip burgers in his heavy jacket but the outside table you set at 1 p.m. must be dismantled and moved indoors by dinnertime. The meal becomes a battle to get the meat off the grill and onto your plate before it is stone cold again.
Suddenly you spot all the weeds that love the cool, damp weather. I’d like to just leave them until I can pull them in bare feet and shorts, but the neighbors generally get restless when the dandelions hit shoulder height.
As I pull on turtlenecks, pantyhose and closed shoes, my feet are already itching to shed everything but comfy sandals and I am eyeing my short-sleeved shirts with longing. I’m hoping for some serious heat this year. Poolside lounging kind of heat, that makes a dip into unheated water refreshing instead of chilling. I can talk like that since I finally have air-conditioning in my car.
Doesn’t this time of year make you just a little schizophrenic, though?
You wake up to a chill, so you bundle up and match your sweater to your socks. By the time lunch arrives, the sun is out, the sky is blue and the day is temperate. This forces you to ruin your carefully planned ensemble by having to shed your sweater. This reveals that wrinkled blouse you didn’t have time to really iron at 7 a.m. You also notice you forgot to put on a belt, which we all know is a fashion faux pas ranking just below wearing white after Labor Day. You might as well have forgotten your earrings, my dear.  Tsk. So unfinished.
By the end of the day, you are searching madly for that sweater again, as the wind picks up and the fog rolls back in blocking the sun. By dinnertime you have another fire in the fireplace, made from whatever you could scrounge from the remaining chips and bits of the winter firewood.
As one comedian used to say, “If you don’t like the weather in California, just wait 15 minutes.” Still true. I am looking toward global warming, or whatever phenomenon it takes to make things a bit less mercurial around here. Until then, I’m heading for Palm Springs.


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